Family of missing skier releases statement
Special to the Tribune
Monday 1/3/22 – Update:
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday said it will suspend emergency rescue operations at Northstar Ski Resort
It has been determined there is no realistic possibility Angelotta has survived the severe winter conditions. A scaled response is still planned for recovery operations at the resort.
After the Placer County Sheriff’s Office suspended emergency rescue operations, the family of missing skier Rory Angelotta released a statement through the Sheriff’s Office.
“The Angelotta family would like to express our deep gratitude for all those who have and will continue to aid in the search, rescue, and recovery of our son, brother, cousin, nephew, and uncle,” it states. “Your prayers have given us strength through this difficult time; please continue to keep the family in your prayers.”
Thursday, 12/30/21 – 7:00PM Update:
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office will be suspending emergency rescue operations at Northstar Ski Resort for missing skier Rory Angelotta. It has been determined there is no realistic possibility Rory has survived the severe winter conditions. A scaled response is still planned for recovery operations at the resort.
Over six days, a combined total of over 13,000 personnel hours has been committed to this operation. Approximately 220 personnel from 17 different agencies and rescue organizations have braved extreme winter mountain conditions in their search for Rory. The search conditions included high winds, whiteout conditions, overnight temperatures in the teens, and over seven feet of new snow since the beginning of the search. Resources deployed included Nordic skiers, snowshoers, snowcats, snowmobiles, a Blackhawk helicopter, and a CHP helicopter deploying advanced aerial borne radar technology.
We would like to give thanks to the following organizations for their tremendous outpouring of support:
Northstar Ski Patrol, Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue (SAR), Placer County SAR, Nevada County SAR, Washoe County SAR, Butte County SAR, Marin County SAR, Bay Area Mountain SAR, Douglas County SAR, Yosemite SAR, Tahoe Back County Ski Patrol, area resort Ski Patrol, National Ski Patrol, Nevada Air National Guard, California Highway Patrol, Northstar California Ski Resort, and Northstar Fire.
This was a difficult decision, especially for the volunteers who have worked so hard to bring Rory home. Unfortunately, it was a decision that had to be made. Our hearts go out to the family.
Authorities on Thursday continued their search for missing skier Rory Angelotta, 43, of Truckee.
Angelotta went missing on Christmas after his ski pass was scanned that morning at the Comstock lift.
Since Angelotta’s disappearance there has been record snow in the area and harsh weather conditions which caused many roads to close, including Highway 267, which caused a slow down in the search.
Authorities searched until after 9 p.m. Tuesday for the missing skier. They had followed some tracks left in the snow in a remote area near the resort, until they realized that the tracks were those of a bear.
The search resumed Wednesday and again Thursday.
Weather conditions continue to pose a challenge for the searchers, but it was expected to clear up Thursday, which could allow for a helicopter search.
So far, search and rescue have searched much of the perimeter around Northstar Ski Resort, including a nearby gulch.
“The snow was so deep that it was extremely problematic and dangerous to get in there… (Tuesday) we (had) about 35 total in the search… If the weather clears up, which it looks like it probably will, we’ll try to get some air support,” Placer County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Powers said. “Hopefully, our last, best hope will be to get a helicopter up (Thursday) with some specialized equipment that may be able to pick up an electronic device buried beneath the snow.”
The searchers, which have included the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, Northstar Ski Patrol, Tahoe Backcountry Ski Patrol, Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue, Nevada County Search and Rescue, Placer County Search and Rescue, Butte County Search and Rescue, and Bay Area Mountain Rescue, have been searching in dangerous avalanche conditions, high winds, and freezing temperatures both day and night.
“The odds of anybody surviving out there that long in such harsh conditions, unfortunately, are extremely low,” Powers said. “We’re still holding out hope, but we have to be realistic. We’ll exhaust every reasonable means to do what we can to find him, and ultimately if it becomes a recovery — risking personnel to search in dangerous or hazardous conditions is not something that we’re going to do. If it turns into a recovery it will probably be later in the season — the weather is better and things start to melt out.”
According to authorities, there was no other activity registered to Angelotta’s pass since Christmas morning. An emergency ping on Angelotta’s phone last showed a short call made from the Northstar area at 11:25 a.m. before his phone was turned off. Angelotta’s vehicle was also found parked in the Northstar parking lot.
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office is currently seeking information as to where Angelotta may have chosen to ski the afternoon he went missing. Angelotta is described as very friendly and outgoing. He recently moved to the Truckee area from Colorado in October and worked as the general manager of the Surefoot ski shop in Northstar. He was last believed to be wearing a navy blue Fly Low jacket, blue helmet, and black goggles.
If anyone has spoken with or seen Angelotta between Christmas Day and today, contact the Placer County Sheriff’s Office at 530-886-5375.
Elizabeth White is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at email@example.com
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