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Second skier buried in Taos avalanche dies; was 22-year-old avid skier living in Vail

Other skier had just moved to Denver in December
Posted: 5:06 PM, Jan 21, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-21 19:06:06-05
corey borg massanari.jpg

DENVER – The second skier who was buried in an avalanche at Taos Ski Valley, N.M. last week has died, his family said Monday, adding that he was also an avid skier based in Colorado.

Through a representative, the family of 22-year-old Corey Borg-Massanari confirmed Monday that he had died at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where he was taken shortly after the avalanche occurred on an in-bounds run at the popular ski area last Wednesday morning.

The other man buried and killed after the slide , whose sister identified him to Denver7 as 26-year-old Matthew Zonghetti, also died after the avalanche. Zonghetti was an avid skier who had recently moved to Denver and was on a trip with his father to Taos, his sister said.

Borg-Massanari was also living in Colorado, according to family representative Maria Sanders of New Mexico Donor Services.

He was born in Pueblo and raised in Minnesota and moved to Vail upon graduating high school in 2015 to attend Colorado Mountain College. He worked at the Patagonia store in Vail Village and worked as a zip-line tour guide at Zip Adventures at 4 Eagle Ranch in the summer, Sanders said. He was an avid skier and outdoorsman as well.

“Corey was known for his smile, his quirky sense of humor and his unique sense of style. He loved spending time with family and friends, and especially his fuzzy dog, Abu. Corey was an experienced and avid skier and loved the outdoors. He enjoyed camping, fishing, zip-lining, snowmobiling, dirt biking and so much more,” Sanders said in the release. “He liked working on his Jeep with his dad and learned the love of cooking from his mom.”

“Corey’s family would like to thank the Taos Ski Area staff, skiers and volunteers who assisted in the search for their son, and the care given by EMS and helicopter staff,” Sanders added.

“Finally, Corey’s family would like to extend appreciation to UNM Hospital’s Trauma ICU staff and New Mexico Donor Services staff who cried and laughed beside them as they shared stories of Corey’s life.”

There is a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for services and medical bills, and Borg-Massnari’s family urges people to sign up to be an organ donor, as their son was.

Taos Ski Valley said it took about 20 minutes to rescue the two men after the slide, which happened on the K3 chute off Kachina Peak despite ski patrol performing avalanche mitigation in the area just hours earlier.