A central Minnesotan attending college out west is the second skier to have died from an avalanche last week in northern New Mexico.
Corey Borg-Massanari, a 2015 graduate of Brainerd High School, was caught in an avalanche on Thursday at a ski resort in Taos, N.M., according to an organ donor organization.
“Corey was known for his smile, his quirky sense of humor and his unique sense of style,” read a statement from New Mexico Donor Services, which was handling the donation of Borg-Massanari’s organs following his death Monday at an Albuquerque hospital. “Corey was an experienced and avid skier, and loved the outdoors. He enjoyed camping, fishing, zip-lining, snowmobiling, dirt biking and so much more.”
Borg-Massanari was born in Pueblo, Colo., and moved from Minnesota to Vail to attend Colorado Mountain College. He worked at the outdoor retailer Patagonia and gave zipline tours in the summer.
His grandmother, Deb Bowers Borg, wrote on Facebook that “our grandson Corey Borg loved the mountains, no matter what season. The mountain took his life unexpected with an avalanche while skiing in New Mexico. I am so proud of this young man and the impact that he has left on so many lives.”
The other victim, identified as 26-year-old Matthew C. Zonghetti, of Mansfield, Mass., a few hours after the avalanche, which struck a stretch of expert skiing terrain on the upper mountain known as the K3 chute. An investigation was underway to determine what triggered the avalanche.
Taos Ski Valley personnel have said the avalanche within ski-area boundaries took place despite a series of precautions earlier the day that included the detonation of explosives to trigger any potential snowslides before skiers could take to the slopes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.