Matthew Zonghetti was killed in an avalanche at the Taos Ski Valley, officials confirmed.
Zonghetti was skiing at The Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday when an avalanche occurred.
Ski Patrol responded immediately to the accident in the K3 Shoot on Kachina Peak and helped to dig out two men who were buried for 22 minutes.
The second skier is in critical condition at the University of New Mexico Hospital has not been identified.
“We are deeply saddened by yesterday’s events. Our hearts are with the individuals, their family and friends, as well as the larger community that has been affected, including other visitors and our dedicated staff,” The Taos Ski Valley wrote on Twitter.
Rescue crews were able to get the two men out and began to administer CPR before they were transported down the mountain to the resort’s Mogul Medical Clinic.
Witnesses on the scene tell KOAT that it was a “very scary situation.” The mountains ski patrol team had detonated explosives in the area where the avalanche occurred early Thursday morning.
He said they do this every morning to prevent avalanches and said it is rare for one to occur. It is not yet known what triggered Thursday’s avalanche.
George Brooks said, “You have more avalanches outback, so you have the perimeter where people normally ski and then someone skis out of bounds and go behind that off the trail. That’s usually where you have avalanches because that’s not a controlled area.”
Although avalanches are rare there have been some in the past. But Brooks says it is highly unlikely that a second avalanche will form on Kachina Peak.
In 1996, 38-year-old Tim Harter died in an avalanche at Taos and in 1976, an avalanche buried and killed 17-year-old Andy Frank.