Police ID skier missing on Whiteface Mountain

WILMINGTON, N.Y. (WCAX) The search resumed Friday morning on Whiteface Mountain for a missing skier.

Constantinos "Danny" Filippidis

Police say Constantinos "Danny" Filippidis, 49, a firefighter from Toronto, was last seen at the Wilmington ski area Wednesday afternoon. He was reported missing after the lifts closed. Police say Filippidis was an intermediate skier and he went missing during a snowstorm that was making visibility poor.

Friday may have looked like a regular day at Whiteface Mountain.

"There's a ton a ton of fresh powder snow -- I love it," said James Finnigan, a visitor from Pennsylvania.

But the mountain -- known for bringing people from all over -- has had some extra guests the last few days. "To date we have over 140 people involved in this search through various agencies -- state agencies, federal agencies, as well as volunteers," said Jon Lundin with the Olympic Regional Development Authority.

Rescuers were on foot, on skis, and accompanied by search dogs Friday. Even a drone was brought in to help. But with 20 inches of snowfall in the last seven days, officials say Filippidis could be anywhere.

The mountain is home to 86 trails -- 73 are open now. It's a popular destination with this fresh snow, which is why the ski patrol has been searching the un-groomed territory. Authorities say in some spots the snow is chest deep. "This is an air to ground search," Lundin said.

Resort officials again on Friday put the word out for skiers to keep their eyes open.

"Honestly, I thought I was going to go find him -- that did not happen," Finnigan said. He says he practices some basic rules while on the slopes to make sure he stays safe. "Stay with the buddy system or have like walkie talkies, or never ride alone."

Meanwhile rescuers continue their search. "We're looking for anything that might just be out of the ordinary that will help us find him," Lundin said.

Filippidis was last seen wearing a green ski jacket, black helmet and red skis. He's described as 5-feet-10-inches tall, 220 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair. Anyone who has information or has seen Filippidis is asked to call New York State Police at 518-873-2750.