By Logan Smith

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – A 21-year-old man was buried in an avalanche at the Steamboat Ski Resort on Sunday afternoon, but was quickly dug out.

The man was part of a group of skiers who traveled uphill from an open section of mountain called Big Meadows. The group “took a very hard traverse” into the apron of Chute 1, a double-black run on the ski area’s upper north side that was closed at the top, according to Ski Patrol Director John Kohnke.

Ski Patrol dispatchers received the call at 12:58 p.m.

The skier was dug out, conscious and breathing, nine minutes later. He was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center by ambulance. His condition – at present or when he was dug out – has not been released by the resort. Nor has his identity.

A helicopter was reportedly launched but did not take part in the operation.

Resort officials told CBS4 it had received 63 inches of snow in October and 36 inches of new snow in the last couple of days. In between, Steamboat experienced a warming trend and some rainfall.

“That is a recipe for an unstable snowpack,” said Dave Hunter, Vice President of Operations. “Today is a direct result.”

The Steamboat Springs Ski Resort’s web cam at its Gondola Square base location at dusk Sunday. (credit: Steamboat Springs Ski Resort)

“It’s important that everyone let us do our job prior to opening terrain to the public.”

Logan Smith