Buried skier survives avalanche, digs head out of snow

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Officials say an Alaska backcountry skier was buried by an avalanche, but he was able to dig his head and arms out of the snow.

He then walked away unharmed after a companion helped get him out of the snow.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports that the avalanche occurred Thursday on Sunburst Ridge in Turnagain Pass, just south of Anchorage.

Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center forecaster John Fitzgerald says the skier triggered the avalanche that slid about a thousand feet on the southwest face of the ridge. The slide was 350 feet wide.

Fitzgerald declined to name the skiers. But he described them as regulars who were rattled by the events.