KAMAS, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A Summit County snowmobiler is alive, thanks to the efforts of his friends who dug him out after being buried under 10 feet of snow for more than 20 minutes.
Tyson Black was snowmobiling with friends at Hoyts Peek, just 3 miles north of Kamas when he triggered an avalanche on Sunday afternoon.
"I just really couldn't believe it was actually happening to us. I was just thinking we were invincible nothing is going to happen to us and if it does slide we'll outrun it," said Tyson's best friend, Bronson Butler.
Black was buried in more than 10 feet of snow as his friends frantically searched and dug in the snow.
Black usually wears an avalanche beacon, but was not wearing one on Sunday.
That left his friends with nothing but a few shovels and a lot of determination to save their buddy, who watched in horror as he got caught up in the slide, that was captured on video by Tyson's friend Bronson Butler.
"I couldn't believe it was happening. I just kept running through my mind this is not happening," said Tyson's girlfriend, Brandy Newbold.
Black said he had a small air pocket form around his helmet, but that he'd lost consciousness for all but 3 minutes under the snow.
After digging for about 20 minutes, Tyson's friend Mike Mimbach felt his shovel hit something solid under the snow.
It was Black's helmet.
Even after locating Tyson under the mass of snow, it took his buddies 25 more minutes to free him.
He emerged, emotional and jubilant to the cheers of a small crown of friends who'd worked so hard to save him. His girlfriend also witnessed the intense experience, and told ABC 4 News she has a greater appreciation of life because of it.
She says Tyson apologized for taking the risk for a little fun. "I told him don't be sorry. I'm just happy your OK," Brandy replied to him.
Black suffered no significant injuries other than a banged up knee. He was back at work on Monday.
Tyson is most thankful to be reunited with his five-month-old son Thurston and his girlfriend.