A 28-year-old skier was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center today, where he later died after he and a companion were caught in a small avalanche at Alpental Ski Area...

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SNOQUALMIE PASS — A 28-year-old skier was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center today, where he later died after he and a companion were caught in a small avalanche at Alpental Ski Area.

The ski area is not yet open for the season, and avalanche mitigation work has not been performed, officials said.

The two men were skiing about noon when the avalanche hit near International Cliffs , said Lt. Ron Linde of the Snoqualmie Pass Fire Department.

Both were wearing locator beacons, Linde said. One of the trapped skiers dug himself out and then worked to find and dig out his friend.

Two other skiers who were nearby aided the men; one stayed with the pair while the other went for help, Linde said.

The Ski Patrol reached the injured skier and got him to an airlift helicopter by about 2:30 p.m., Linde said. CPR was still being performed as the copter flew toward Harborview.

A King County medical investigator confirmed the 28-year-old man later died. His name has not been released. An autopsy is planned for tomorrow.