Former Ski Instructor Rescues Man Buried Up to His Chin in Snow by Avalanche on Maine Mountain

Nik Krueger said the victim was buried up to his chin in the snow before he began digging him out of his precarious position

<p>Getty</p> A general shot of Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine


A general shot of Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine
  • A man was rescued by a former ski instructor after he was buried to his chin in snow during an avalanche Sunday on Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine

  • About 37 inches of snow had reportedly fallen on the mountain in the four days before the avalanche, according to a Sugarloaf spokesperson

  • Nik Krueger, who rescued the man, said it took about 10 minutes to dig the victim out of his precarious position

A skier helped rescue two others on Sunday after a small avalanche on a Maine mountain left them buried.

Nik Krueger, 27, was celebrating his birthday by skiing with friends on Sugarloaf Mountain when the avalanche suddenly occurred, according to ABC affiliate WCVB-TV and NBC affiliate WCSH.

Krueger, who previously worked as a ski instructor, said he had just made it to the top of the mountain moments before he watched the snow swallow two people he was with, according to The Boston Globe.

Related: 5 People Found Dead in Snow Cave After Going Missing on Ski Trip

"I saw this big mound of snow and said, 'Well that may let go.' And no later than I could say it under my breath, I just watched the whole thing collapse in front of him,” Krueger explained, per WCSH.

In no time, Krueger sprang into action. He first checked on his friend behind him, who was only in about two feet of snow and was digging himself out, according to WCVB-TV and the Globe.

Then, Krueger turned his attention to the other man, who was buried up to his chin in snow. Krueger did not wait to start digging, though the Sugarloaf spokesperson says ski patrol was contacted.

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"I had to keep an eye on everything that was going on above me,” the Maine man said, per WCVB-TV. “There was the potential for another slide and I could be stuck.”

It took Krueger about 10 minutes to free the man from his precarious position, according to WCSH. All three individuals then continued skiing, WCVB-TV reported.

“It was just another part of my day, I saved someone’s life and I kept rolling,” the Old Town resident said, per the Globe.

Related: 1 Dead, 1 Injured in Avalanche at California Ski Resort: 'This Is a Very Sad Day'

Sugarloaf received 37 inches of snow we received in four days, which "presented the perfect environment and conditions for a wind slab of this type," according to the spokesperson's statement.

The spokesperson also noted that the mountain "is not considered avalanche terrain nor designated as such."

"I would have done it for anybody in that situation and I hope others would, too," said Krueger, per WCVB-TV.

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