An avalanche killed a back-country skier who was skiing in a restricted area, authorities said.

Douglas A. Pinta, 23, a Breckenridge Ski Area lift operator, died of suffocation Sunday afternoon, Summit County Deputy Coroner Derek Woodman said.Pinta had been buried for about 15 minutes before rescuers were able to pull his body out, authorities said.

Pinta was skiing with three other men in a popular out-of-bounds skiing area called "Shockley's Folly," about 50 miles west of Denver, Sheriff Delbert Ewoldt said.

Ewoldt said an investigation was continuing but charges probably wouldn't be filed against the other skiers.

The area received nearly 10 inches of snow between Friday and Saturday nights. Gusts reached 70 mph Sunday, the National Weather Service said.