Boy, 12, survives avalanche that buried him for 40 minutes

PARIS (AP) — Authorities in the French Alps say a 12-year-old boy has been found alive after being buried under an avalanche for 40 minutes.

French police in the town of Bourg Saint-Maurice say the boy was skiing off piste at the La Plagne ski resort in a group of seven skiers Wednesday when he was swept away by a huge mass of snow.

Rescue workers flew in a helicopter to the avalanche scene, which was 2,400 meters (7,875 feet) high up the mountain. A sniffer dog found the boy, whose snowsuit was not equipped with an avalanche detector.

Rescue workers described the operation as "miraculous" because chances of survival are minuscule after 15 minutes under the snow.

The boy escaped unscathed and was sent to a local hospital for a checkup.

5 PHOTOS
Best ski towns in America
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Best ski towns in America

Telluride, Colorado

This beloved mountain town is so secluded, it only has a population of 2,000 people -- and that's exactly why we love it. 

  • Getting there: Travelers can fly into Montrose, Grand Junction or Durango, which are all only a scenic drive from town
  • Where to stay: Check out Lumiere, the Franz Klammer (both part of the town's picturesque Mountain Village) or one of these gorgeous AirBnBs
  • Where to eat: The Sheridan, 221 South Oak and Alpino Vino (the highest restaurant in North America) rank as some of our favorites

Jackson, Wyoming 

Nestled in the Teton mountains, this town is known for its remarkable beauty and diverse terrains, becoming a must-visit for snowboarders and skiers alike.

Park City, Utah

While film fanatics may know the town from the Sundance Film Festival, there's another reason to love the mountain destination: the skiing. 

  • Getting there: Travelers can fly into Salt Lake City and be in Park City 40 minutes later 
  • Where to stay: We recommend The Chateaux Deer Valley and Montage Deer Valley
  • Where to eat: Yama and The Mariposa rank as some of our favorites 

Stowe, Vermont

This East Coast town is known as the "Ski Capital of the East" and is home to the tallest mountain in Vermont, Mount Mansfield.

Tahoe, California

The West Coast area is home to many different ski resorts, making it the perfect getaway, no matter one's skiing ability. 

  • Getting there: Travelers can fly into Sacramento or Reno and drive. Those in California can drive as well. 
  • Where to stay: We recommend Heavenly Ski Resort (South Lake) or Diamond Peak Resort (North Lake).
  • Where to eat: Though restaurants will depend on which side of the lake you're staying, some of our favorites include Cafe Fiore and Christy Hill
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