Police said the man, who was skiing, was swept away by a 200 meter wide slab of snow. His 59-year-old companion was able to administer first aid. Both men were flown to hospital in Lienz.
The pair, both from Prettau, planned to ski down a south east slope towards Umbaltal, when the avalanche started at a height of 3,100 metres. They were swept away for a distance of 100 metres and came to rest on rocky terrain.
The younger man had a fractured femur. Due to the lack of cell phone reception the 59-year-old was only able to call the emergency services at 1:45 pm. An hour later a first aid helicopter was on the scene.
The avalanche risk in Tyrol's back country skiing regions has increased in recent days. Experts warned on Monday that the risk-level was 4 (high) on a scale of 5 – due to fresh, loose snowfall, rain and winds. Steep slopes in all directions are considered danger spots.
In Vorarlberg, Salzburg and Upper Austria, the avalanche danger was also classified as high on Monday.