Ryan Roberts of Creston said he thought he was going to die.
"I pretty much considered myself dead," he told the Kalispell Inter Lake. "I just said a quick prayer and got myself to be really calm, because that stuff's like concrete."
Roberts was saved by his family, including his father and uncles, who spent Thursday night probing the snow looking for him. U.S. Forest Service rangers had told them that any official search would have to wait until morning.
"We looked at him and said, 'Sorry. He's my nephew. We've got to go," his uncle, Dave Roberts said.
Roberts was found by Dan Root, a longtime friend and distant cousin. Once he was dug out, his family used gasoline from their snowmobiles to fuel a bonfire to warm him up.