A 25-year-old Colorado man has been missing since Thursday in the Lost Trail Ski area at the south end of the Bitterroot Valley. Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton said a search began after the man did not meet his ski party Thursday afternoon.

The search began with the Lost Trail Ski Patrol, but was expanded by units of Ravalli County Search and Rescue, who searched throughout the event. In a news release, Holton said a Lifeflight helicopter flew over the area Friday morning. A thermal imaging drone was also in the sky over the area where the skier might be.

At daylight Friday, 20 searchers took to the mountains around the ski area. Personnel included Ravalli County Search and Rescue, Lost Trail Ski Patrol and members of the missing man's ski party.

Holton asked people who are in the Lost Trail area to be aware of the search. If they observe any possible indication of the lost skier, please notify the Sheriff's office or the Lost Trail Ski area. The experienced searchers have set up a command post at the main lodge of Lost Trail Powder Mountain.

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Lost Trail is a popular downhill ski operation that is on the border between Montana and Idaho at Lost Trail Pass. The runs are used by alpine/downhill skiers, telemark skiers, mono-skiers and snowboarders. A reminder to winter skiers and snowboarders in Montana, be aware of weather conditions, steepness of hillsides and possibilities of avalanche danger when you are off the groomed runs into the backcountry of the Bitterroot National Forest. Always let people know where you're going and when you are expected to be back.