MOUNT SHASTA (KCBS) — An autopsy is planned on a snowboarder whose body was found on Mount Shasta over the weekend.

The official cause of death is still pending, but authorities suspect 23-year-old Alexander Gautreaux , whose body was found inverted in a tree about 100 yards outside of the Mount Shasta Ski Park boundary, died of asphyxiation.

100 volunteers and members of law enforcement searched for three days for the missing snowboarder. Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Allison Giannini described the conditions.

“With that much fresh powder and the way the trees and the terrain is, if you fall into that, you can’t get back out,” said Giannini.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Searchers were often chest-high in snow. The sheriff’s department said Gautreaux’s cell phone is the only thing that helped them find his body.

After paging the phone several times, they traced the sound of pings to determine its location.

Giannini said the tragedy is a reminder that even experienced skiers and snowboarders need to be careful.

“Our ski parks have excellent ski patrols, but if you go out of those boundaries it’s really hard for them to find you. It’s imperative that you stay within the boundaries,” stressed Giannini.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)