A professional skier has died at California's Squaw Valley while taking a run down a steep chute and smashing his head against a rock outcropping.

Jim Rogers, a member of the Lake Tahoe-area resort's ski patrol, said C.R. Johnson was skiing with a group of friends Wednesday when he fell while trying to negotiate a "very, very tight, rocky area."

He fell face first, then spun around and struck the back of his head on rocks. He was wearing a helmet at the time.

Ski patrol members were unable to revive the skier after they were called shortly before 2 p.m.

Rogers said Johnson was 25 or 26 years old. A statement from Squaw Valley described Johnson as a professional skier and member of its Freeride team.