A number of friends have expressed alarm and/or asked for more info, so here is some. I hope it might help someone else someday.
First, this was in bounds and could have happened to anybody. Hazards are always there. Nevertheless, I believe that all of us are more likely to come to harm from high speed collisions on groomers and car crashes enroute to or from ski areas. Still we need to be smart and cautious and to have thought through some scenarios in advance. I had my cell phone and knew that it had reception all over Steamboat. I also had the best, lightest, cheapest, most all around likely to save your butt piece of emergency equipment you can carry - a loud whistle. Every skier should carry one in my opinion.
After realizing that my son had gone on down I called the kids on the cell phone to let them know what had happened and that I was OK and trying to climb out unassisted and would call again in a few minutes. I took it as a useful and educational challenge to see if I could climb out unaided. It was 11 AM, plenty of time. I did not sound the whistle after failing to summon John by yelling; I was unhurt and didn't want to scare the bejeezus out of him. If I could get out unassisted it would build my skill base for when I might truly be alone. Help could be summoned later if needed.
BTW my family (who do worry) gave me a Personal Locator Beacon for Christmas. http://www.findmespot.com/
I was not carrying it and probably should have. I did not go on this trip with the expectation of doing any backcountry.
Thinking some more, I will not ever again be without my standard backcountry pack on a big mountain or when alone. A couple water bottles and some high calorie food, a down jacket or extra layer, and some other stuff will fit there but would be hard to stuff into pockets. I need to carry 10 meters of 8 mm climbing rope and some prusik loops, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prusik_knot
These would be light and easy to carry. Then a ski could be pushed tail first into the wall of snow, as high as one could reach, and used as an anchor. A pair of prusik loops would allow climbing several feet, then the other ski could be jammed into the wall, and the process repeated until out.
The above are minimalist steps. If you really want to get serious read this book; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountaineering:_The_Freedom_of_the_Hills