Mount Hood Snowboarder Killed When Ice Tunnel Collapses

Monday, 05 Aug 2013 07:01 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Rescue teams recovered the body of snowboarder Collin Backowski early Sunday, a day after he was trapped in an ice tunnel on Oregon's Mount Hood.

Backowski, 25, of Pines, Colo., and five friends went snowboarding Saturday on Mount Hood's White River Glacier when they found a tunnel formed by melting snow, according to

"Two days ago I went and scouted a crevasse to jump over," Grant Giller, one of Backowski's friends who was with him on the mountain, told KATU. "One of the kids up there is a professional snowboarder like myself. Two of the guys up there I know are photographers. So we were just going to take some photos."

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When the group entered the tunnel, however, it collapsed. The five men made it out uninjured but Backowski was trapped under a piece of ice described as the size of a school bus. His friends called for help and tried desperately to dig him out, but were unable to break through the thick ice and snow.

Rescue crews used chainsaws and hand tools to cut through the frozen terrain and found Backowski's body buried under eight to 10 feet of snow Sunday morning.

Many took to Twitter to mourn the loss of a friend.

John Backowski, Collin's father, told NBC News his son was killed while doing what he loves.

"He chose to live out there on the edge with the snowboarding," Backowski said. "I would never try to take it away from him. He loved it." 

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Related stories:

Bode Miller's Brother, Snowboarder Chelone Miller, Dies After Seizure

Sheriff: 5 Snowboarders Killed in Colo. Avalanche

3 Skiers Killed in Washington Avalanche; 4th Survives  

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