Hood River County Sheriff / AP
In this undated photo provided by the Hood River County Sheriffs Office a hiker stands at the entrance to an ice tunnel that collapsed, trapping a snowboarder at Oregon's Mt. Hood Saturday Aug. 3, 2013.
A snowboarder was missing on Sunday after he was buried beneath falling ice and snow as he explored an ice tunnel on Oregon's Mount Hood, and was unlikely to have survived the mishap, the local sheriff's office said.
The snowboarder, identified as 25-year-old Collin Backowski, was exploring the mountain on Saturday with five other men in their 20s, and broke ahead of the group to check out a tunnel melted into the ice and snow, according to the Hood River County Sheriff's Office.
"The top caved in on them," said Lieutenant Tiffany Peterson, a spokeswoman for the office. Two of the other snowboarders were hit by falling ice and snow, but they escaped without injury.
The men tried to dig into the ice and snow to free Backowski but it was too densely packed, the sheriff's office said.
Rescuers who arrived soon after were unable to find him. They ended their efforts several hours later at around 11 p.m.
A 12-member search and rescue team with shovels and chain saws headed back to the site, about 8,000 feet up the mountain, around dawn on Sunday, Peterson said.
The sheriff's office said it was "very unlikely" that Backowski, from the town of Pine, Colorado, could have survived. Mount Hood was otherwise open to summer skiers and snowboarders on Sunday, Peterson said.
First published August 4 2013, 9:31 AM