MOUNT HOOD, Ore. – A dozen rescuers armed with chain saws and other tools chipped away at a collapsed ice tunnel Sunday in hopes of finding a snowboarder buried on Oregon's Mount Hood.
The snowboarder was traveling with five companions when the collapse hit Saturday afternoon.
Hood River Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Tiffany Peterson said the search resumed early Sunday and would continue until about 1 p.m. — by which time warming temperatures were expected to increase the risk of avalanche.
Authorities identified the missing man as Collin Backowski, 25, of Pines, Colo. His companions tried to dig him out, but were unable to break through the ice and snow, which Peterson described as being as thick as concrete.
The other five, all in their 20s, were uninjured and called police.
"They tried digging for an hour, but the problem is the stuff is so thick that they couldn't get through it," Hood River Sheriff's Office Sgt. Pete Hughes said.
Rescuers quickly responded but halted efforts about 11 p.m. Saturday.
Hughes said that according to rescuers, a large amount of snow and ice fell, making survival difficult.
The ice tunnel was on the White River Glacier, which begins about 6,000 feet up the south side of the mountain.
An airplane was dispatched to survey the area, along with crews from local sheriff's offices.
Seven rescuers, including five members of an all-volunteer group called the CragRats, were on the mountain on Saturday night.
Companions took pictures of the area just before the tunnel collapsed, Hughes said, giving searchers a better idea of where to search.
Warm temperatures made snow on the mountain slushier and more easily sloughed off the surface, adding to the challenge of attempting to reach the snowboarder.