Backowski ‘always had smile on his face’

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Collin Backowski was an instructor at High Cascade Snowboard Camp. On Saturday, he and five friends were snowboarding off the marked trails on Mount Hood when a snowcave collapsed.

The 25-year-old Colorado man was trapped under 10 feet of snow and ice. His body was recovered on Sunday after rescuers spent 17 hours moving two tons of snow and ice.

At the camp where he worked, the only sign of activity was still-shocked members on their way to an evening meeting.

“It’s disbelief any time something like this happens,” said Kevin English, the executive director and co-owner of High Cascade Snowboard Camp. “For all of us it’s dealing with grief for someone that was a part of our family that we care about tremendously. So, that’s the stage we’re dealing with now.”

This ice tunnel on Mount Hood collapsed and buried a snowboarder (not the person seen in this picture) Aug. 3, 2013 (Photo courtesy Hood River County Sgt. Pete Hughes)
This ice tunnel on Mount Hood collapsed and buried a snowboarder (not the person seen in this picture) Aug. 3, 2013 (Photo courtesy Hood River County Sgt. Pete Hughes)

Backowski was described as energetic, positive and incredibly athletic and was a talented snowboarder. The group was out looking to film when the cave collapsed.

“He always had a smile on his face, always tried to contribute at camp,” English told KOIN 6 News. “He’d actually been injured a little bit this summer, had a little knee injury so he wasn’t able to be on snow doing what he loved, but he was still hanging out with campers, still trying to give them the best experience they could have.”

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