ON MOUNT HOOD, Ore. (KOIN) — A snowboarder traveling through an ice tunnel with five other people was buried when the tunnel collapsed and an avalanche struck while they traversed a glacier on Mount Hood on Saturday afternoon.
The 26-year-old man was described by Hood River County Sgt. Pete Hughes as an experienced snowboarder from out of state. His name has not been released.
He and the other five members in the group -- not six others as initially believed -- were snowboarding and taking pictures with friends.
"The one person that was trapped was 30 or 40 feet ahead of the rest of the group when the ice gave way and fell on top of him," said Hughes. "It was described as a school bus-size to ambulance-size piece of debris that came down."
He only had snowboarding gear, and had no avalanche protective gear.
Someone placed a call to 911 and said he was buried. Tiffany Peterson with Hood River County told KOIN 6 News the climbers reported a crevice collapsed.
The other five people in the group were unharmed.
A friend of the man, Grant Giller, told KOIN 6 News they were in that location because there "were some deep crevasses. They were planning on jumping over them."
Hughes told the Associated Press it will "take some doing" to reach the area where the climber was buried on the White River Glacier, which begins about 6,000 feet up the south side of the mountain.
Hughes said it's unclear at what elevation the avalanche buried the climber.
Search and rescue crews will have to use chainsaws to break up the ice and get to the snowboarder.
"It sounds like the best plan of attack is actually to use some chainsaws and try and saw through the ice and debris to make a tunnel and get to where he is trapped at," Hughes said.
KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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