Ski Community Comments on Arne Backstrom


The ski world is in mourning over the death of Arne Backstrom. Below are thoughts and well-wishes collected from the ski community via the Internet. Please feel free to post your comments for Arne and the Backstrom family below in our comment section.

We are so honored to have had Arne represent our brands. We will truly miss his love for the sport but more importantly his love for life…we love you Arne and you will always be part of the Tec Blizz Family. Backstrom Family, you are in our hearts.
-Blizzard Skis

My sincerest condolences go out to the Backstom family, Squaw locals and the skiing community. Arne will be missed. RIP
-Pep Fujas, professional skier

Our deepest condolences to the Backstrom family and Tahoe community. Words can’t do justice at a time like this,…
-Matchstick Productions

Sad day in skiing. Be well backstrom family.
-Austin Holt, photographer

The world has lost another amazing soul. Arne Backstrom, you will be truly missed. You were such an amazing human being.
-Dana Flahr, professional skier

I’m sure CR and Shane met him at the doors and they are all shredding the clouds.
-Nate Nash via Facebook

The mountains of Peru took a good man and a great skier. RIP Arne Backstrom.
-Brett Macfarlane via Twitter

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world’ -Buddah
We will miss you Arne. Our thoughts & prayers go out to all of Arne’s family and friends. Rest in Peace….
-Coop & Carolyn, Kirkwood Mountain Resort via TGR’s site.

The loss of Arne Backstrom is immeasurable and brings great sadness to us and the entire ski community! On behalf of everyone at Crystal Mountain, we’d like to express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Backstrom family. Arne, we miss you already!
-Crystal Mountain

Truly saddened to hear the news about Arne Backstrom, my thoughts and prayers go out to the Backstrom Family.
-Josh Haskins, producer and cameraman for Warren Miller Entertainment

Arne, you were the closest thing I had to a hero, but I you were a much better friend. Rest in peace buddy. Skiing will never be the same…
-Chris Tatsuno, professional skier

Deeply saddened. Our thoughts and prayers to the Backstrom Family. We’re going to miss you Arne.
-Ian Coble, photographer

Our Hearts and Prayers to the Backstrom family and Squaw Community.
-Chris O’Connell, photographer

The ski world is in mourning… again. Arne Backstrom RIP. My thoughts and heart goes out to the whole Backstrom family and the Sweetgrass crew who was with him.
-Mike Douglas, professional skier

We are sad to hear about the loss of another great skier. Arne Backstrom rest in peace.
-Salomon Freeski via Facebook

RIP A.B.
-Trew Gear via Facebook

I’m at a lost for words with no vision of the day ahead. It is scary, I always have a path for the day.
-Roy Tuscany, High Fives Foundation

Wishing the best for Ingrid and her family.
-Chris James, Meathead Films via email

The first distinct memory I have of being in awe of a skier was of Arne Backstrom when I was about 10 years old at Crystal. He must have been about 16 or 17 and was poaching the “snowboard halfpipe”. The dude was airing a solid 6 feet out of the 12 foot pipe, grabbing his skis, and doing “up-pipe turns” (alley oops), neither of which I had any idea could be done at the time. That day changed skiing for me. It’s the reason I decided not to switch to snowboarding.

Thanks for the influence, Arne.
-Holte, member of Newschoolers.com

Awful news. Arne was such an inspirational skier and a great guy, from a wonderful family of really cool people. My thoughts are with them right now. Man, it’s been a hard few years around here.
-Lane_Meyer, member of TGR forums

Deepest condolences go out to the Backstrom Family from the 4Frnt Family. Your presence will be missed.
-4FRNT via the TGR forums


Editor’s Note: This accident report was provided by the friends and family of Arne Backstrom.

June 6, 2010

At 9:45 am on June 3rd Arne Backstrom was killed while skiing Pisco (5752 m) in the Llanganuco Valley of the Cordillera Blanca, Peru. With him were Kip Garre and Dave Rosenbarger. The team arrived in Peru on the 28th of May for a month long ski mountaineering expedition. On June 1st the team established a base camp at 4650 m in the Llanganuco Valley with intentions of climbing and skiing Pisco as a part of their acclimatization process. At 4:45 am on June 3rd Arne, Kip, and Dave started their climb from base camp under clear skies and calm winds. They ascended the Standard Route via the Huandoy/Pisco Col and SW Slopes with no difficulties. The team made the summit at 9:00 am and began their descent at 9:25.

Snow conditions off of the summit were consistent and ideal for skiing. An inch of warmed, soft snow overlay a firm base. Approximately 150 m below the summit the team stopped at a ramp leading to Pisco’s S Face, a 400m 50-55 degree slope of snow and rock. The S Face was a feature that the team had observed and discussed during the two days prior to their climb. At 9:45 am, after some discussion, Arne decided to descend the ramp to assess the snow conditions of the face. He made a few turns down the 40-degree ramp in soft conditions before encountering hard snow or ice. Arne attempted to traverse onto the S Face to what appeared to be softer snow. Conditions on the face remained firm and the team noticed Arne accelerate. His downhill ski released causing Arne to fall out of Kip and Dave’s sight.

Not able to see Arne or the entire S Face, Kip and Dave tried to make verbal contact with no success. Realizing self-arrest was highly unlikely, Kip and Dave descended the route of their ascent knowing it would be the safest, fastest way to reach Arne. At 9:55 Kip and Dave encountered a guide and client just below the Huandoy/Pisco Col and informed them of the accident. At this point Kip and Dave roped up and began to traverse/skin, maintaining a high route under Pisco’s S Face through heavily glaciated and crevassed terrain. At approximately 10:55 am they found Arne beneath the face. Upon thorough examination Arne had neither a radial nor a carotid pulse and had sustained head trauma despite wearing a helmet.

Unable to move Arne back through the glaciated terrain, Kip and Dave were forced to descend in search of help. At 11:30 am Kip and Dave reached two guides who had been informed of the accident and were coming to assist in the rescue. All unnecessary equipment was left behind and the rescue party walked roped up back to Arne and reached him at 12:15 pm. An improvised litter was created using a rope and skis. The four person rescue party began moving Arne back towards the trail leading to base camp at 1:15 pm. Due to soft snow and complicated terrain, progress was slow. Wanting to avoid any further accidents from serac and rock fall from the face above, the decision was made after two hours of work to leave Arne in a safe location and return the following morning with additional help.

At approximately 4:15 pm, with the use of a satellite phone, the team contacted a friend in the United States to help with coordination of a rescue and to notify members of Arne’s family.

The following day, with the help of several local porters and guides Arne was brought down to a refuge located adjacent to the team’s base camp. Currently formalities are being taken care of to return Arne back to his family in the United States.

We want to apologize for the factual nature of this report. All of us here, as well as thousands of friends and family members around the world are deeply saddened by this unfortunate event. Our foremost concern, however, is that all of the facts surrounding the accident are understood.

Our thoughts and sympathy are with the Backstrom family.

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