Freeskiing professional, Squaw Valley regular Arne Backstrom dies in Peru |

Freeskiing professional, Squaw Valley regular Arne Backstrom dies in Peru

Tribune News Service

OLYMPIC VALLEY – Freeskiing professional and Squaw Valley USA regular Arne Backstrom, 29, has died after a big-mountain fall, according to Friday morning report in Freeskier Magazine.

Although details are unconfirmed, the accident reportedly occurred on Pisco Mountain in the Cordillera Blanca region of Peru, South America, according to the report on

“It’s really unfortunate. I’m in shock right now,” said Squaw Valley skier Travis Ganong in a Friday morning e-mail interview. “I knew Arne very well. He was a great skier and friend and will be missed by the Tahoe and skiing community worldwide. It’s a very sad day. The Squaw community has seen an unlucky share of deaths in the last few years.”

On Feb. 24, 2010, Truckee resident C.R. Johnson, who made a name for himself as a teenager as one of the most progressive freeskiers in the industry, was killed after a fall at Squaw Valley USA, while skiing a practice run in Light Towers area near Headwall.

On March 26, 2009, skiing legend and Olympic Valley resident Shane McConkey, 39, died after a botched BASE jump in Italy. McConkey, who moved to Squaw from Colorado in 1994, had grown popular for his BASE jumping talents as well as his big-mountain film exploits, and had won several national and international skiing competitions, including the X Games and World Extreme Skiing Championships.

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