5 bodies recovered from British Columbia snow slide

Arlen Redekop  Postmedia

Before the bodies were recovered Colwell told Postmedia: "This is a challenging search".

At least 60 search and rescue members volunteered their time to the search, Buhr said.

RCMP received a distress call on Saturday from one hiker after a cornice collapsed on the peak of Mount Harvey.

All five hikers were from Vancouver's Korean community and were members of two local Korean hiking clubs, the South China Morning Post reported.

Colwell said blowing winds and snowdrifts can create very "dangerous" and "deceptive" ledges and cornices of unsupported packed snow on the mountain. The search was called off Saturday night because of the unstable terrain in the area. "There were some tracks leading over to the edge and it looked like it had broken off there". More than 30cm of snow was dumped on the mountains over the weekend, on top of an exceptionally deep snowpack.




Yoon said: "I'm uncomfortable and very sad and I hope they are rescued".

Using the trails up to the top Mount Harvey isn't unsafe, he said, but there some very steep cliffs near the summit and getting too close to those with the current winter conditions can be risky.

Lions Bay Mayor Karl Buhr said he believes the hikers were from nearby Maple Ridge and were experienced, but they were not carrying avalanche beacons, making it harder to find them.

CBC News, citing one rescue team member, said the group may have fallen as much as 500 meters when the cornice collapsed.

Colwell says the trail the hikers used isn't usually considered risky, but snow and wintry conditions can pose additional risks.

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