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Five bodies found in search for missing hikers north of Vancouver

Searchers find all of the missing hikers buried after cornice collapses during hike

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The search for a group of hikers believed to have gone missing in an avalanche near Lions Bay yesterday has ended in tragedy.

Squamish RCMP has confirmed that all five bodies were recovered.

"This is not the outcome which we had hoped for," wrote Squamish RCMP Corp. Sascha Banks in a statement while the search for the fifth missing snowshoer was still under way on the afternoon of April 9. "Our thoughts are with the families and friends of the hikers and the search and rescue teams in Lions Bay..."

At around 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, police said a concerned local hiker contacted Squamish RCMP after noticing snowshoe tracks disappearing at the edge of a a collapsed cornice on the peak of Mount Harvey, one of the tallest peaks in the North Shore Mountains. It was later determined that five hikers were missing and thought to have been in the area at the time of the slide.

A multi-jurisdictional rescue mission was launched April 8, but ultimately suspended due to the instability of the snowpack, police said. The search was resumed April 9 first thing with search and rescue crews from Squamish, Lions Bay, the North Shore, Mission and Chiliwack searching along with Squamish RCMP and other agencies.

Pique will update this story as more information becomes available.

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