According to CBC News, Search and Rescue Crews have found the bodies of 5 Korean hikers after a cornice gave way, sending them over a thousand feet down Mount Harvey. A fellow hiker noticed the group climbing along the edge on their way up, but when he reached the top. He could see their tracks leading to a cornice that had given way.
“They were kind of going parallel to the ridge,” he said. “They were back but I could see where their tracks were where the snow had caved away. [I] noticed that they’d gone out on a cornice right close to the edge and the cornice had collapsed,” stated Hiker, Alastair Ferries.
It was reported that the group may have fallen as far as 1500ft. Their tracks led up to the cornice and it showed that they were aware of it, but they may not have known how big it truly was. A sixth hiker was lagging behind the group and once he caught up and noticed with Ferries, they descended the mountain to find cell phone signal. On Sunday morning, dozens of search and rescue workers were searching for the victims. Avalanche dogs and helicopters were used in the search efforts. Four of the five victims were found Sunday morning, while the last wasn’t found until later that afternoon.
“This is not the outcome which we had hoped for,” said Cpl. Sascha Banks of Squamish RCMP in a release.
A week before this horrible accident, a post on a popular hiking website warned people that the cornice at the top of Mount Harvey would break off soon. A few of the 5 hikers had some winter hiking equipment, but none of them had avalanche safety gear such as beacons and probes. Our thoughts are with the victims’ families and friends. This horrible accident is a reminder that it can happen to anyone, so be safe out there.
(U.S. Avalanche Deaths This Season: 11)