01/12/2015 12:23 EST | Updated 03/14/2015 05:59 EDT

Three ice climbers found dead north of Whistler, B.C., near Vancouver: police

PEMBERTON, B.C. - Three ice climbers have been found dead near Whistler, B.C., north of Vancouver.

The bodies of the two women and a man were discovered in a crevasse about 300 metres below Joffre Peak.

RCMP Sgt. Rob Knapton said one woman and a man were in their mid-30s and that the other woman was an international visitor in her late 20s.

They were part of a group of three climbers and two skiers on the mountain in the Pemberton area, and had set off into the backcountry on Sunday before splitting up, Knapton said.

"They were supposed to rendezvous at the end of the day, and when they didn't (arrive) the skiers went looking for them."

He said the skiers saw the body of one person who appeared to have fallen and made it out of the area to call police at about 1:30 a.m. Monday.

Police and a search and rescue crew found all three bodies close to each other, and it's possible the skiers didn't see them all in the dark, Knapton said.

"It appears they fell, but as far as why I couldn't speculate on that."

The climbers were all experienced, Knapton said, adding anyone who ventures into the backcountry should be aware of the risks involved.

Police have not yet been able to contact the families of all the climbers, whose names will be released later by the coroners' service.