NEWS
03/17/2017 14:01 EDT | Updated 03/18/2018 01:12 EDT

Bodies of 2 missing snowshoers recovered from avalanche site in Rocky Mountains

LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — Parks Canada says the bodies of two American snowshoers who were caught in an avalanche in Banff National Park have been recovered after rescuers were finally able to get to the snowslide.

The two people from Boston, who police say were a man and a woman — both 32 — were presumed dead on the slopes of Mount Hector after they failed to check out of their hotel Tuesday in Field, B.C.

Their vehicle was found at a trail head on Highway 93 — known as the Icefields Parkway — and their tracks were spotted near the avalanche debris.

"Snow cover on the vehicle and in the parking lot indicated that the car had been parked there for some time," RCMP said in a news release.

Visitor Safety specialists hiked up the mountain and saw that the area had been hit by one or more avalanches, but conditions were too dangerous most of the week to send searchers into the area.

Parks Canada said avalanche control work on Thursday in the area north of Lake Louise allowed the recovery operation to go ahead.

Officials believe the snowshoers died sometime last weekend.

RCMP said the couple were last seen on Saturday, March 11 when they had breakfast in Field. On Tuesday, hotel staff called police to file a missing persons report when the couple's room appeared untouched.

RCMP have already notified the families of the snowshoers, whose identities are not being released.

"On behalf of the RCMP, I want to offer our sincere condolences to the families and friends of these two people in this difficult time," RCMP Cpl. Curtis Peters said in the release.

Parks Canada says Highway 93 North will remain closed until at least Sunday.