'No tracks leading out': Missing snowshoers feared dead in avalanche near Lake Louise

'No tracks leading out': Missing snowshoers feared dead in avalanche near Lake Louise

Snowshoe tracks have been found leading into avalanche debris but not leaving it in the Rockies near Lake Louise, Alta., prompting Parks Canada to lead a recovery operation for two missing people from Boston.

The pair were reported missing on March 14 after they failed to check out of their accommodation in Field, B.C., about 30 kilometres west of the hamlet of Lake Louise.

RCMP officers found a vehicle that had been rented by the missing pair at a trailhead north of Lake Louise on Highway 93, near an area where there had recently been an avalanche, RCMP said.

Because the avalanche danger remains high, it has not been possible to get rescuers into the site, said Parks Canada spokesperson Tania Peters.

"What we were able to see was snowshoe tracks into avalanche debris with no tracks leading out," she said.

Transceiver signals picked up in flyover

"We were able to do a flyover late in the day [Tuesday] and we did pick up two avalanche transceiver signals, leading us to believe that the likelihood is that these two snowshoers are in fact within that debris."

Transceivers are devices that can be carried by people in the backcountry that give off a signal to help rescuers find them if they're buried in an avalanche.

It could still take a couple of days to get rescuers to the site, Peters said.

The families of the missing pair have been notified and their identities will not be released, RCMP said.  

The avalanche risk is considered high for below treeline, at treeline and above treeline in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks.

"We're seeing warming temperatures as well as precipitation, so we really need to make sure that area's going to be safe before we do send crews in on the ground to continue the recovery," Peters said. 

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