Editor’s note: This article has been corrected to say the Americans were recovered at a 200-centimetre and 320-centimetre depth.
Parks Canada said Friday the bodies of two American snowshoers reported missing earlier this week have been recovered near Lake Louise, Alta.
“The thoughts of all Parks Canada staff are with the family and friends of those involved,” spokesperson Tania Peters said in a statement Friday afternoon.
Officials believe the man and woman, both 32 and from the Boston area, were caught in an avalanche while snowshoeing on Saturday, March 11 or Sunday, March 12.
Peters said the avalanche took place about 20 minutes north of the community of Lake Louise on the Icefields Parkway on the slopes of Mount Hector.
The pair was reported missing after they failed to check out of their accommodation in Field, B.C. They were last seen March 11, when they had breakfast at their hotel.
Peters said a search crew member saw a body near the surface of the snow on Tuesday, but the risk of avalanche was too high to send rescuers into the area until three days later.
She said crews had to blast the area Thursday, which created additional avalanche debris. The recovery team then had to dig to retrieve the victims: one was found at a 200-centimetre depth, the other was buried 320 centimetres under the surface.
The snowshoers were removed by 10:30 a.m. Friday.
Watch below from March 16: The avalanche danger was still too high to allow rescuers to look for two missing snowshoers from Boston. The pair were staying in Field, B.C. when they went missing north of Lake Louise. Bindu Suri has the latest.
RCMP said Wednesday the visitors’ families had been notified.
Their identities were not released, but U.S. media reports say the pair has ties to Massachusetts General Hospital. Officials there did not respond to requests from Global News.
Highway 93 North (Icefields Parkway) was closed Friday with a plan to reopen by Sunday afternoon.
Watch below from March 15: Two American snowshoers presumed dead in Lake Louise – Kim Smith reports