5 Snowshoers Killed After 500-Meter Fall On Mount Harvey Near Lions Bay, British Columbia (UPDATED)


Lions Bay, British Columbia – On Saturday, April 8, 2017 a group of snowshoers were killed after a cornice failed on a popular trail on Mount Harvey in the Britannia Range of the North Shore Mountains northeast of Lions Bay and north of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada.

Vancouver, BC with North Shore Mountains in background | Pixabay Image
Vancouver, BC with North Shore Mountains in background | Pixabay Image

The group of 6 snowshoers were trying to reach the summit of Mount Harvey (1,652 meters) when the incident occurred. One of the snowshoers fell behind the group and when they reached the summit, they were unable to locate the other 5 members of the group. All that was found was tracks and a break in a cornice (News1130.com).

Authorities were notified by a 911 call at around 16:00 on Saturday. Rescuers included Lions Bay Search and Rescue and North Shore Rescue, who responded to the scene. The search as called off at nightfall due to heavy snowfall and avalanche hazard. The search resumed on Sunday morning.

Helicopters “confirmed a large avalanche into the gully below the mountain” (CBC.ca). It is estimated that the 5 snowshoers were carried as far as 500 meters down the north face of Mount Harvey (CBC.ca). It is believed that the snowshoers were either caught in an avalanche or hit by a falling cornice. Avalanche.ca rated the avalanche danger in the South Coast region as “considerable” in the Alpine (BC.CTVNews.ca).

BC.CTVNews.ca reports that the snowshoers were locals.

We will try to update this post when more information is available.

UPDATE 4/10:

  • Telegraph.co.uk reports that the “bodies were found about 500 meters from the 1,600-meter Mount Harvey” on Sunday.
  • BC.CTVNews.ca notes that some of the victims were part of the Vancouver Korean Hiking Club.
  • All 5 bodies were recovered on Sunday (BC.CTVNews.ca).
  • Authorities state that the victims died from the 500-meter fall down the north face of Mount Harvey that was caused by a cornice failure, not the avalanche (BC.CTVNews.ca).

Read more about the avalanche/cornice failure near Lions Bay, British Columbia from the following sources: