After continuing to search for two missing snowshoers from Boston on Thursday, Parks Canada says the avalanche danger in the Banff National Park area is so high, they can't send in a team to conduct what they are calling a recovery operation.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police say the families of the missing people have been notified. While their identities will not be released, authorities say they are a man and a woman in their 30s.
The two snowshoers, who were internal medicine residents, according to sources, had gone missing in Alberta and are believed to have been killed in an avalanche.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Parks Canada said they were working to locate the two missing snowshoers, who are believed to have been caught in an avalanche in Banff National Park, north of Lake Louise.
"We did pick up two signals from transceivers leading us to believe that the people are trapped in this avalanche debris, and that is why we are calling it a recovery operation at this time," Parks Canada spokesperson Tania Peters said.
"Our condolences really go out to them at this point," said Cpl. Curtis Peters of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "It's tough being away from your family in a situation like this. I can't imagine what they're thinking. But we're going to work together with Parks to try and bring some closure to them."
The mounted police said they were notified by staff of a hotel on Tuesday that two registered guests from Boston had not checked out of their accommodations in Field, British Columbia.
Police later located a vehicle that the two people had rented at a trail head north of Lake Louise on Highway 93, near an area that had recently experienced an avalanche.
Avalanche conditions in the area remain high, which is preventing search teams from accessing the avalanche site. If the conditions improve in the coming days, a ground search will be conducted.
An update is expected once the recovery operation is complete.