Chilliwack Search and Rescue posted a photo of the effort to locate five hikers who died when they stepped onto unstable snow and fell 500 metres.

Woman who worked at Langley hospital one of five avalanche victims (with video)

Iris Choi was part of the group who fell 500 metres to their deaths while walking on unstable snow on the north face of Mount Harvey

The Fraser Health Authority is offering grief counseling for co-workers of Iris Choi, a residential care worker at Langley Memorial Hospital who was one of five hikers who died Saturday when they fell 500 metres after walking onto an unstable ledge of snow on the north face of Mount Harvey.

It’s believed the hikers fell onto debris from an earlier avalanche after stepping out onto overhanging snow and ice that gave way.

Choi and the other victims were members of a hiking club and were carrying whistles and a GPS beacon, but not full avalanche gear.

“Really, for this mountain, for this time of year at that height, they should have had full avalanche gear,” Search Manager Martin Colwell, of Lions Bay Search and Rescue told CTV News.

“They should have had avalanche beacons, shovels, and probes, per our normal advice to the public.”

In addition to Lions Bay Search and Rescue, groups from North Shore, Squamish, Coquitlam, Mission, and Chilliwack Search and Rescue organizations were involved, as well as the Squamish RCMP.

Avalanche Canada has a “considerable” danger rating for the region.

With files from CTV News and CP


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