Avalanche beacon signals suggest missing Boston couple trapped in slide near Lake Louise
**Correction: An earlier version of this story included a comment from the owner of Truffle Pigs Lodge indicating the lodge notified RCMP of the missing guests on Sunday. The owner says she misspoke during her interview with CTV Calgary and the disappearance was actually reported on Monday evening.**
Parks Canada Visitor Safety Specialists are waiting to scour an area near Highway 93 as two American guests remain unaccounted for following a recent avalanche.
Two guests visiting from Boston, Massachusetts failed to check out of their lodgings at Truffle Pigs Lodge in Field, British Columbia prompting staff to notify local law enforcement on Monday.
"RCMP officers from the Golden detachment in B.C. were notified of potential missing persons," said RCMP Cpl. Curtis Peters. "The hotel where these two individuals were staying at reported to police that the people hadn't checked out at their expected time."
Truffle Pigs Lodge's owner says the couple was last seen on the weekend and the room remain untouched until staff called RCMP.
A snow-covered vehicle, that had been rented by the visitors from an agency near the Calgary International Airport, was located on Tuesday at a trailhead along the Icefields Parkway, north of the hamlet of Lake Louise, in an area that had recently experienced an avalanche. Parks Canada says the missing parties were snowshoeing in the area.
“There was snow shoe tracks going into the avalanche debris and none coming out," said Tania Peters, Parks Canada spokesperson. "Later in the day, it wasn’t safe for us to get into the area to do a ground search. We were able to do a fly-over and we did register two signals from avalanche transceivers leading us to believe that the two individuals are in fact buried in that debris.”
Parks Canada officials say the avalanche conditions in the region are high and, at this time, search and rescue members are unable to access the site without placing themselves at risk. The section of Banff National Park had been closed to the public prior to the visitors' snowshoeing attempt and remains closed.
Avalanche control work will occur as soon as conditions allow. At that time, a ground search of the area will commence.
"It would be people going in, likely with a dog handler as well, as using avalanche probes and shovels and doing a search of the debris to try and locate the missing individuals," said Tania Peters. "We are fortunate that they were wearing avalanche transceivers which certainly increases the probability and the ease of us to locate the people.”
According to RCMP, the families of the missing snowshoers have been notified of the disappearance.
"Our condolences go out to their family who are in the Boston area," said RCMP Cpl. Peters. "The RCMP from Lake Louise have been in contact with the next of kin of both individuals."
The identities of the missing parties have not been released but officials confirm the pair are a couple and are in their late 30s.