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'Waiting for more intel': Search for B.C. climbers missing 12 days on hold

More snow is expected to fall over Atwell Peak in the coming days, adding challenges to the search efforts.
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Search and rescue flew over Atwell Peak looking for three missing climbers on June 6, 2024.

The search for three missing mountaineers in Garibaldi Park near Squamish was on hold again Wednesday, 12 days after they went missing.

Squamish Search and Rescue manager B.J. Chute says drone video footage taken over Atwell Peak, where the group was climbing, is still being reviewed.

“We’re in a hurry-up-and-wait pattern,” he says, adding the footage is being sorted and they’re hoping to pull snippets of areas to hone in on.

Analyzing all of the drone footage is expected to take days. A partial ground search and an aerial search near Atwell Peak were completed on June 6.

The trio, expected to return home May 31, was reported missing by a family member.

The search was paused on June 6 due to unstable conditions that were unsafe for search and rescue teams. Chute says the weather continues to create challenges.

“We haven’t closed down the task,” says Chute.

In the coming days, wet snow is likely in store for Atwell Peak along with cloud cover and rain.

“Everything is on the table and everything is up in the air,” he says. “We are waiting for more intel.”

Atwell Peak is 2,655 metres in elevation and still "very much winter" at the top. The freezing level at Atwell Peak is 1,900 metres as of Wednesday.

For a significant amount of snow to melt, it could take several days of high temperatures or several days of rain. There is often snow on the peak until late summer.

Chute is reminding people to stay away from Atwell Peak due to the dangerous conditions in the area. People wanting to search for the individuals are also being reminded to stay out.

“Stay away from Atwell Peak at this point. It’s just too volatile,” says Chute. “If it’s not safe for us to go in, it’s not safe for recreation.”

The Squamish Chief is not releasing the identity of the individuals as the families have asked for privacy.