Three skiers and a snowboarder are facing a lifetime ban from the Grouse Mountain ski resort north of Vancouver, after they were caught venturing outside the resort boundaries into an area that was closed to the public.

They four males may also have to foot the cost of the rescue effort, Grouse Mountain said in a statement released Friday.

The males were seen at around lunch time Friday, violating a Grouse Mountain area boundary closure by ducking under a boundary rope.

According to a Grouse Mountain statement, mountain safety patrollers and North Shore Rescue officials ordered the four to return to the controlled recreation area. But they ignored the instructions and ended up in an extremely hazardous and avalanche-prone area.

The RCMP was immediately notified and the North Shore Rescue Team was activated.

Due to the extreme hazard, the Grouse Mountain Safety Patrol and North Shore Rescue were unable to enter the area after the violators.

As a result, a helicopter search was initiated immediately.

The four were guided by North Shore Search and Rescue to return to the controlled recreation area and arrived at 1:45 p.m., where they were met by Grouse Mountain Safety Patrol.

Grouse Mountain said all four were uncooperative in providing their names to rescuers, and are being interviewed by the RCMP.

The group face lifetime revocation of privileges at Grouse Mountain, and will be billed the full expense of the search and recovery effort. A Grouse Mountain spokesman was unable to say what the rescue costs will be.

It is practice at Grouse Mountain to donate all costs recovered to the North Shore Rescue volunteer team.

Grouse Mountain wishes to remind all mountain users to respect all closed areas, and to follow all hazard warnings for their own safety and the safety of safety personnel and rescuers that must come to their aid.

Despite being the first boundary transgression at the resort in the 2008/2009 ski season, the four adults knowingly violated boundaries of the controlled recreation area and their names will be circulated to all ski resorts throughout the province