'It's heartbreaking': Vancouver's Korean community mourns hikers
Vancouver's Korean-Canadian community is mourning after the bodies of five hikers were recovered from the north face of Mount Harvey.
The hikers died following an outing at the mountain in the Lions Bay area on Saturday, when they fell onto the debris left by an earlier avalanche. They'd stepped out onto overhanging snow and ice, and the cornice gave way.
Family members have confirmed that one of the hikers was Yong Jun Sohn, a member of the MJM Hiking Club, which organized the outing. A post on the Vancouver Korean Hiking Club website has identified the others as Chung Ki Soo, Myung Sung Soo, Kim Ran Hee and Sandul Baram.
The C3 Korean Canadian Society is not connected to either hiking group, but has reached out to both to offer its support.
"It's heartbreaking because I can imagine the pain the family and friends are going through," Tina Langford said.
She said the group is looking to help in any way that might make things easier for those who knew the hikers.
"Our initial reaction was immense sadness because the Korean-Canadian community is very close-knit. I can't say I know anyone personally, but it impacts us because it's very easy to imagine this could have been my parents, or my friends parents."
A man who'd been hiking in the area at the same time on Saturday said he met another hiker who told him his five friends were ahead of him on the mountain.
"I got to the summit and there was nobody there," Alastair Ferries told The Canadian Press.
"There were some tracks leading over to the edge and it looked like it had broken off there."
When he saw the break, he knew the group had fallen, he said. Ferries said he was there when their friend arrived, and made the same realization.
"I could see the astonishment on his face. That verified to me that yeah, there actually were five people and they had fallen. I said, 'I'm sorry, I think your friends have fallen.'"
Ferries went to his vehicle and called for help.
What followed was a search effort involving at least 60 people and several dogs. Crews spent hours combing the mountain Saturday, but by mid-day Sunday it became obvious that the search was a recovery mission.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Ben Miljure and The Canadian Press