Volunteers are working day and night to dig a kilometre-long trench to a remote B.C. mountainside in order to free two horses trapped by snow.

The horses were located a week ago by snowmobilers on Mount Renshaw and the local volunteers are cutting through the snow and ice to create a clear path to the nearest trail in order to walk them out.

The volunteers have been providing food and water to the horses, which are suffering from frostbite.

"We can't get equipment there because it would get stuck. We can't get a helicopter into them because we're risking them if we have to tranquilize them, so the only option seems to be to dig them out by hand," said volunteer Lisa Levasseur.

Nearby residents say the animals were left behind by an Edmonton hunter this past fall on the mountain near McBride, but SPCA officials won't confirm who is being investigated.

"They've obviously starved....they're missing quite a bit of hair from rain scold (and) they have a little bit of frostbite," said Levasseur.

With files from ctvedmonton.ca