Snowshoer's body found

UPDATE: 1:20 p.m.

North Shore Rescue teams have retrieved the body of a missing snowshoer.

Remi Michalowski was swept away by an avalanche Monday morning, CTV News reports.

The Surrey man had been hiking in a backcountry area near Mount Seymour when the avalanche struck. His body was brought back to an NSR rescue hut by long-line.

– with files from CTV Vancouver

ORIGINAL 11:30 a.m.

Searchers with specially trained dogs returned to a challenging area of Vancouver's North Shore on Wednesday, looking for any sign of a missing snowshoer swept away by an avalanche two days earlier.

North Shore Rescue team leader Mike Danks says the avalanche dogs and their handlers were sent after experts had carefully assessed Runner Peak, north of Mount Seymour, for the possibility of further slides.

Danks says the conclusion appears grim for the Surrey snowshoer, identified by his mother as Remi Michalowski.

The 39-year-old was swept away Monday by an avalanche that pushed his 30-year-old companion up against a tree but left him uninjured and able to call for help.

The younger man was airlifted out of the area late Monday, while darkness, followed by a snowstorm, forced suspension of search efforts for almost 36 hours.

Danks says the dogs and their handlers are slowly checking the debris pile left by the avalanche and he expects the search could take several days.

"Unless we find him somewhere on the surface that we did not see, I hate to say it, but this is a recovery operation at this point," he says.

Avalanche Canada has upgraded the slide risk to "considerable" in the treeline of the south coast mountains where the search is underway.

A post on the Avalanche Canada website says "an unusual, weak layer makes steep and convex terrain features particularly dangerous."

Heavy snow has fallen across southern B.C. over the last 10 days and Avalanche Canada says 30 to 50 centimetres of new snow on the south coast mountains is poorly bonded to the base, with the problem especially pronounced on the North Shore. 

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