RCMP search forest after possible human remains found

Banff RCMP are searching the forest near Cascade Mountain after hikers discovered possible human remains.

Hikers spotted bones at base of Cascade Mountain near Banff

RCMP are investigating the discovery of bones, possibly human, on the base of Cascade Mountain in Banff National Park. (Kyle Bakx/CBC)

An RCMP special tactical operations team is continuing to search a forested area near the base of Cascade Mountain after the discovery of possible human remains.

Two hikers were on the mountain Monday when they spotted bones — including a skull — and reported the find to Parks Canada, police said.

Banff RCMP removed the remains with the help of the force's major crime unit and forensic identification service.

The medical examiner in Calgary is trying to determine whether the remains are human, but an RCMP spokesman said the force is operating on the assumption they are human bones.

"We don't know how long they have been out there, said Sgt. Patricia Neely. "Obviously that's something that will be determined by people who have far more experience than I."

The search area spans one square kilometre on the south side of the Trans-Canada Highway between the two Banff exits.

The heavily-wooded area is scattered with debris from the June flood, making a thorough search quite difficult, said RCMP Insp. Garrett Woolsey.

It’s possible the floodwaters unearthed the bones and carried them to the place they were found, officials said.

The search will continue Tuesday and will likely resume Wednesday.