Before the bodies were recovered Colwell told Postmedia: "This is a challenging search".
Search and rescue crews were alerted to the accident late Saturday afternoon and search manager Martin Colwell says fours bodies were recovered at the bottom of Mount Harvey with a fifth located several hours later.
The authorities were alerted by a sixth hiker with the group who had fallen behind and arrived at the summit only to find that the other five had disappeared, Colwell said.
Colwell said the hikers were probably traversing the cornice, a build up of snow and ice that creates an overhang that is extremely unsafe to traverse or pass beneath.
Local media including the Vancouver Sun reported that the five hikers included members of the Vancouver Korean Hiking Club and the MJM Hiking Club, whose members are also mainly ethnic Koreans.
"I got to the summit and there was nobody there", he said in an interview on Monday.
Mr Colwell said the group had apparently stepped out onto a ledge of unsupported snow, without realising it, and it collapsed under them.
Colwell says the trail the hikers used isn't usually considered unsafe, but snow and wintry conditions can pose additional risks.
Ferries of North Vancouver said he went to his vehicle to call for help.
"There were five hikers unaccounted for and believed to be in the area where the avalanche had occurred".
When he saw the break, he knew the group had fallen, he said.
The weather in the area, north of Vancouver, has been harsh and unstable since Friday.
No information about the identities of the missing snowshoers is being released until all the family members have been notified.