The bodies of six climbers were found Sunday in the French Alps, authorities said.

After a hiker spotted the bodies, they were brought by helicopter to the nearby village of Villar d’Arene, local police said, according to a report on French state radio.

Authorities believe the mountaineers died Saturday morning, said the village mayor Xavier Cret.

“It is assumed that there was an avalanche of snow and stones,” Cret said.

French police said “all hypotheses are possible” about how the mountain climbers died. “They could have been victims of a broken snow bridge, a fall or an avalanche,” the state radio report said.

The bodies were found at about 8,858 feet (2,700 meters) in a very steep pass at la Plate des Agneaux.