Published: Wed, April 24, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Canadian rescuers find bodies of 3 missing climbers

Canadian rescuers find bodies of 3 missing climbers

The bodies of three professional climbers have been found, nearly a week after they were presumed dead in an avalanche at Canada's Banff National Park.

Hansjörg Auer, 35, and David Lama, 28, from Austria and Jess Roskelley, 36, from the US were attempting to scale Howse Peak along the Icefields Parkway when they were killed in an avalanche on Wednesday.

As CNN reports, the three, who were all members of the North Face Global Athlete Team, were reported missing after the avalanche and as of Wednesday of last week park officials could not locate them.

With files from CTV Calgary.

The east face of Howse Peak is remote and an exceptionally hard climb, with mixed rock and ice routes requiring advanced alpine mountaineering skills, officials said.

While details are limited, the Rosekelly family confirmed that the three climbers were successful at summiting Howse Peak on Tuesday, April 16. Their bodies were found at the bottom of the mountain's east face.

They were attempting to scale the Canadian national park's Howse Peak, also known as M16.

"The climbers were not wearing avalanche transceivers, so when we got into the site to make the search we weren't able to hone in on them directly and we had to utilize random probing and the search dog", Webster said.

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The public avalanche bulletin on the day the climbers went missing rated the conditions as variable and subject to rapid change, Webster said.

Shelley Humphries, Parks Canada incident commander, says visitor safety specialists responded immediately and concluded the men had died after finding climbing equipment and evidence of multiple avalanches. In 2003, he climbed Mount Everest along with his father, becoming the youngest American to reach the summit, at age 20.

Parks Canada also remembered the climbers in a statement: "Parks Canada extends our honest condolences to their families, friends and loved ones".

In a statement on their website, the North Face noted, "David, Jess, and Hansjörg are valued and loved members of The North Face family and we are doing everything we can to support their families, friends and community during this hard time".

Lama was part of a duo that made the first free ascent of the famous Compressor route on Cerro Torre, in the South Patagonian Ice Field, in a region disputed by Argentina and Chile.

But on Sunday afternoon, Parks Canada said in a statement that all three had been found dead.

Finally, on Sunday the dog and her handler, dropped in by helicopter and long-line, located the remains.

He said that figure includes a death in Yoho over the weekend.

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