Outdoor apparel organization The North Face said Thursday three members from its Global Athlete Team are assumed dead after an avalanche in Alberta’s Banff National Park. The company said renowned American alpinist Jess Roskelley and Austrian climbers David Lama and Hansjörg Auer are missing.
Roskelley climbed Mount Everest in 2003 at age 20. At the time he was the most youthful individual to climb the world’s highest peak.
Parks Canada said the three men were attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak on the Icefields Parkway on Wednesday.
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Recuperation efforts are on hold as a result of dangerous conditions and extra avalanche at the scene, BBC News reports. Parks Canada said security experts quickly reacted via air and watched indications of numerous avalanche and debris containing climbing equipment.
“Parks Canada extends out its sincerest condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of the Mountaineers,” the agency said on Thursday.
Roskelley’s father, John Roskelley, was himself a world-renowned climber who had many notable ascents in Nepal and Pakistan, mostly in the 1970s. John Roskelley joined his son on the successful Everest expedition in 2003.
Jess Roskelley experienced childhood in Spokane, Washington, where his father was a county commissioner. John Roskelley told The Spokesman-Review the route his son and the other climbers were attempting was first done in 2000.
“It’s only one of those courses where you must have the correct conditions or it transforms into a bad dream. This is one of those treks where it transformed into a bad dream,” John Roskelly said.
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When you’re living in a place you often end up doing the same thing over and over again. Sometimes it takes a fresh view to break you out of the routine. In this case it was @jimwmorrison and @mikeyarno spotting a line I had almost forgotten about. We got out the next day to hit it and it turned out to be one of the better days of this winter. @thenorthface Photo by @christianpondella
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A thin Nemesis yesterday with @hansjoergauer and @davidlama_official
John Roskelley had climbed the 10,810-foot Howse Peak, via a different route, in the 1970s and knows the area well. On Thursday he was preparing to go to Canada to gather Jess Roskelley’s belongings and see if he could get into the area.
“It’s in a territory over a bowl,” he said. “They’re more likely than not been a great deal of snow that descended and got them off the face.”
The elder Roskelley said: “When you’re climbing mountains, the danger is not too far away … It’s terrible for my wife and I. But it’s even worse for his wife.”