Over the weekend the bodies of missing climbers David Lama, Hansjörg Auer, and Jess Roskelly were recovered in Banff National Park in Canada. A recovery team was able to reach their campsite on Howse Peak yesterday, confirming that the trio had been killed in an avalanche last week as suspected.
The news puts ended any hope that at least one of the climbers may have still been alive after search and rescue teams spotted debris from multiple avalanches along their route late last week.
The three men were attempting a difficult line on Howse Peak and were hoping to make their summit bid last Tuesday or Wednesday. Roskelley had told his father –– legendary mountaineer John Roskelley –– that he would check in with him on Tuesday, but when that didn’t happen the elder climber alerted Parks Canada of the situation.
A quick fly over by helicopter confirmed the worst, with news of the situation breaking last Thursday. But due to bad weather and a risk of more avalanches, the SAR team was unable to actually go to Howse Peak until yesterday. There, they found the remains of the campsite, along with climbing equipment, and the bodies of the men, that were swept away in the avalanche.
All three of the mountaineers were members of The North Face Global Athlete Team and each was an outstanding climber in his own right. Auer, an incredibly gifted free soloist, was 35 years old, while Roskelley was 36 and once held the distinction of being the youngest American to ever climb Everest.
Meanwhile, Lama was just 28 and was quite possibly the most talented alpinist of his generation with high expectations of his future. All will be missed deeply by the mountaineering community, which continues to mourn their deaths.
Once again, our condolences go out to their friends and family. It is a tragic loss to say the least.
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