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Trio of climbers presumed dead in Canadian avalanche

By
Daniel Uria
Three world-renowned climbers are presumed dead after an avalanche at Banff National Park in Canada. Photo courtesy Murray Foubister/Wikimedia Commons
Three world-renowned climbers are presumed dead after an avalanche at Banff National Park in Canada. Photo courtesy Murray Foubister/Wikimedia Commons

April 18 (UPI) -- Three climbers are presumed dead after an avalanche at Banff National Park in Canada, officials said Thursday.

The park in Alberta announced that the trio were attempting a route on Howse Peak when they were reported overdue for their return.

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"Based on assessment of the scene, all three members of the party are presumed to be deceased," Banff National Park said. "We extend our sincerest condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of the mountaineers."

Park officials closed the area, but stated search and rescue efforts weren't immediately possible due to weather and dangerous avalanche conditions.

The group was made up of three world-renowned climbers, including American Jess Roskelley as well as Austrian climbers David LAma and Hansjorg Auer, the CBC reported.

Parks Canada said officials in the air observed signs of multiple avalanches and debris containing climbing equipment.

Stephen Holeczi, Parks Canada visitor safety specialist, said the last known information about the group was that they had begun to ascend the M16 route up the mountain Tuesday.

They were reported missing Wednesday and an investigation into the incident was underway.

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Roskelley was at one point the youngest person to climb Mount Everest, Auer completed the first solo ascent of Pakistan's Lupghar Sar West and Lama was part of a duo that completed the first free ascent of the Compressor route on Cerro Torre in Patagonia.

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