April 22 (UPI) -- Canadian rescuers said they've recovered the bodies of three mountaineers -- two Austrians and one American -- who disappeared after an avalanche last week in Alberta's Banff National Park.
The three had attempted to scale the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway, which is considered an extremely difficult climb. All professional climbers, they were members North Face's Global Athlete Team. Rescue operations started after the men didn't return as expected.
The discovery Sunday followed days of aerial searches, which officials said spotted traces of the avalanche and climbing equipment. The men were presumed dead.
"Based on the initial assessment of the scene, it was concluded that all three members of the party were deceased," Parks Canada spokesperson Chelsey Dawes said. "Parks Canada extends our sincere condolences to their families, friends and loved ones. We would also like to acknowledge the impact that this has had on the tight-knit local and international climbing communities."