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3 professional climbers presumed dead in Canada

Friday - April 19, 2019 10:12 am , Category : WORLD
Ottawa, April 19 (IANS) Three professional climbers are presumed dead after an avalanche hit the Canadian Rockies, authorities have said.
 
Outdoor clothing company The North Face have identified the men as David Lama and Hansjoerg Auer from Austria, and Jess Roskelley, from the US, the BBC reported on Friday.
 
The three were sponsored by the firm who said in a statement it was doing everything it could to support their families, friends and the climbing community.
 
The mountaineers were attempting to scale Howse Peak and failed to check in on schedule.
 
The climbers went missing when they were attempting to scale the east side of Howse Peak, which Parks Canada described as a "remote and an exceptionally difficult objective, with mixed rock and ice routes requiring advanced alpine mountaineering skills".
 
The route taken by the climbers was rarely traversed, safety specialist Steve Holeczi said during a press conference on Thursday.
 
Holeczi, who was among those who flew over the avalanche site, estimated the avalanche to be strong enough to destroy a small building.
 
Howse Peak, with a 3,295 metre elevation, is in the Canadian province of Alberta, in Banff National Park.
 
Recovery efforts are on hold because of dangerous conditions and additional avalanches at the scene. The efforts are likely to be further hampered by bad weather in the coming days.
 
Roskelley, 36, from Spokane, Washington state, scaled Mount Everest at age 20. The son of a famous mountaineer, he was the youngest American to reach the summit of the world's highest peak in 2003.
 
Lama, 28, is also from a climbing family - his father was a mountain guide from Nepal - and he has won numerous climbing competitions as a teenager.
 
Auer, 35, grew up on a family farm in Austria near the Dolomite mountain range. Among his most recognised climbing achievements are the southwest-face ascent of Pakistan's Kunyang Chhish East in the Karakorum Mountains and the first ascent of the south face on Nilgiri South in Nepal.
 

--IANS ksk