Officials are fearing the worst following a climbing accident. Due to a Banff National Park avalanche, three climbers are presumed dead after scaling a mountain for several weeks. While air surveillance has been deployed, the trio has not yet been found.
Last month on Wednesday, March 17, 2019, three climbers were considered “overdue” after scaling a mountain at Banff National Park. Since then, officials have come to the conclusion that the climbers have died.
According to the Calgary Sun, two of the climbers were European and another was American. At the time, they were attempting to summit Howse Peak on the Icefield Parkway about 55 km north of Lake Louise. They were climbing for several weeks.
After their return was reported as overdue, air surveillance was used by Parks Canada to try and locate the men. According to their findings, there were signs that multiple avalanches occurred. Climbing equipment was also found to be scattered on the peak’s east face where the three were allegedly climbing.
A spokesperson with Parks Canada has said that due to the scene, all three individuals are presumed to be dead. A combination of the high avalanche hazard and strong winds and precipitation has made the recovery of any bodies impossible for the time being.
According to The Spokesman-Review, the three male climbers were incredibly experienced. While the names of the individuals have not officially been released by Parks Canada, The Spokesman-Review has speculated that the missing men include Jess Rosekelley, David Lama, and Hansjorg Auer. 36-year-old Roskelley comes from a climbing background and is the son of renowned mountaineer John Roskelley.
The Spokesman-Review spoke with Rosekelley’s father. According to John, his son said he would check in on Tuesday night but never called. A concerned John then called Parks Canada on Wednesday morning. By the morning of Thursday, April 18, 2019, an Austrian paper reported that the trio was missing.
Although the three climbers are presumed to be highly trained and capable, a Parks Canada spokesperson told the Calgary Sun that the east side of Howse Peak is remote.
It also “posed an exceptionally difficult objective, missed with rock and ice routes rearing advanced alpine skills.”