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Dublin: 11 °C Saturday 7 December, 2019

World-renowned mountaineers presumed dead following avalanche on 'nightmare' route in Canada

The three climbers went missing on Tuesday.

Banff National Park, where the mountaineers went missing
Banff National Park, where the mountaineers went missing
Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

THREE WORLD-RENOWNED professional mountaineers are missing and presumed dead following an avalanche on a western Canadian summit.

American Jess Roskelley, 36, and Austrians Hansjorg Auer, 35, and David Lama, 28, went missing on Tuesday evening in Banff National Park, local media has reported.

The three men were attempting to climb the east face of Howse Pass, an isolated and difficult route, according to Parks Canada.

They were part of a team of experienced athletes sponsored by American outdoor equipment firm The North Face, the company confirmed to AFP.

Following the avalanche, authorities launched an aerial search for the trio.

Rescuers subsequently found signs of several avalanches and debris consistent with climbing equipment, Parks Canada said, leading them to presume that the climbers were dead.

It is unlikely the three men survived, John Roskelley, father of missing Jess Roskelley, told local media in the US state of Washington.

“This route they were trying to do was first done in 2000,” he told the Spokesman-Review.

“It’s just one of those routes where you have to have the right conditions or it turns into a nightmare. This is one of those trips where it turned into a nightmare”

Poor weather conditions have increased avalanche risks in the mountainous area on the border between Alberta and British Columbia, and the search has been halted for safety reasons.

With reporting from - © AFP 2019

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