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Three mountain climbers are presumed dead after an avalanche in Alberta

Jess Roskelley, David Lama and Hansjorg Auer, one American and two European climbers, are presumed dead after after an avalanche at a national park in Alberta, Canada.

They attempted to climb the east face of Howse Peak at Banff National Park in Alberta on Tuesday but were reported overdue on Wednesday. The task is "an exceptionally difficult objective" located in a remote area with mixed rock and ice routes, a formidable climbing challenge. All three men are professional and "highly experienced." They were part of The North Face's Global Athlete Team. "They are missing, and local search and rescue has assumed the worst," a spokesman said. 

Banff-National-Park
Banff National Park in Alberta

Park officials searched for them via air and "observed signs of multiple avalanches and debris containing climbing equipment" and one partially buried body. Recovery efforts are currently on hold due to "dangerous conditions." Additional avalanches are also possible. It appears the climbers were caught in a size 3 avalanche. Roskelley, a native of Spokane, Wash., climbed Mount Everest in 2003 at age 20. He had climbed the 10,810-foot Howse Peak, via a different route, in the 1970s and is said to know the area well.

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