Three Renowned Climbers Presumed Dead at Banff National Park Days After Going Missing

Three world-renowned mountain climbers were at Canada’s Banff National Park when they reportedly went missing after being caught in an avalanche on April 16. They are all presumed dead, CNN reported.

David Lama, Jess Roskelley and Hansjörg Auer — members of North Face’s Global Athlete Team — were attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in Alberta, Canada, when the avalanche struck.

“They are missing, and local search and rescue has assumed the worst,” a spokesman for North Face told CNN.

Parks Canada park officials searched for the professional climbers by air after they were all reported missing the following day, Wednesday, April 17.

They subsequently released a statement explaining that they “observed signs of multiple avalanches and debris containing climbing equipment,” and “based on the assessment of the scene, all three members of the party are presumed to be deceased,” reported CNN.

North Face released a statement on their website regarding the tragic incident, explaining that they were also “waiting for additional information as the search mission continues.”

“We have learned that three members of our Global Athlete Team, Jess Roskelley, David Lama and Hansjörg Auer were presumed caught in an avalanche on April 16th in Alberta, Canada,” the statement read, adding, “David, Jess, and Hansjörg are valued and loved members of The North Face family and we are doing everything we can to support their families, friends and community during this difficult time. We will continue to keep you updated and ask that you keep our athletes and their loved ones in your hearts and thoughts.”

PEOPLE’s requests for comment from North Face and Parks Canada weren’t immediately answered.

Roskelley famously climbed Mt. Everest at just 20 years old in 2003. He was the youngest American to ever do so at the time. His father, John Roskelley, is also a renowned climber.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, John said he himself had climbed Howse Peak, a 10,810-foot climb, in the 1970s, but had taken a different route.

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

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