Three mountaineers presumed dead after avalanche in Banff National Park, Parks Canada

Three mountaineers presumed dead after avalanche in Banff National Park, Parks Canada

Parks Canada says three mountaineers are presumed dead after an avalanche in Alberta's Banff National Park.

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

Jess Roskelley's family said he always checks in to let them know he's safe, but on Tuesday they didn't hear from him, reports CBS News correspondent David Begnaud.

There now is no timeline for when search and recovery efforts can begin, Holeczi said, because of bad weather and avalanche risk in the area.

The three were overdue returning from their climb Wednesday, according to a Parks Canada statement on Thursday, prompting parks staff to search for them by air.

Parks Canada described the trio as highly experienced, professional mountain athletes and gave its condo.

The outdoor apparel company says it is doing what it can to support the climbers' families and friends.

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

Barry Blanchard, a mountain guide in nearby Canmore, said he talked to Roskelley when the three climbers arrived in the area about a week ago.

Then, in 2003, he climbed Mount Everest with his father at just 20 years old, becoming, at that point, the youngest American ever to do it. "This is one of those trips where it turned into a nightmare", he told the Spokesman-Review.

Lama is renowned as among the very best, if not the best, of the world's "super-light" mountaineers who ascend peaks amazingly quickly, with minimal equipment.

"We can't speculate ... every mountain, every valley has its own conditions", he said.

Google Map view of Howse Peak on the Icefields Parkway.

"David dedicated his life to the mountains and his passion for climbing and alpinism shaped and accompanied our family", Claudia and Rinzi Lama said in a statement posted on their son's website. John Roskelley's hands were frozen to the point where, for a time, he couldn't feel them, he recalled in an essay about the climb, contained in an anthology he authored. "There must have been a lot of snow that came down and got them off the face".

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