Elite mountain climbers′ bodies retrieved from Rocky Mountains | News | DW | 22.04.2019
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Elite mountain climbers' bodies retrieved from Rocky Mountains

The two Austrians and an American went missing on Tuesday while attempting a tricky route to Howse Peak in Banff National Park. All three were experienced mountaineers, with reputations for scaling challenging summits.

Rescue teams have recovered the bodies of three world-renowned professional mountaineers from Canada's Banff National Park, authorities confirmed in a tweet on Monday.

American Jess Roskelley, 36, and Hansjörg Auer, 35, and David Lama, 28, both of Tyrol in Austria, went missing late Tuesday in the Canadian Rockies, some 150 kilometers (93 miles) west of Calgary in the province of Alberta.

"We extend our sincerest condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of the mountaineers," the national park said on Twitter, adding that three bodies were retrieved on Sunday.

Read more: Cleaning up Mount Everest – the world's highest rubbish dump

The trio were attempting the extremely challenging M16 route  to climb the east face of Howse Peak in Banff National Park and after signs of multiple avalanches and climbing equipment, were presumed dead

Officials said the dangerous conditions delayed recovery efforts.

Three of the world's elite climbers

The men's disappearance shocked the world of climbing, as they were highly experienced athletes.

David Lama (Reuters/Red Bull/David Lama)

Last October, Lama became the first person to reach the summit of Lunag Ri in Nepal after several failed attempts

Roskelley was the son of John Roskelley, who was also considered one of the best mountaineers of his generation. At age 20, Jess Roskelley became the youngest mountaineer to climb Mount Everest, the planet's highest mountain above sea level.

John Roskelley told US newspaper The Spokesman-Review that the route his son and the other climbers were attempting was first done in 2000.

"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," John Roskelley said.

Auer recently completed the first solo ascent of Pakistan's remote 7,157-meter (23,480 ft) Lupghar Sar West summit.

Lama was part of a duo that made the first free ascent of the famous Compressor route on Cerro Torre, in the South Patagonian Ice Field, in a region disputed by Argentina and Chile.

Read more: Professional rock climber Adam Ondra: 'The harder it is, the more fun it is'

Tributes and messages of condolences flooded Lama's official website, where his parents Claudia and Rinzi wrote: "David dedicated his life to the mountains and his passion for climbing and alpinism shaped and accompanied our family.

"He always followed his own path and lived his dream. We will accept what now happened as a part of that."

The family and friends of Auer also thanked those who paid tribute to the climber in a message on his website.

On Monday, the Roskelley family posted a quote from Jess on his Instagram page: "Mountains help me navigate what is most important to me. They balance the chaos that is regular life."

mm/ng (AFP, dpa)

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