David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and Jess Roskelley are reported as missing in the Canadian Rockies. The three top climbers were attempting to climb M16 on Howse Peak on the Icefields Parkway when an avalanche took place on April 17.
It’s not publicly known who reported the avalanche or where the climbers were on the route. There are rumours floating around the internet that their deaths have been confirmed, including by the Pou brothers on their Twitter account, see here.
There are also rumours that a helicopter search saw/found the ropes which the three top alpinists were using. Local Rockies climbers close to Lama, Roskelley and Auer are in talks with family abroad, relaying information about conditions and the potential search and rescue operations on Thurs. April 18.
The Austrian newspaper Tiroler Tageszeitung broke the news online and the word quickly spread.
The three climbers are arguably among the best alpinists in the world with many first ascents and hard repeats to their names. Auer, 35, and 28-year-old Lama have many days of hard climbing together. American Roskelley, 35, is the son of legendary climber John Roskelley.
At the Banff Mountain Film Festival in 2016, I was lucky enough to sit and chat with Lama on the Basecamp podcast. Listen here.
The face they were attempting is over 1,000 metres, has big sections of ice and rock with large snow slopes above and below. M16 (VI WI7+ A2) was first climbed by Barry Blanchard, Scott Backes and Steve House in 1999.
We’ll update this story when more information is available.