Three mountaineers presumed dead after avalanche in Canada

Howse Peak is located in Banff National Park right near the border between Alberta and British Columbia

Howse Peak is located in Banff National Park right near the border between Alberta and British Columbia

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.

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.

They were reported overdue on Wednesday and multiple avalanches in the area where they were climbing were noticed from the air.

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. Rain and strong winds in the forecast are expected to make conditions worse.

Jess Roskelley, who was at one point the youngest person to climb Mount Everest had set out to climb Howse Peak in Banff National Park along with Austrian climbers, David Lama and Hansjörg Auer. The first climbers to ascend this route in 1999 named it "M16" because of its "difficulty and seriousness", as well as the experience of feeling "under the gun", of being pelted relentlessly with mounds of falling snow, one of the climbers wrote in the American Alpine Journal in 2000. "We extend our sincerest condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of the mountaineers".

Meanwhile, Lama and Auer are also well-known in the climbing community.

The older Roskelley climbed the Howse Peak in the 1970s, but used a different route.

Parks Canada described the area as "a remote and an exceptionally hard objective".

"He is a relatively reserved guy who wasn't somebody looking to play his achievements out to the media", Routen said.

At 3,295 metres, Howse Peak is the highest mountain in the Waputik Mountains, a subrange of the Canadian Rockies.

A sponsor of all three men, the apparel company The North Face, said on Thursday that they were presumed dead.

Roskelley said it's a challenge for only the most extreme climbers.

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.

Auer, 35, who grew up near the Dolomites in Austria, guided sheep from the family farm into the mountains every summer as a boy.

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