Find us on Facebook
On Sunday 21 April the bodies of the Austrian alpinists Hansjörg Auer, 35, David Lama, 28, and that of the American Jess Roskelley , 36, were recovered. The three mountaineers had disappeared last week after being hit by an avalanche while climbing the East Face of Howse Peak in Canada.
In a photo on Jess Roskelley’s smartphone—recovered along with his, Hansjörg Auer and David Lama’s bodies from the aftermath of the avalanche that killed them on Howse Peak on April 16—the three climbers beam through the frame. The smiles, the 12:43 p.m. timestamp signifying when the photo was taken, the composition of the three climbers huddled together with nothing but blue sky behind them—it all points to the shot being a summit selfie from earlier in the day.
View this post on Instagram
“Mountains help me navigate what is most important to me. They balance the chaos that is regular life. Balance is what I strive to accomplish in climbing – a balance of life, love and mountains. Alpine climbing is a life-long commitment. I live and breathe it.” – Jess Roskelley • The response we’ve received from the climbing community and the myriad of family, friends, acquaintances and The North Face team has been unbelievable. Our deepest condolences go out to the families of David Lama and Hansjörg Auer. Jess looked up to the two of them and was so excited to climb with them. • “By endurance, we conquer.” • Love Alli, John, Joyce, Jordan and Dawn Roskelley
A post shared by Jess Roskelley (@jessroskelley) on
These details come via a statement released by the Roskelley family. The family confirms that the bodies were recovered yesterday, Sunday, April 21. “The avalanche conditions were hazardous to the rescue team, so a specially trained avalanche dog was used to locate the climbers,” it reads. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our loved one and his teammates, but we are very grateful to have received closure.”
Parks Canada released the following official statement:
“On Wednesday, April 17, a party of three mountaineers attempting the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway were reported overdue. Parks Canada responded immediately. Based on an initial assessment of the scene it was concluded that all three members of the party were deceased.
On Sunday, April 21, the bodies of all three climbers were recovered. Parks Canada extends our sincere condolences to their families, friends and loved ones. We would also like to acknowledge the impact that this has had on the tight‐knit, local and international climbing communities. Our thoughts are with families, friends and all those who have been affected by this tragic incident.
Parks Canada thanks our first responders and all assisting agencies for their invaluable support and professionalism including our Visitor Safety Specialists and the entire Incident Command team, Lake Louise RCMP, Lake Louise Fire Department, Bow Valley Victim Services and the skilled pilots from Alpine Helicopters.”