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The Banff National Park stands in the Canadian Rockies

Three top alpinists are presumed dead in an avalanche in the Canadian Rockies, authorities say.

The trio of mountaineers were attempting to scale Howse Peak and failed to check in on schedule.

National park staff flew over the area where they were climbing and saw evidence of “avalanches and debris containing climbing equipment”.

Parks Canada recovery efforts are on hold because of dangerous conditions and additional avalanches at the scene.

Those efforts are likely to be further hampered by inclement weather in the coming days.

Media outlets in North America and Europe have named the men as David Lama and Hansjoerg Auer from Austria, and Jess Roskelley, from the US.

The three were attempting to scale the east side of Howse Peak, which Parks Canada described as a “remote and an exceptionally difficult objective, with mixed rock and ice routes requiring advanced alpine mountaineering skills”.

Howse Peak, with a 3,295 metre (10,800 foot) elevation, is in the Canadian province of Alberta.

“Parks Canada extends its sincerest condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of the mountaineers,” the agency said on Thursday.



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