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Three experienced climbers are presumed dead after an avalanche in Banff National Park.
Parks Canada says the three mountaineers were trying to climb the east face of Howse Peak on the Icefields Parkway, but were reported overdue on Wednesday.
“Parks Canada visitor safety specialists immediately responded by air and observed signs of multiple avalanches and debris containing climbing equipment,” said a statement from the agency.
Rescue efforts for American Jess Roskelley and Austrians David Lama and Hansjörg Auer are currently on hold because of the current forecast.
There’s a continued risk of avalanches and both rain and wind in the forecast are expected to make conditions worse.
According to Parks Canada, the three are considered highly experienced and professional mountain athletes.
"Parks Canada extends its sincerest condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of the mountaineers," the news release reads.
The east face of Howse Peak is remote and is an exceptionally difficult climb because of its mixed rock and ice routes.
With files from the Canadian Press.