Hope had already been gone before, but now it is sad certainty: The two Austrians David Lama (28 years old) and Hansjörg Auer (35) as well as the US-American Jess Roskelley (36) died in an avalanche on Howse Peak. On Sunday, a rescue team found the bodies of the three top climbers at the foot of the 3,295 meter high mountain in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. “The avalanche conditions were hazardous to the rescue team, so a specially trained avalanche dog was used to locate the climbers,” says a statement by the Roskelley family.
In euphoric mood at the summit
Jess’ phone had also been found, it said. The photos on it indicated that Roskelley, Lama and Auer had reached the summit last Tuesday. “They looked to be in absolute joy. Though we have no concrete answers, evidence suggests that the team was hit by an avalanche during the descent.” What climbing meant for Jess Roskelley, according to the family, can best be said in his own words: “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 with climbing – a balance of life, love and mountains. I live and breathe it.”