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3 experienced mountaineers presumed dead after avalanche in Banff National Park

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Eric Zimmer Apr 18, 2019 11:37 am

Three mountaineers in Banff National Park are reportedly presumed dead after an avalanche on Wednesday.

According to Parks Canada, the trio were attempting the east face of Howse Peak on the Icefields Parkway, when they were reported overdue.

“Parks Canada visitor safety specialists immediately responded by air and observed signs of multiple avalanches and debris containing climbing equipment,” the agency said. “Safety specialists immediately responded by air and observed signs of multiple avalanches and debris containing climbing equipment.”

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Parks Canada said the three climbers – one American and two Europeans – were all “professional mountain athletes and highly experienced.”

The agency said that further investigation is underway, “but recovery efforts are not currently possible due to additional avalanches and dangerous conditions at the scene.”

Parks Canada also described the east face of Howse Peak as “remote and an exceptionally difficult objective, with mixed rock and ice routes requiring advanced alpine mountaineering skills.”

In the meantime, the agency said it “extends its sincerest condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of the mountaineers.”

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