Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



Jess Roskelley, David Lama and Hansjörg Auer Reported Missing in Canada 

Lock Icon

Unlock this article and more benefits with 50% off.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

40% Off Outside+.
$4.99/month $2.99/month*

Get the one subscription to fuel all your adventures.

  • Map your next adventure with our premium GPS apps: Gaia GPS Premium and Trailforks Pro.
  • Read unlimited digital content from 15+ brands, including Outside Magazine, Triathlete, Ski, Trail Runner, and VeloNews.
  • Watch 600+ hours of endurance challenges, cycling and skiing action, and travel documentaries.
  • Learn from the pros with expert-led online courses.
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

According to Tiroler Tageszeitung, an Austrian newspaper, professional alpinists Jess Roskelley, David Lama and Hansjörg Auer are missing in the Canadian Rockies. Search operations are ongoing. Early reports are citing an avalanche that occurred Tuesday. Rescue flights started on Wednesday, but thus far no climbers have been located. Gripped is reporting that the climbers were attempting M16 on Howse Peak.

The renowned alpinist John Roskelley, father of Jess, wrote today on his friend John Long’s Facebook: “As I write this, I know from speaking with the Park Service and rescue personnel yesterday that Jess, David and Hansjorg are presumed dead. It is with a heavy heart I have to say this, but they were hit by a massive avalanche off Mt. Howse sometime on Tuesday and there was visible evidence they perished. Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts.”

John and Jess Roskelley in Denver in 2017. Photo: Cameron M. Burns.

In a story published Thursday morning in his hometown newspaper, the Spokesman Review, Roskelley said he was preparing to travel to the area. The article stated that avalanche debris, climbing items and a partially buried body had been spotted from the air. Amy Kraus, the spokewoman of Parks Canada, said in an interview with the Calgary Sun, “a high avalanche hazard along with strong winds and precipitation has made recovery of the bodies and further investigation impossible for now.”

Hansjörg Auer in a bivy at around 6,200 meters on Lupghar Sar. Photo: Hansjörg Auer.

All three climbers are among the world’s strongest. Roskelley, 36, famously became the youngest American to reach the summit of Everest with his father in 2003 and has since been a leading alpinist in the U.S. In 2017, Roskelley made the first ascent of the entire South Ridge of Alaska’s Mt. Huntington along with Clint Helander. Lama, who is 28, has won Bouldering World Cups as well as put up the first free ascent of the Compressor Route on Cerro Torre. In fall 2018, Lama made the first ascent of Lunag Ri, solo, after attempting it twice unsuccessfully with Conrad Anker. Hansjörg Auer, 35, was recently the first to solo Lupghar Sar West, among other notable ascents. Auer’s 2007 ropless ascent of Via Attraverso il Pesce (The Fish Route)—an 850-meter 7b+ (5.12c), on the Marmolada, in Italy—was arguably the hardest ever big-wall free-solo prior to Alex Honold’s free solo of El Cap. In 2016, Lama and Auer attempted Annapurna III with Alex Blümel.

There is no official confirmation yet. Stay tuned.

Also Read

Interview: David Lama on His Lunag Ri Solo


Also Watch

VIDEO: Hansjörg Auer: No Turning Back

VIDEO: Annapurna III – Unclimbed