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Lama, Roskelley and Auer Likely Reached Summit of Howse Peak Before Deaths

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In a photo on Jess Roskelley’s smartphone—recovered along with his, Hansjörg Auer and David Lama’s bodies from the aftermath of the avalanche that killed them on Howse Peak on April 16—the three climbers beam through the frame. The smiles, the 12:43 p.m. timestamp signifying when the photo was taken, the composition of the three climbers huddled together with nothing but blue sky behind them—it all points to the shot being a summit selfie from earlier in the day.

These details come via a statement released by the Roskelley family. The family confirms that the bodies were recovered yesterday, Sunday, April 21. “The avalanche conditions were hazardous to the rescue team, so a specially trained avalanche dog was used to locate the climbers,” it reads. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our loved one and his teammates, but we are very grateful to have received closure.”

More Background on the Accident and the Climbers

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

The Fine Line – by Jess Roskelley, published in August 2017

VIDEO: Hansjörg Auer – No Turning Back

Interview: David Lama on His Lunag Ri Solo

VIDEO: Annapurna III – Unclimbed

Interview: Hansjörg Auer on His Solo First Ascent on Lupghar Sar West (7,157 Meters)

The statement continues further down, “We would like to send our utmost gratitude to the first responders and assisting agencies of Parks Canada including their Visitor Safety Specialist and the entire Incident Command Team, Lake Louise RCMP, Lake Louise Fire Department, Bow Valley Victim Services, the skilled pilots of Alpine Helicopters, and Brooke, the avalanche dog who located the climbers, and her handler. Additionally, we would like share our appreciation for the climbing community and the myriad of friends, family and acquaintances who have offered their sincere love and assistance to our family during this time. We would also like to send our deepest condolences to the families of David Lama and Hansjörg Auer of Austria. Jess was ecstatic to climb with these two men, who he looked up to and highly respected.”

Lama and Auer’s families each released statements on the late climbers’ instagram pages. See below for those.

View this post on Instagram

“Climbing and mountaineering on the borderline of possible is a game – a risky game… but one that I cannot live without. The game is simple, the rules always the same. The present moment counts for everything. I want to do things that push me. With all my heart or not at all. The more intense it is, the more enriching it is, and the stronger the feeling that I am heading in the right direction. I do however begin to ponder. Especially when I am injured or after a close call. I think about my friends. I think about what it would be like if one day I didn’t return, if I had to pay the price for the mountains. And yet I cannot resist to take on the challenge time after time. I will never stop searching because what I find fascinates me every time I head out.“ Thank you to all for your kind words. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of David and Jess. Family and Friends of Hansjörg. • “Klettern und Bergsteigen im Grenzbereich ist kein Spiel ohne Risiko – aber eines ohne das ich nicht leben kann. Das Spiel ist relativ einfach, die Regeln sind immer die gleichen. Das einzige was zählt ist der Moment. Ich will etwas tun, das mich fordert. Ganz oder gar nicht. Je intensiver, umso mehr bekomme ich retour und umso mehr spüre ich, dass ich auf dem richtigen Weg bin. Aber manchmal beginne ich dann doch nachzudenken. Besonders wenn ich verletzt bin oder wenn es wieder einmal knapp hergegangen ist. Ich denke an meine Freunde, Ich denke daran wie es wäre, wenn ich einmal nicht mehr zurück käme, wenn ich den Preis für die Berge bezahlen müsste. Und doch kann ich es dann nicht lassen, mich der Herausforderung das eine ums andere Mal zu stellen. Ich werde nie aufhören zu suchen, weil das was ich finde mich jedes Mal aufs Neue fasziniert.“ Vielen Dank für die vielen positiven Worte. Unsere Gedanken sind bei den Familien und Freunden von David und Jess. Familie und Freunde von Hansjörg. ▲ Thoughts by Hansjörg Auer – 2015 • Gedanken von Hansjörg Auer aus dem Jahr 2015

A post shared by Hansjörg Auer (@hansjoergauer) on