Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

The parents of celebrated Austrian climber David Lama said Friday that he had “lived his dream,” as hopes he and two other top climbers survived an avalanche in the Canadian Rockies faded.

Lama, fellow Austrian Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing in Alberta’s Banff National Park since Wednesday. Their sponsor, outdoor apparel company The North Face, said the three members of its Global Athlete Team are presumed dead following an avalanche.

“David dedicated his life to the mountains and his passion for climbing and alpinism shaped and accompanied our family,” Claudia and Rinzi Lama said in a statement posted on their son’s website. “He always followed his own path and lived his dream. We will accept what now happened as a part of that.”

The family expressed gratitude for the support it received “from near and far” and asked that their son be remembered “for his zest for life, his enthusiasm.”

David Lama, left to right, Jess Roskelley and Hansjorg Auer. (The North Face)

Earlier, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Lama and Auer had “shaped the international climbing and alpinist scene in recent years with many achievements.”

Lama, 28, was feted for achieving the first free ascent in 2012 of the Compressor Route of the Cerro Torre, one of the most striking peaks in the Andes. The feat was captured in the 2013 documentary “Cerro Torre – A Snowball’s Chance in Hell.”

The son of a Nepalese mountain guide and an Austrian nurse, Lama had also won numerous climbing competitions in his younger years before devoting himself full-time to mountaineering in 2011.

Auer, 35, became the first person to free solo climb Italy’s Marmolada peak via the south face in 2007.

Parks Canada said the three men were attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak on the Icefields Parkway on Wednesday.

Officials said safety specialists immediately responded by air and observed signs of multiple avalanches and debris containing climbing equipment.

Roskelley climbed Mount Everest in 2003 at age 20. At the time he was the youngest American to climb the world’s highest peak.

His father, John Roskelley, told The Spokesman-Review that the route his son and the other climbers were attempting was first done in 2000.

In the 2013 documentary, Lama addressed the constant peril extreme climbers are exposed to, insisting that the risks were carefully calculated — more like a game of poker than Russian roulette.

“I think it’s important to be aware of the risks, but in the end there will always be things that are out of our hands,” he said.

Frank Jordans, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Victoria Police host Faith-Based Safety Forum in light of recent religious attacks

More than 35 faith-based leaders voice concerns, air questions

Young Nanaimo man dies after losing control of ATV

Accident claimed the life of a 23-year-old south of Nanaimo over the long weekend

Record article sparks return of stolen tonals

Letter writer expressed remorse after reading article describing personal connection to items

Barriers remain to abortion access on Vancouver Island

Experts say transportation, support, doctors can be barriers to accessing abortion

Survey finds 15 per cent of Canadian cannabis users with a valid licence drive within two hours of using

Survey also finds middle-aged men are upping their usage following legalization

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Police stay quiet on downtown fire investigation

The fire at Victoria’s Plaza Hotel was deemed suspicious on May 14

RCMP searching for missing Vancouver Island teenager

16-year-old Lasheena Seward was reported missing from a group home in Port Alberni

Hundreds call for a clean energy future at Hands Across the Sand event in Tofino

Surfrider Pacific Rim and Friends of Clayoquot Sound team up to host the peaceful gathering

UPDATE: Suspected drunk driver hits line-painting truck on the highway on the Island

Crash happened at 1 a.m. Wednesday on the Trans-Canada Highway in Nanaimo

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Most Read