The bodies of The North Face mountain climbers who went missing last week were found on Sunday at Canada’s Banff National Park.
American Jess Roskelley and Austrians David Lama and Hansjörg Auer were presumed dead after they were caught in an avalanche on Wednesday in an attempt to climb Howse Peak in Alberta. The elite alpinists — three of the best in the world — served as members of the Alameda, Calif.-based outdoor retailer’s Global Athlete Team.
On his website and an Instagram post, Lama’s parents paid tribute to their son.
“David dedicated his life to the mountains, and his passion for climbing and alpinism shaped and accompanied our family. He always followed his own path and lived his dream. We will accept what now happened as a part of that,” wrote Claudia and Rinzi Lama. “We ask you to remember David for his zest for life, his enthusiasm and with a view towards his beloved mountains.”
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David lebte für die Berge und seine Leidenschaft für das Klettern und Bergsteigen hat uns als Familie geprägt und begleitet. Er folgte stets seinem Weg und lebte seinen Traum. Das nun Geschehene werden wir als Teil davon akzeptieren.⠀ ⠀ Wir bedanken uns für die zahlreichen positiven Worte und Gedanken von nah und fern, und bitten um Verständnis, dass es keine weitere Stellungnahme von uns geben wird. Vielmehr bitten wir David mit seiner Lebensfreude, seiner Tatkräftigkeit und mit Blick Richtung seiner geliebten Berge in Erinnerung zu behalten. ⠀ ⠀ Die Familien von Hansjörg und Jess schließen wir in unsere Gedanken ein⠀ ⠀ Claudia & Rinzi Lama⠀ ____________________________________⠀ ⠀ David dedicated his life to the mountains and his passion for climbing and alpinism shaped and accompanied our family. He always followed his own path and lived his dream. We will accept what now happened as a part of that.⠀ ⠀ We appreciate the numerous positive words and thoughts from near and far. Please understand that there will be no further comments from our side. We ask you to remember David for his zest for life, his enthusiasm and with a view towards his beloved mountains. ⠀ ⠀ Our thoughts are with Hansjörg’s and Jess‘ family⠀ ⠀ Claudia & Rinzi Lama
Roskelley’s family also celebrated his enthusiasm for the sport, sharing a quote previously spoken by the late climber.
“Mountains help me navigate what is most important to me,” his words read. “They balance the chaos that is regular life. Balance is what I strive to accomplish in climbing — a balance of life, love and mountains. Alpine climbing is a lifelong commitment. I live and breathe it.”
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“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 in climbing – a balance of life, love and mountains. Alpine climbing is a life-long commitment. I live and breathe it.” – Jess Roskelley • The response we’ve received from the climbing community and the myriad of family, friends, acquaintances and The North Face team has been unbelievable. Our deepest condolences go out to the families of David Lama and Hansjörg Auer. Jess looked up to the two of them and was so excited to climb with them. • “By endurance, we conquer.” • Love Alli, John, Joyce, Jordan and Dawn Roskelley
One of Auer’s quotes was also memorialized on Instagram. Signed by his family and friends, the post read: “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.”
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"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
As the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies’ Waputik Mountains, Howse Peak has a reputation for being an extremely challenging climb.
Following an official missing persons report, authorities searched the region via helicopter, with a subsequent news release from Parks Canada indicating that they found “signs of multiple avalanches and debris containing climbing equipment.”
A statement shared on Twitter by Banff National Park read: “We extend our sincerest condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of the mountaineers. We would also like to acknowledge the impact that this incident has had on the tight-knit, local and international climbing communities.”
FN has reached out to The North Face for comment.
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