Parks Canada says the bodies of three climbers have been recovered from an avalanche in the Rocky Mountains.
Austrian climbers Hansjörg Auer and David Lama, and American Jess Roskelley were attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in Banff National Park on Tuesday.
They were reported overdue on Wednesday, and Parks Canada officials “responded by air and observed signs of multiple avalanches and debris containing climbing equipment.”
The climbers were presumed deceased, but recovery efforts were not possible at the time due to dangerous conditions.
On Sunday, the bodies of the climbers were recovered.
“Parks Canada extends our sincere condolences to their families, friends and loved ones. We would also like to acknowledge the impact that this has had on the tight-knit, local and international climbing communities. Our thoughts are with families, friends and all those who have been affected by this tragic incident,” the agency said in an emailed statement.
The agency also thanked the first responders and agencies who assisted in the recovery.
All three athletes were professional mountaineers.
Roskelley was, at one point, the youngest American to climb Mount Everest.
Auer recently completed the first solo ascent of Lupghar Sar West, a remote 7,157-metre summit in Pakistan.
And Lama was part of a duo that made the first free ascent of the famous Compressor route on Cerro Torre in Patagonia, along the border between Argentina and Chile.
They were attempting a challenging route up Howse Peak, also known as M16, that has only been climbed once before.
A second deadly avalanche happened in the Rockies on Saturday. A man was critically injured in an avalanche near Lake Louise, Alta. He died in hospital on Sunday.
This story originally appeared on CBC