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AVALANCHE

Austrian woman among six dead in avalanche

Six climbers, including a teenager, were killed in an Alpine avalanche on Saturday that struck the Monte Nevoso area, close to Italy's border with Austria, rescuers said.

Austrian woman among six dead in avalanche
Schneebiger Nock. Photo: http://www.suedtirol.com/

The victims included five Italian nationals, one of whom was 16, and an Austrian woman.

The six were among a group of 15 people who were very close to the summit of Monte Nevoso, climbing at an altitude of more than 3,300 metres (10,800 feet), when the avalanche hit in the late morning.

The others escaped unharmed, despite earlier reports several of them were injured.

The peak, whose summit stands at 3,358 metres, is also known as Schneebiger Nock.

Four helicopters were dispatched to the area but the altitude meant they were forced to fly with minimal fuel to reduce their airborne weight, hampering the operation.

Monte Nevoso lies in the Aurina valley in the South Tyrol region of northeastern Italy.

The avalanche risk in the Italian Alps this weekend was assessed to be reasonably low, just two out of five.

AVALANCHE

Bodies of world-renowned Austrian mountaineers found in Canada

The bodies of three celebrated professional mountaineers - two Austrians and an American - were found Sunday after they went missing during an avalanche on a western Canadian summit, the national parks agency said.

Bodies of world-renowned Austrian mountaineers found in Canada
Auer (left) and Lama (right). Photos: Facebook, AFP

American Jess Roskelley, 36, and Hansjorg Auer, 35, and David Lama, 28, of Austria went missing late Tuesday at Banff National Park. Authorities launched an aerial search the next day.

The three men were attempting to climb the east face of Howse Pass, an isolated and highly difficult route.

They were part of a team of experienced athletes sponsored by American outdoor equipment firm The North Face.

“Parks Canada extends our sincere condolences to their families, friends and loved ones,” the agency said in a statement.

“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.”

Roskelley was the son of John Roskelley, who was also considered one of the best mountaineers of his own generation.

Father and son had climbed Mount Everest together in 2003. At the time, the younger Roskelley was only 20 years old, and became the youngest mountaineer to climb the planet's highest mountain above sea level.

Auer (left) and Lama (right), from Tyrol in Austria, were also considered among the best mountaineers of their generation.