Three renowned climbers presumed dead after avalanche in Canadian Rockies

Bonnie Christian

Three renowned mountain climbers are presumed dead after an avalanche in the Canadian Rockies.

Outdoor apparel company The North Face said that American Jess Roskelley and Austrians David Lama and Hansjorg Auer disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in Alberta’s Banff National Park.

National park staff flew over the area where they were climbing and saw evidence of "avalanches and debris containing climbing equipment".

Parks Canada recovery efforts are on hold because of dangerous conditions and additional avalanches at the scene.

Those efforts are likely to be further hampered by inclement weather in the coming days.

The trio were reported overdue on Wednesday.

"They are missing, and local search and rescue has assumed the worst," North Face said in a statement.

The three were part of the outdoor apparel company's global athlete team and the firm said in a statement it was doing everything it could to support their families, friends and the climbing community.

Mr Roskelley, 36, was best-known for climbing Mount Everest at age 20 in 2003, making him the youngest person at the time to have climbed the world's highest mountain.

Jess Roskelley in 2003, the year he climbed Mount Everest becoming the youngest American reach the world's highest peak. (AP)

Mr Lama, 28, and Mr Auer, 35, were also world-class mountaineers who had climbed some of the toughest routes around the globe.

Mr Lama is also from a climbing family - his father was a mountain guide from Nepal - and his talent was recognised at an early age.

He won numerous climbing competitions as a teenager.

In 2014, a film was released that documented his attempt to become the first person to free-climb the Compressor Route on Patagonia's Cerro Torre mountain.

Mr Auer grew up on a family farm in Austria near the Dolomite mountain range.

Among his most recognised climbing achievements are the southwest-face ascent of Pakistan's Kunyang Chhish East in the Karakorum Mountains and the first ascent of the south face on Nilgiri South in Nepal.

Howse Peak, has a 3,295 metre (10,800 foot) elevation.