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When someone dies, the mourning process is typically straightforward. But when young climbers die in the mountains doing something extremely risky, mourning is surprisingly controversial.

This month, Jess Roskelley, Hansjörg Auer and David Lama died in an avalanche while alpine climbing on the east face of the 10,810-foot Howse Peak, north of Banff, in Alberta, Canada. They were, respectively, 36, 35 and 28. In the aftermath, our community of climbers has once again laid down on the couch and resumed our conversation about mountaineering’s biggest complex: death and tragedy.

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