Friends grieve for British climber crushed to death in Yosemite rockfall
Andrew Foster was trapped when more than 1,000 tonnes of rock fell from the face of the El Capitan monolith on Wednesday.
Tributes have been paid to a British climber crushed to death by falling rocks at Yosemite National Park.
Andrew Foster, 32, was trapped when more than 1,000 tonnes of rock fell from the face of the El Capitan monolith on Wednesday.
Mr Foster and his wife Lucy, who was also injured in the incident, were planning a dream adventure next year to travel around the Alps in a converted transit van.
The couple, who lived in Cardiff, ran their own blog Cam and Bear in which they described their love of the outdoors.
“We are a young married couple who enjoy nothing more than getting out and having adventures in the mountains together,” they wrote.
“We are not extreme athletes and describe ourselves simply as passionate weekend warriors.”
He had proposed to his wife, who is originally from Shropshire, during a skiing holiday in the Alps in 2015 and they married the following year.
Mr Foster, who grew up in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, before attending Cardiff University, worked for clothing company Patagonia and was previously employed by outdoor store Up and Under.
Staff at the Cardiff-based shop said in a statement: “Andy Foster was an inspirational member of the Up and Under family.
Larger rockfall on El Capitan today, with one injury. Debris reached a road, so detour in place; drive with caution in Yosemite Valley. pic.twitter.com/wciTNR5SkT— Yosemite National Park (@YosemiteNPS) September 29, 2017
“He was a highly regarded member of staff for five years, before he took a job with Patagonia.
“He remained a dedicated friend of Up and Under, and was regularly to be found in the store. His passion for the outdoors, and mountains in particular, was enormous and infectious.
“Andy and Lucy’s intentions upon returning from Yosemite were, with the help of Andy’s father, to covert a van into a motorhome to enable them to explore the European Alps for the next 12 months.
It's a very sad day for Up and Under and our extended family as we share the loss of Andy Foster. https://t.co/wK0h1uspPZ— Up and Under (@UpandUnderLtd) September 29, 2017
“It was then our hope that Andy would return to Up and Under in a part time consultative role, whilst he also chased other ambitions.
“Andy was highly respected, loved and his loss will be sorely felt by us all. Our thoughts are with Lucy and his family.”
Friend Jess Spate wrote on Facebook said: “Rest in peace Andrew Foster. Always cheerful, never a mean word to say about anyone, up for anything, anytime.
“Never so much as a cross word even when he must have been as cold and tired as it’s possible to be while still walking.
“There’s nobody I’d rather climb a rapidly thawing frozen waterfall with at 2am on a work night.
“Nobody better to play hangman with at midnight in Cardiff City Hall, waiting to impersonate beautiful female ninjas. Nobody better to be topping out of a mountain route with when the weather turned.
“Those times will never be forgotten because they are part of who I am. I know that everyone who met Andy liked him because it was impossible not to.
“Everyone who climbed with him will remember his good humour and his unrivalled sense of adventure.
“Go hard my friend. May the skies always be clear for you and the thermometer stay below -5.”
Mr and Mrs Foster, found with climbing equipment, are believed to have been scouting out the ascent from a trail when a “sheet” of granite around 40 by 20 metres plummeted from a height of 200 metres.
They are the only known casualties despite being with a group of other climbers when the series of collapses struck, but a search is continuing.