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olyclimber

Laurel Fan

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We lost Laurel Fan, I'm sure many of you knew her. She was here on CC.com, but also well known in the PNW climbing community.

 

From Alpine Mentor's Facebook page:

 

"Dear Alpine Mentors Community,

 

We regret that we have to report the tragic loss of one of our loved Alpine Mentors-AAC Pacific Northwest family members. At approximately 3:00 p.m. PT on Sunday, July 24, Laurel Fan (34) fell while ascending Serra 2 in the Waddington Range of British Columbia.

 

Our Alpine Mentors community is very small, and we are deeply saddened by this terrible tragedy. Our hearts are with Laurel's friends and family.

We are grateful that the two surviving party members were able to draw upon their experience and competence to execute what was a difficult descent after losing one member of their team and a good part of the equipment that climber was carrying.

 

We are truly saddned and will keep Laurel in our hearts forever.

 

Yours,

Steve, Eva and the entire Alpine Mentors family"

 

Sorry to be the bearer of this terrible news.

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Thanks Porter and Miles. She was one special person that's for sure. Terrible loss for us all. There will be an all-too-soon wake for her and her many friends at Seattle Bouldering Project bar after 4 pm.

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"for every one of us

living in this world

means waiting for our end

let she who can

achieve glory before death

when a warrior is gone

that will be her best

and only bulwark"

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One of the most gentle and understated yet driven climbers I've ever met. She was always so nice. Patient. Happy. Peaceful. She truly was a joy to watch climb. She always climbed with perfect poise and precision. You'd never know she was at her limit until she was flying off the rock.

 

I always enjoyed running into and talking with her at the crags or in the mountains a few times a year. I am lucky I got to rope in with her a couple times.

 

I will miss those moments. She will most definitely be missed.

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That is sad to hear.

 

I know she was an enthusiastic contributor to Mt. Project and an Index regular. But I didn't know about this Alpine Mentors.

 

Seems like she spent a lot of time helping other people out. And far too young to go. But we all are very lucky to make it as long as we have.

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Yes it is today at 4 PM It will probably be the first of many. It will be downstairs in the bar from four till whenever.

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Very sad news, my heart goes out to friends and family.

 

"For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?

And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb."

 

Kahil Gibran

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I had the privilege of meeting Laurel at Trout Creek last year. Fantastic climber, great person, the genuine article. I'm very sad to hear the news and I wish the best to her friends and family.

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I didn't know her on a deep personal level but climbed with her several times, and ran into her here and there at the crags and gym. I first met her when I was getting into trad. She invited me out with her crew to Trout Creek and made me feel welcome. Tragic, unfortunate loss for sure :( RIP Laurel

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There will be another announcement soon on a service this Sunday 7pm at the Mountaineers clubhouse Magnuson park

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A word AUDACITY comes to mind. Not many people have it but Laurel was just that. Best of the best and gone so freaking soon.

 

A lot of inspiring memories with this girl.

 

So devastating. RIP Laurel.

 

 

Laurel on "Landing a Monster", Trout Creek, OR:

[video:vimeo]176700739

 

 

Laurel on "Goldrush", Silverton, CO.

11792742315_53457034fd_b.jpg

 

 

Laurel on the topout of Gibraltar Wall, Canal Flats, BC:

13003118175_dc7a9ae4af_b.jpg

 

 

Laurel at the sketchy icetub in Lilooett, BC:

13024742944_c855f0c3f8_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wayne,

Nice. Well written.

I don't know either of you, but know of both of you.

Laurel was a frequent climbing partner of my long time friend, Mark Webster. RIP Laurel.

Jim Phillips

Leavenworth

 

Edited by JBP

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as an fyi, I've had a conversation with Mike King, who as most of you will know, is the pilot at White Saddle Air Services, who fly most climbers in and out of the Range (and who flew Laurel). from what he tells me, special commendations must go to both the BC SAR officials and to the BC Forest Service regarding their responses to this unfortunate accident. in the former case, first, no effort was spared in the actual search, even with a dog team and special handlers from Alberta being long-lined into a very dangerous field of operation; and secondly because they covered the helicopter costs for the family and partner to visit the scene to help 'make peace' with the outcome and bring closure. and to the BCFS, in the midst of fighting an intense nearby forest fire ( at Dumbbell Lake), with a hundred man camp in operation and every available resource ( including the White Saddle helicopters) in action, they said " take a couple hours; you go do what you have to do; we'll fight the fire afterwards". Laurel's death rends my heart, but responses such as these gladden my soul.

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I write more about Laurel here:

http://www.websterart.com/wordpress/?p=1185t

 

That hit me hard. I saw Laurel the day before she died. I was getting my valley giant back from her after she used it on Pipeline. We talked out in the street for a while about climbing, and her exciting trip planned for Waddington. She was in top notch shape, looked like she could climb anything anywhere.

 

I didn't know her that well, though I climbed next to her many times. I never tied into her rope, she was always doing climbs much too hard for me. I did however camp with her, Daphney and Ritchie a number of times. We shared some great campfires at Vantage, Darrington and Trout. She was always very quiet around me, I regret now that I didn't try harder to get to know her.

 

Daphney and I got on like a house on fire, and we went on a number of trips, including a long one to Smith where Daphney led Peking (Chouinards crack) her first trad 9.

 

Laurel touched a lot of people through her various volunteering with the WAC and other groups. That crowd at her memorial was huge, I've never seen that many climbers together at one time.

 

I feel like a lot of us at that memorial were walking around in a daze, realizing that this sport can have consequences. Accidents are so rare that we treat it like a casual game of tennis. But then something like this happens and we have to take a step back.

 

I know I will come back to climbing, but lately I've been painting the mountains, instead of climbing them.

 

Daphney, if you are reading this, you know how to reach me. I'm here if you need anything.

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I was with the only other party climbing in there when it happened. We ran into Steve and Alex coming down to camp as we went up to try the same route. I only met Laurel once when cragging at Index but we got in touch via facebook when we both saw that we were going to the Waddington Range. I was really looking forward to sharing the experience in there with her and her partners. My thoughts are with her friends and family.

 

-Sam

Edited by bedellympian

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