Climber killed by Yosemite rock fall 'saved wife'

Andrew and Lucy FosterImage copyright
Facebook | Andrew and Lucy Foster

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Andrew and Lucy Foster had been in the national park for two weeks

A climber who was killed by falling rocks at Yosemite National Park in California saved his wife’s life, his aunt has said.

Andrew Foster, 32, from Cardiff, was trapped while his wife, Lucy, 28, was seriously hurt when granite fell from the El Capitan monolith on Wednesday.

The large “sheet” plummeted from a height of 200m (656ft).

Mrs Foster spoke to her husband’s aunt and said she was only alive because he had jumped on top of her.

His aunt Gillian Stephens told the Times newspaper: “She said ‘Andrew saved my life. He dived on top of me as soon as he could see what was going to happen. He saved my life’.”

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El Capitan is one of the best-known landmarks in Yosemite

The El Capitan rock formation is the world’s largest granite monolith and one of the best-known landmarks in Yosemite.

The pair, found with climbing equipment, are believed to have been scouting out the ascent from a trail when the granite sheet measuring about 40m (131ft) by 20m (65ft) fell shortly before 14:00 local time (21:00 BST) on Wednesday.

Park ranger Scott Gediman said it was a tragic situation of “wrong place, wrong time”.

He said Mrs Foster, originally from Staffordshire, was being treated for life-threatening injuries in an area hospital and had been told of her husband’s death.

The couple, who lived in Cardiff, got engaged during a skiing holiday in the Alps in 2015 and they married the following year.

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Mrs Foster was rescued from Yosemite following a rock fall

They 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.”

They flew out for the Yosemite trip from Heathrow Airport on 11 September and had spent two weeks at the national park.

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Media captionClimber Pete Zabrok filmed the dramatic rock falls

Staff at the Cardiff-based outdoor store Up and Under, where Mr Foster used to work, said on their return, the couple had intended to covert a van into a motorhome so that they could explore the European Alps for the next 12 months.

“Andy Foster was an inspirational member of the Up and Under family,” it said in a statement.

“His passion for the outdoors, and mountains in particular, was enormous and infectious.”

Mr Foster, who grew up in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, before attending Cardiff University, had gone onto work for clothing company Patagonia, where he was described as a “much-loved member” of the team.

Mr Foster’s death is the first fatality from a rock fall in the park in four years, according to the parks service.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We’re providing support and assistance to both families following this tragic event and remain in contact with local authorities.”

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