Patricia Stoops: Modesto rock climber dies while rappelling Yosemite’s Central Pillar of Frenzy. Cause of ‘accident’ remains unclear.
A California educator has become the latest fatality going rock climbing in Yosemite National Park after falling to her death last week.
Patricia ‘Trish’ Stoops, a 57-year-old teacher’s aide at Glick Middle School in Modesto, died during a rappelling accident on June 8 at the top of a busy rock-climbing line called the Central Pillar of Frenzy, the Modesto Bee reported.
Stoops’ older brother, Michael, wrote on a climbing forum that his sister died while rappelling in a group that included her boyfriend.
‘She had taken the lead to get the team down before dark and something, what exactly still isn’t clear, went horribly wrong,’ Michael Stoops wrote on Mountain Project. ‘She did not survive the fall, unfortunately. No one else was injured.’
A notice by Yosemite Climbing Management posted on the climbing website alerted other climbers of the fatal accident and warned that they may see blood on the route above.
Stoops, who worked with special-needs students, died from a blunt head injury she sustained during the fall, KCRA reported.
It remained unclear what the cause of the rappelling accident and if all safety procedures had been adhered to?
Friends and colleagues of Modesto teacher’s aide Patricia Stoops remember a woman who was an experienced climber and so much more. She lost her life doing what she loved. @FOX40 pic.twitter.com/R8jA5RR9Bq
— Sonseeahray Tonsall (@tonsalltv) June 18, 2019
Patricia Stoops remembered: ‘Doing what she loved.’
Stoops was remembered by colleagues for her zest for life and kind nature.
‘When you talk to her, she makes everyone feel like they matter, that they are significant,’ Jamey Olney told via KCRA. ‘She’s one of the few people that I know in our busy life that is completely present.’
Olney and Stoops founded an extracurricular program at the school called the HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere) Project that stressed the importance of public service. The group now plans to build a home in Stoops’ memory during a trip next month to Mexico, Olney said.
‘When she wasn’t working at the school, the outdoors was her home,’ Olney told KCRA.
‘She lived in her can and would travel around the country, and around the world, rock climbing and doing humanitarian projects.’