Californian Teacher Died Climbing in Yosemite National Park, CA When Something Went ‘Horribly Wrong’

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Patricia Stoops, 57. Credit: Jamey Johnson-Olney

A special-needs teacher and philanthropist from California died in Yosemite National Park earlier this month while rock climbing, when something went “horribly wrong”. Patricia ‘Trish’ Stoops, 57, was with a team of climbers when she attempted to lead the group from the Central Pillar of Frenzy, a favorite spot for rock-climbing lines at the park, just before sunset, reports Yahoo.

But according to her brother, Michael Stoops, Patricia died of blunt force trauma to the head in an accident as she rappeled from the area.

“All I know thus far is that it was indeed a rappelling accident. She had taken the lead to get the team down before dark and something, what exactly still isn’t clear, went horribly wrong,” Michael wrote on the Climbing Project, an online forum for climbers. “She did not survive the fall, unfortunately. No one else was injured,” he continued. “I’ve spoken to her boyfriend who was present at the time. He’s still not sure just what happened.”

Stoops was a teacher’s aide at Glick Middle School in Modesto. Her friend Jamey Olney, also a Glick teacher, wrote a loving Facebook post calling her “brave, brash, funny, smart, and loved everyone she came in contact with.” He added, “She was a living, breathing example of a life lived abundantly and joyfully.”

Olney and Trish, who gave up a lucrative career as an architect to build houses for Habitat for Humanity, co-founded The H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Everywhere) Project to take their students on service trips and encourage kindness. They distributed meals to people affected by last year’s Camp Fire in Paradise, California, and will take a July 26th trip to Mexico to build a home for a need-based family.

“I’d like to thank our friends and family and especially the climbing community for your support of this project. We are going to see this project to completion and honor the life and legacy of an angel here on earth,” he said.

Trish was so respected in the climbing community that a route in Arizona will be retitled in her name.

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