Internationally renowned Canadian climber, Anna Smith, 31, passed away unexpectedly over the weekend while on an expedition in the Indian Himalayas.
Smith and her climbing partner, Alison Criscitiello, had been granted the Mugs Stump Award for their plan to tackle the rigorous Brahmasar II.
Flooding in the area of Brahmasar II forced Anna and Cristcitiello to change their plans. They moved further North to try a climb in the Miyar Vally in the Himachal Pradesh provence.
While the exact cause is still under investigation, those closest to the story report she passed sometime during the night, in her tent at the advanced base camp (above 5,000 meters) on that mountain.
On their initial assent to advanced base camp, Smith experienced some altitude issues so the pair descended to a lower base camp. A few days later they returned to the advanced altitude, where this time Crisciteillo had some mild headaches, but Smith felt fit and strong.
The following morning Crisciteillo found Smith in her tent, but was unable to revive her. At this point, that is all that is known.
Left behind is the memory of a climber who had a great respect and passion for the mountains.
“The beauty of those places, and how blessed we are, that that’s a part of our lives, that we can reach out and access that — I think that’s fantastic.” – Anna Smith, 2015
The Canadian climber who had a penchant for “the high and wild places” was adored by all who knew her for her boisterous, contagious laugh.
Anna was from Canmore, Canada.
“She just had this joy.”
“”You’d be at a crag, and you’d hear that laughter and it was so distinct … you’d know instantly that she was around.” – Derek Cheng, close friend and fellow climber