CLIMBER ‘DIED SAV­ING HIS WIFE’

Wales On Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - PRESS AS­SO­CI­A­TION news­desk@waleson­line.co.uk

AROCK climber crushed to death when 1,000 tonnes of rock fell at Yosemite Na­tional Park hero­ically dived on top of his wife to save her life.

An­drew Fos­ter, 32, was trapped when a huge sheet of gran­ite fell from the face of the El Cap­i­tan mono­lith on Wed­nes­day.

Mr Fos­ter and his wife Lucy, from Cardiff, are be­lieved to have been scout­ing out the as­cent from a trail when a “sheet” of gran­ite around 40m by 20m plum­meted from a height of 200m.

Mrs Fos­ter spoke to her hus­band’s aunt and said she was only alive be­cause An­drew jumped to save her.

Gil­lian Stephens told the Times: “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’.”

The cou­ple 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.”

He had pro­posed to his wife, who is orig­i­nally from Shrop­shire, dur­ing a ski­ing hol­i­day in the Alps in 2015 and they mar­ried the fol­low­ing year.

Mr Fos­ter, who grew up in Chel­tenham, Glouces­ter­shire, be­fore at­tend­ing Cardiff Univer­sity, worked for cloth­ing com­pany Patag­o­nia and was pre­vi­ously em­ployed by out­door store Up and Un­der.

Staff at the Cardiff-based shop said in a statement: “Andy Fos­ter was an in­spi­ra­tional mem­ber of the Up and Un­der fam­ily.

“He was a highly re­garded mem­ber of staff for five years, be­fore he took a job with Patag­o­nia.

“He re­mained a ded­i­cated friend of Up and Un­der, and was reg­u­larly to be found in the store. His pas­sion for the out­doors, and moun­tains in par­tic­u­lar, was enor­mous and in­fec­tious.

“Andy and Lucy’s in­ten­tions upon re­turn­ing from Yosemite were, with the help of Andy’s fa­ther, to covert a van into a mo­torhome to en­able them to ex­plore the Euro­pean Alps for the next 12 months.

“It was then our hope that Andy would re­turn to Up and Un­der in a part-time con­sul­ta­tive role while he also chased other am­bi­tions.

“Andy was highly re­spected and loved and his loss will be sorely felt by us all.

“Our thoughts are with Lucy and his fam­ily.”

Friend Jess Spate wrote on Face­book said: “Rest in peace An­drew Fos­ter. Al­ways cheer­ful, never a mean word to say about any­one, up for any­thing, any time.

“Never so much as a cross word, even when he must have been as cold and tired as it’s pos­si­ble to be while still walk­ing.

“There’s no­body I’d rather climb a rapidly thaw­ing frozen wa­ter­fall with at 2am on a work night.

“No­body bet­ter to play hang­man with at mid­night in Cardiff City Hall... No­body bet­ter to be top­ping out of a moun­tain route with when the weather turned.”

WALES NEWS SER­VICE

An­drew Fos­ter, 32, was killed in a rock fall which also se­ri­ously in­jured his 28-year-old wife Lucy

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