Brad Parker, a 36-year-old veteran rock climber and Sebastopol resident, died from a fall while climbing alone in the Tuolumne Meadows area of Yosemite National Park on Saturday — the same day he had proposed to his girlfriend.
Parker, a world traveler who had been climbing since he graduated from Montgomery High School in 1996, had completed a climb to the summit of Cathedral Peak with his girlfriend, Jainee Dial, and she had accepted his marriage proposal, said the climber’s uncle, Kit Kersch, of Santa Rosa.
“This is the happiest day of my life,” Parker told Dial, according to his uncle.
The couple separated, as Parker headed off by himself to climb along Matthes Crest, a well-known feature in the same area of the park.
Other climbers saw Parker fall about 5:45 p.m., Yosemite Park Ranger Kari Cobb said. He was climbing alone and without ropes on the granite crest, an established route, known as a “traverse” for the lateral direction of the climb, that is not considered difficult, Cobb said.
The website Backpacker.com describes the crest as “a dramatic fin of rock” with features that “make for ladder-like, easily protected climbing.”
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