Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Remembering our Friend and Colleague Liz Daley

In the saddest news we have had in many years, the Institute team of guides and administrators learned that AAI guide Liz Daley died in an avalanche in Patagonia on Monday, September 29.

A selfie taken by Liz while guiding on Mt. Shuksan
There are no details on the accident available yet, but we know she was snowboarding on the slopes above Laguna del Desierto about 15 miles north of Fitzroy and Cerro Torre in southern Argentine Patagonia.  When she last wrote she said the weather and conditions were both great.

Liz stands out from among many exceptional people in the guiding and pro-athlete world. She was an outstanding guide.  She was conservative, protective of her clients and her friends, and thoroughness and excellence characterized her teaching. 

Her client care and client coaching skills were superb.   All her clients loved their time with Liz.  More often than not they said that their experience with Liz was one of the greatest experiences of their life.  Those statements speak volumes about Liz’s enthusiasm and her dedication to the good experiences of others.

Liz guided mountaineering, ice climbing, and backcountry splitboarding in the North Cascades of Washington; rock climbing in Red Rock, Nevada; and expeditions on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.   She was a sponsored athlete for Patagonia, Jones Snowboards, and most recently for Eddie Bauer for whom she was on assignment in Patagonia.  She pursued extreme splitboarding in the North Cascades, in Alaska, and in Chamonix, France, where she spend part of every winter.

Liz was regarded as America’s top extreme splitboarder for her spectacular descents in the Cascades, Alaska, and the European Alps. She was highly skilled as a guide, and her background included Avalanche Training AIARE Level 1 & 2 and certification as an Emergency Medical Technician.   

Her death in an avalanche is felt as especially tragic because she was so willing to give up a potential “killer descent” when there were indicators of instability in the snowpack. She sought extreme challenges but she never sought risk.
Liz with her fiancĂ©e Davide

Liz leaves behind thousands of friends and acquaintances who could not help but be touched and cheered by her joy for life, enthusiasm for other people’s adventures, and clear insights into leading a thoughtful and caring life.

We will miss her leading splitboard clinics and descents in Washington this winter, her guiding Denali once or twice in the spring, and her guiding alpine routes in the North Cascades next summer.  We will miss her every season.


– Dunham Gooding




1 comment:

suburbanmountaineer said...

This is horrible news. Liz was one of those climbers and guides that freely shared her adventures and we read, listened and watched for the next thrill or blissful moment in the mountains. She'll be missed.