On Aug. 4, Ken Anderson was leading the fourth-pitch of Parallel Passages when a hold broke and he took a long fall. Anderson, 33 and originally from Surrey, suffered serious injuries and died later that day. He’d previously free-soloed the 300-metre 5.10b/c and was out for a morning lap of the route with his girlfriend, Gisely Ferraz.

Ferraz spoke to Rock and Ice after the accident and said, “Ken was partway up the pitch when a handhold broke, and he fell. He had not placed any protection on the previous section—it was easy climbing, and terrain he had previously soloed no less.” Anderson fell about 25 metres and struck a number of ledges. Ferraz climbed up to Anderson and waited for the search and rescue, which was called by another climber on The Chief.

Another woman had rappelled down to assist, and with Ferraz, they lowered Anderson to a ledge where the helicopter could long-line him off the mountain. “He died in my arms,” Ferraz told Rock and Ice. For more on Anderson visit Rock and Ice here. Our condolences to Anderson’s friends and family.

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Ken was a friend, a guide and a mentor to so many in our community. He was an inspiration and his passion for climbing was contagious. We are so grateful to have had the chance to know him. This is a tragic loss for the Squamish community and the climbing community as a whole. We are holding space for his family, friends as they process this difficult event. We are also beholden to all of the hard work and efforts of the climbers who were near by as well as the entire Squamish Search and Rescue team who coordinated the rescue from the air and from the ground. Your energy and commitment have not gone unnoticed. Next Wednesday at 7PM Ground Up will be hosting a session with Jody Radtke, of In Nature counselling, to help those in our community who are looking to understand how to hold space and how to process the grief of trauma and tragedy. All are welcome, no daypass or membership required for this session. More information can be found on our Facebook page. Photo by @teacozydp

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