— The Times of London (@thetimes) September 30, 2017
Andrew Foster, the 32-year-old British climber killed by a rock fall in Yosemite last week, is being hailed as a hero for saving his wife by shielding her with his own body. Foster’s wife, Lucy Foster, says her husband dove on top of her to protect her from falling blocks weighing thousands of pounds each. She was seriously injured and subsequently hospitalized. But her husband’s efforts apparently spared her life when 1,300 tons of granite fell from El Capitan’s southeast face.
“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,” Foster, 28, reportedly told family members after the accident.
The couple were at the base of the monolith in Yosemite National Park scouting a route to climb under blue skies and glorious fall conditions. It was a date: the climb was how they chose to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.
The two were in the midst of extensive travels around Europe and North America to climb, kayak, snorkel, and ski. They documented their adventures on their blog, Cam and Bear. When the couple got engaged, Lucy gave Andrew a new pair of skis, according to a post on Andrew’s Facebook page.
Another post details Andrew marriage proposal to Lucy on the Aiguille du Midi, part of the cluster of peaks surrounding Mont Blanc in the French Alps.
“We are a young married couple who enjoy nothing more than getting out and having adventures in the mountains together,” they wrote on the About page. “We are not extreme athletes and describe ourselves simply as passionate weekend warriors. While our blog is just a log of what we have done we do hope that it will inspire other people to get out and experience the natural world.”
Following the North American leg of their journey, they planned to return to Europe, buy a van and explore the Alps for a year. Andrew worked in the outdoor industry and left a big impact at an outdoor gear shop in Cardiff, United Kingdom where he used to work.
“His passion for the outdoors, and mountains in particular, was enormous and infectious,” wrote the shop, Up and Under, in a statement lamenting the loss of their departed friend. “Andy was highly respected, loved and his loss will be sorely felt by us all. Our thoughts are with Lucy and his family.”
Lucy Foster reportedly suffered two broken ribs and a punctured lung but is expected to recover.