New York woman, 25, falls to her death while rock climbing
Written by kslmadmin on August 10, 2020
A 25-year-old Brooklyn woman fell to her death while rock climbing near New Paltz, police said Monday.
Lauren Sobel was leading two other climbers at the Mohonk Mountain Preserve around 3:30 p.m. Sunday when she lost her grip while trying to set protective gear about 70 feet up the rock face, according to New York State Police.
Sobel fell 50 feet and died at the scene, cops said.
Her dad, David Sobel, told The Post of the accident, “She was the lead, which means she’s on top.”
“She was three feet above her hook and she was going to put another one in and that’s when she fell and apparently there were three different safety measures taken and all three failed,” David explained, adding that Lauren was certified and trained to lead this type of climb.
She was on vacation climbing with two friends at the time, the dad said.
The 59-year-old father described Sobel as an adventurer and who loved the sport so much that she even climbed in Brazil and Mexico.
David said his daughter picked up the hobby after helping amputee military veterans learn how to climb at indoor facilities.
Lauren, a municipal bond analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, “donated her time to helping military veterans who had amputated limbs learn to rock climb and she did that before she even knew how to rock climb because she believed in the cause,” David said while choking back tears.
“And from that, her interest developed and she became an avid rock climber,” he said.
Lauren even won an award through Bank of America for her hours of charity work with the veterans, David said.
David said Lauren climbed frequently whenever she had free time.
“She had a job but she would try to find the opportunity to rock climb when she could,” he said.
Lauren wasn’t married or in a relationship, David said. She had an older sister and loved her sister’s 5-year-old son “a whole lot,” David said.
David said Lauren was “extremely energetic. She was always doing something.”
David recalled his daughter’s determination and adventurous spirit, remembering in her teenage years when she asked to go to France. David told her she would have to become fluent in French and get straight A’s in school before he would sponsor her trip there.
By the time Lauren was 17, she had won the state French convention and was given a free trip to study at the University of Saint Ann Nova Scotia for the summer of 2011. So David said he let her go to France the next summer.
“It made it very hard to tell her she can’t go away after she won all that,” David recalled fondly.
“She was fluent in multiple languages. Pretty much all self-taught. She just had an aptitude for it,” David said.
“So that’s what I meant by an adventurer, at a very early age she was begging to go places and do things.”
“The girl grew up in Alexandria, Louisiana. Taking off and going to New York City by herself and getting a really good job at Bank of America as an analyst — a lot of people in the hometown would call that an adventure.”
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