An accomplished climber, mountaineer and backpacker, Kristen was nearing
completion of an undergraduate degree at Northern Arizona University,
Flagstaff, in Parks and Recreation Management. She had excelled in a
rigorous, field-based outdoor leadership curriculum required for her degree and was a respected backpacking guide for the university’s outings program, NAU Outdoors. Kristen planned on becoming a wilderness guide after graduating and, according to her on-line resume, wanted to “teach and inspire children to enjoy the outdoors as much as I do.
The young, three member expedition was attempting to summit the
glacier-covered, 20,000-foot-tall Artesonraju mountain in the Andes’
Cordillera Blanca range. After reported missing, a search crew found the
bodies of the Yoder siblings and Larson at the bottom of a 100-foot deep
crevasse. Anecdotal reports from a Swiss climbing party indicate protection failure and/or an avalanche may have caused the three to fall while roped up and climbing an ice wall at 17,000 feet elevation.
“Kristen was a true outdoor explorer,” said chair of NAU’s Parks and
Recreation program Pam Foti. “She was so energetic and filled with life. Her enthusiasm was an inspiration to her fellow students.
A scholarship has been established in Kristen Yoder’s memory to help students in NAU’s Parks and Recreation program who want to become outdoor leaders. To contribute to the fund, make checks payable to “Yoder Outdoor Leader
Scholarship”; mail to Yoder Outdoor Leader Scholarship, Northern Arizona
University, PO Box 4094, Flagstaff, AZ 86011. For more information contact
Backpacker Southwest Editor Annette McGivney, firstname.lastname@example.org.