Two Alberta climbers in Mt. Andromeda avalanche died doing what they loved

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Two Alberta climbers who perished in an avalanche at Mount Andromeda at the Columbia Icefield on Sunday died doing what they loved, their partners say.

A Gofundme and multiple posts on social media identify the men as Andrew Abel and Nathaniel Johnson, who were best friends. They liked climbing mountains with people they cared about and enjoyed the challenge.

The mountains held a special place in Abel’s heart throughout his life, his wife Brinnae Erb-Abel wrote in a public Facebook post on Monday. He was a mountain guide and spent every free moment climbing and sharing that passion with others.

“While my heart is broken at the loss of my best friend, partner, and husband, I am taking solace in the knowledge that Andrew was pursuing what he loved and doing so with someone he loved so there is nothing more I could have asked for,” she wrote.

“So grateful and humbled by the outpouring of support these past few hours, to those who reported the avalanche to Jasper search and rescue, and to the numerous first responders who worked tirelessly to support recovery efforts.”

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Hannah Christiane said Johnson, her fiancé, loved the mountains and going on adventures.

“Nate always joked around saying that ‘I’m here for a good time, not a long time’… It feels so right that he was doing a mountaineering project with his closest and most trusted friend,” she wrote in a public Facebook post.

“I’m so lucky and blessed that I got to have Nate in my life for 8 years, he was my best friend and absolutely perfect for me. My heart is buried under the snow.”

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By 1:30 p.m., the fundraiser for “paying off student loans and reordering life in the wake of this tragedy” had raised nearly $17,000.

More to come…

lboothby@postmedia.com

@laurby

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