SFGate just published the tragic story of 26-year old Stanford medical student, Maria Birukova. She was an avid mountain climber, but slipped and fell to her death traversing Bear Creek Spire in Inyo National Forest, just southeast of Yosemite.
Maria was an accomplished and respected academic with an undergraduate degree from Yale. She was finding success at Stanford and would likely have had a wonderful career. There’s no way to know how many lives she may have saved.
It’s a sad death for those she left behind, but she died on an adventure, a rare and beautiful thing.
The comments section of the story aren’t too bad now, but I imagine they will fill with the smug words of the sedentary. People who will never do anything. People who will never understand that mountains take lives, but give us heroes.
You can’t do anything for these people. They’ll never feel the urge to explore and challenge themselves at that level. I feel worse for the people who prefer comfort to experience than I do for the bright human who died on those high walls. It seems like she was really going for it in life and that should be celebrated.
I hope those who knew her find comfort. I hope we can all follow her example and live an adventurous incarnation.