GARDINER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Friends and family are mourning a Brooklyn woman after she fell to her death while rock climbing in Ulster County.

On Sunday afternoon, Lauren Sobel was climbing in the area of the Trapps Trailhead at Mohonk Mountain Preserve in Gardiner, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.

New York State Police said the 25-year-old was the lead climber in a group of three. She was 70 feet up the rock face setting protection gear in the rocks when she lost her grip and fell about 50 feet.

Sobel was pronounced dead at the scene.

Friends and neighbors who showed up to her Brooklyn apartment building on Monday were in disbelief over the deadly fall.

“Lauren was a light to everyone who knew her. She was really just the brightest person in the room. Everyone gravitated toward her,” friend Tom O’Connell said. “And anyone who knew her loved her.”

Sobel is described as a woman who loved to give back.

She was an avid climber with two different groups — Crux Climbing, a group expanding access to rock climbing for the LGBTQ community, and Adaptive Climbing Group of New York, where she volunteered and helped people with disabilities to climb.

“She also climbed with individuals with disabilities to help with their therapy,” O’Connell said.

Sobel was a municipal bond analyst at Bank of America for three years, and was recognized by the company with an award for her volunteerism.

Logan Faust met Sobel in New Orleans. They both lived there before moving to New York. He said she was adventure personified and in addition to rock climbing and volunteering, “She also adopted 30 cactuses in the last month, because she wanted to care for something. And a while back we both got really into making craft cocktails together or baking pies from scratch.”

He said more than anything, she loved connecting with people.

And in her honor hopes others will do the same.

“Connect with people. Be brave. Be an adventure,” Faust said.

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Comments (2)
  1. J.B. Books says:

    Sometime stuff happens. Who pays for this investigation?

  2. Mitchell Edelstein says:

    Rock climbing at Mohonk Preserve is not climbing Everest. An investigation should be held and a report should be publicized about what went wrong. No one should die rock climbing at Mohonk.

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