2008.08.13: August 13, 2008: Headlines: COS - Mali: Obituaries: Sports: Mountaineering: Oregon Live: Mali RPCV Andrea (Andy) Basque had a passion for adventure

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Mali: Peace Corps Mali : Peace Corps Mali: Newest Stories: 2008.08.12: August 12, 2008: Headlines: COS - Mali: Obituaries: San Diego: Obituary for Mali RPCV Andrea (Andy) Basque : 2008.08.13: August 13, 2008: Headlines: COS - Mali: Obituaries: Sports: Mountaineering: Oregon Live: Mali RPCV Andrea (Andy) Basque had a passion for adventure

By Admin1 (admin) (76.200.219.37) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 2:45 pm: Edit Post

Mali RPCV Andrea (Andy) Basque had a passion for adventure

Mali RPCV Andrea (Andy) Basque  had a passion for adventure

A month after Jeff Gamer started dating Andrea "Andy" Basque, she told him she was going on a four-month trip that included river rafting in India and trekking in Nepal. A few months later, Basque headed to Mali in western Africa for a 27-month Peace Corps commitment. So when Basque proposed marriage toward the end of her volunteer stint, Gamer was cautious. He wanted to know if she had any other goals. "I didn't know if I could take any more," Gamer said. As a matter of fact, Basque said she always wanted to hike the length of the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada. That's how the couple spent their honeymoon in the summer of 1995. In their 17 years together filled with life-changing experiences, Basque was a careful, skilled climber, hiker and adventurer, Gamer said. So he struggles with her death last week falling on a relatively easy approach to a peak in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness near Leavenworth, Wash.

Mali RPCV Andrea (Andy) Basque had a passion for adventure

Climber had a passion for adventure
Andrea Basque - The Oregon woman also had hiked and rafted around the world

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

DAVID R. ANDERSON
The Oregonian Staff

A month after Jeff Gamer started dating Andrea "Andy" Basque, she told him she was going on a four-month trip that included river rafting in India and trekking in Nepal.

A few months later, Basque headed to Mali in western Africa for a 27-month Peace Corps commitment.

So when Basque proposed marriage toward the end of her volunteer stint, Gamer was cautious. He wanted to know if she had any other goals.

"I didn't know if I could take any more," Gamer said.

As a matter of fact, Basque said she always wanted to hike the length of the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada.

That's how the couple spent their honeymoon in the summer of 1995.

In their 17 years together filled with life-changing experiences, Basque was a careful, skilled climber, hiker and adventurer, Gamer said. So he struggles with her death last week falling on a relatively easy approach to a peak in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness near Leavenworth, Wash.

Basque, 45, had worked at Intel and Northwest Pipe Co. as a software analyst. But she was best known in the climbing community. She was on the board of directors for the Pacific Crest Trail Association. She and Gamer joined the Mazamas, a local mountaineering club, in 2002. The couple had a goal of donating 100 hours each year to the group, much of it teaching rock climbing and mountaineering classes.

Mike Holman, a Mazamas climb leader and instructor, remembers Basque as the best student among the 45 in his intermediate climbing class in late 2002.

Holman recalls a climb of Mount Logan in the North Cascades several years ago. He and Basque were among 12 experienced climbers who came to a particularly difficult rock section. As the others scratched their heads, Basque was 20 feet up the climb. It was the same attitude -- head-on without a lot of fanfare -- that she approached life.

"I'm not using hyperbole, but she brought light into everyone's life when she was around," Holman said.

Holman and Gamer are still trying to make sense of Basque's death. She successfully climbed the same route Aug. 2 with Gamer and two other friends.

Last week, a Portland friend, Jason Halsey, said his plans for a climb in Mongolia had fallen through and he was looking for adventure. Basque suggested Dragontail Peak.

Halsey later told Gamer that he and Basque were at the foot of the mountain Thursday morning, not even to the first of the 15 difficult climbing pitches up Backbone Ridge. They faced a 6-foot boulder, what Gamer describes as a wrinkle in the granite. Basque was wearing a helmet, but Halsey asked if she wanted to rope up.

Basque looked at him with a smile that said, "I can climb this."

But as she stepped up with her left foot, Basque lost her grip with her right hand, Gamer said. The weight of her backpack pulled her back and she cartwheeled down a 20-degree slope before going over the edge. She fell nearly 300 feet.

Gamer is planning a memorial 2 p.m. Saturday at the World Forestry Center.

At 45, Basque seemed to have her life in order. Her Cedar Mill house and garden were just the way she wanted them. The estate of her father, who died in 2004, was finally put in order. Her mother, who has Alzheimer's disease, moved from Southern California to Portland and was living comfortably in assisted living.

Gamer said he's not a churchgoer. But if there is a greater being, it seemed as though he had other plans for Basque.

"It's almost like he said, 'You're done here, I have work for you elsewhere,' " he said.



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Story Source: Oregon Live

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Mali; Obituaries; Sports; Mountaineering

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