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New York City woman dies in Gardiner rock climbing accident

A 25-year-old New York woman has died after falling 50 feet while rock climbing with two friends over the weekend. 

Lauren Sobel, who lived in Brooklyn, had been climbing in the area of the Trapps Trailhead at the Mohonk Mountain Preserve in Gardiner, about 60 miles north of New York City, on Sunday afternoon. 

New York State Police said Sobel was the lead climber in a group of three at the time.  

Sobel had been setting up protection gear in the rocks about 70 feet up the rock face when she lost her grip. 

Police said the young woman fell approximately 50 feet. 

She was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Sobel, who was originally from Louisiana, had worked as a bond analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. 

Her father David Sobel told the New York Post that she was a certified and experienced climber who had previously climbed in Brazil and Mexico.  

He said that at the time of the accident, his daughter had taken three different safety measures but they all failed.  

‘She was three feet above her hook and she was going to put another one in and that’s when she fell and apparently there were three different safety measures taken and all three failed,’ he said. 

He said his daughter developed a love of climbing after helping amputee military veterans learn to climb at indoor climbing centers. 

‘She did that before she even knew how to rock climb because she believed in the cause,’ he said. 

‘And from that, her interest developed and she became an avid rock climber.’ 

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