American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Earlyn Dean, 1939-2002

  • In Memoriam
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2003

Earlyn Dean 1939-2002

Earlyn Dean died in her sleep at her winter home in Singer Island, Florida on March 31. Raised in Edmonton and Toronto, Earlyn spent most of her adult life in New York, New Jersey, and Vermont, where she was a part-owner of manufacturing businesses. She retired on January 1, 2002. In recent years she traveled extensively, including a climbing expedition to Tierra del Fuego with Olaf Sööt.

An AAC member since 1971, Earlyn will best be remembered as an indefatigable volunteer for the Club and the New York Section. Among the projects she organized and undertook was the cumulative index of the American Alpine Journal from 1929-1976, an immense and time- consuming undertaking. Each year without fail, we in the New York Section could always rely on her willingness to get up early on Sunday morning and make pancakes for a bunch of hungry climbers at our Annual Section Outing at the Ausable Club in Keene Valley.

Earlyn’s climbing extended back into the 1960s: hence she knew and climbed with many of the legendary figures of Eastern climbing during those colorful decades. It was therefore appropriate that she wrote the AAJ obituaries for such Eastern luminaries as Ed Nester and Chuck Loucks, both of whom died in climbing accidents. She was part of the support team when Ted Church, her former husband and business partner, did the first ascent of the east ridge of Mount Sir Sandford in the Selkirks in 1968.

Philip Erard, AAC

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