It’s with a heavy heart and tears in our eyes that we create this tribute to Liz Daley (known as LizDee on our forums) who lost her life on Monday in an avalanche while working in South America.
How do you truly honor someone as special as Liz? With words? Impossible, words can’t describe the hole that’s been left in so many of the lives she touched. One thing I’ve learned over the years is to just speak from the heart so that’s what I’ll do.
Here’s the official statement from her sponsor Eddie Bauer.
We are deeply saddened to report that yesterday, an avalanche in the Fitz Roy Massif region outside of El Chaltén, Argentina, took the life of Liz Daley, a member of our Guide team.
Liz was on a ski mountaineering expedition with three other members of our snow sports team and two production crew members. The rest of the team is safe.
Liz was an accomplished splitboarder, alpine climber and mountain guide who was born and raised in Washington. She was a beloved member of our snow sports team and will be sorely missed by all those who knew her.
I first met Liz when she posted her first Trip Report on our forum in November of 2010. You can see that post here.
I remember thinking “wow, this chick gets after it!” and she did. She continued to get after it, sharing awe-inspiring report after report over the years. You can see ALL of her posts here, they’re worth a look I promise.
You could tell Liz really loved what she was doing and had a bright future ahead of her. Over the next several years it was a pleasure watching her career and success grow. It seemed as if every year life just got better and better for her…and she deserved it all. I remember seeing many of her adventures and thinking, “she’s gnarly…I could’t do that!”
While I never had the opportunity to meet Liz in person it felt as if I knew her due to how active she was on social media and through the TRs she posted here. Looking on social media in the days following this horrible accident it’s amazing to see how many lives she touched during her short time on this planet. Someone said that she lived a dozen lives in just a quarter of one and I agree. While her life was cut short, she lived life to the fullest (and then some) while she was with us. She inspired us.
Aside from being an amazing athlete she also had an infectious smile that seemed to sum up her philosophy on life. She had all the qualities you’d want in a friend and backcountry partner. Liz was talented, motivated, educated, funny, and beautiful. She was a splitboard icon and legend in our sport. Through the wonders of the internet and the Teton Gravity Research Forums, I had the opportunity to ski with her boyfriend Davide many years ago and was excited to hear about their recent engagement. They were truly perfect for each other.
To capture the essence of Liz Daley, the first thing that comes to mind for many of us is her incredibly brilliant and heart-warming smile. Out of all the beautiful and unique things she provided this world, the most precious are the tenderness and feeling of serenity that her presence provided each and every one us. I’ve heard so many people describe how deeply she touched and inspired them even if they had only met once. This fact, and the deep and unbreakable bonds she has developed with her friends and loved ones is a testament to her truly remarkable ability to spread love on this planet and share her incredible passion for life and the mountains. She was a true Angel.
To those that knew her more intimately, her passing has provided an extraordinary challenge to us yet an opportunity to appreciate her magnificence as a person and reflect on the gifts she has given us during her time with us. Liz was blessed with an uncanny natural ability to brighten the darkest times, provide warmth in the coldest of places, and offer her seemingly endless supply of unconditional love and support for everyone around her.
Liz always valued family strongly and has provided remarkable support to her family during times of need. She was a pillar of stability and a beacon of light in a world that can often be unstable or dark. I know that her devotion to her family will be reflected during this challenging time and the strong bonds she built will only strengthen over time as her memory lives on in our hearts.
My life intersected hers in Bellingham, Washington where we both attended school many years ago. Her unimaginable zest for life and pure sense of adventure were so incredibly important in bringing us together. We were able to share and develop our skills in the mountains together over the years as we lived in Washington, Utah, and finally Chamonix. From the very beginning Liz demonstrated her passion and stoke with eternal commitment and natural tenacity. I knew that she was in this for life. As our love for each other grew over many unforgettable adventures all over the world, it became clear to me that she was here on this planet to inspire others and share her unique brand of passion for life and the mountains. That unmistakable Liz Daley touch was always there–from those crazy days playing kickball to a desperate snow cave on Denali.
For those who worked with her as a guide and had the opportunity to journey into the wild with her, it was so clearly obvious that she was following her calling. She was at ease with people in the mountains and her sense of peace and belonging was projected to everyone she came into the contact with. Over the last few years I’ve heard so much touching feedback from her former clients, partners, and colleagues describing how she positively impacted many lives in such short amount of time. Her blossoming career as a guide was defined by her conservative approach to the mountains and her desire to come back at the end of the day. She took this mentality to heart as she shared places of indescribable beauty with her friends as well as complete strangers.
Living without Liz will be a massive challenge for all of us. I asked her to be my wife just over two months ago (the pictures I have posted are from shortly after I asked her) with the intention of spending a long life together and supporting her unconditionally in her endeavors to spread her love and happiness in wild places. Though our time was cut short, the lessons and gifts she showered us with will be indelibly etched into our souls. If there is one thing that I am sure of during this unimaginably difficult time, it’s that Liz would want us to cherish one another, follow our hearts, and pursue our passions to the ends of the earth.
I love you so much Liz and we will never forget you. Your legacy will live on in all of us. I also can’t tell you all how thankful I am of your unwavering support. I can’t wait to see you all soon.
Davide De Masi
Most recently Liz and I communicated through email a couple weeks ago about becoming an official contributor to splitboard.com which we were both excited about. She loved the site and our community which is a nice testament to you all. Here’s some of what she had to say.
I’ve always loved posting on your site, everyone is always so stoked and there are no trolls, just positive vibes.
I was honored and stoked that Liz loved coming here and sharing her adventures with us. I had no doubt that someday we’d share a skintrack and beer together. I can only hope that if there is an afterlife we’ll get to do just that. I’ll try to keep up with you Liz!
Our deepest condolences go out to her family, fiancé Davide, and all of her friends. It’s impossible to image what you’re going through but hopefully this post can help you in some way. If there is anything that I or the community can do for you please do not hesitate to let me know.
We will never forget you Liz Daley or the mark you left in the splitboard community.
Here’s a tribute thread for Liz started by one of our forum members, Taylor. Rider down – news reports Liz Daley killed in avalanche
And some of the stoke Liz shared with us over the years (some of her videos too)!