June 19th, 2018

Family identifies climber who died after fall in Banff National Park

By The Canadian Press on June 11, 2018.

Matt Snell is seen in this undated handout photo. A 26-year old man from Banff who died climbing Friday afternoon has been identified by his family as Matt Snell. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Snell Family *MANDATORY CREDIT*

BANFF, Alta. – A 26-year old man who died while climbing in Banff National Park last week has been identified by his family as Matt Snell, a budding photographer who loved the mountains.

Sandra and Dwayne Snell said in a Facebook post that their son moved to Banff from Ontario in early 2017.

“Spring 2014 was the first time Matthew … came to Alberta,” said the post. “His first experience was working for Parks Alberta Elkwater Interprovincial Park.

“He was amazed by the beauty of the vast landscape.”

Although he went back to Ontario at the end of summer, he could hardly wait to return to Alberta, they said.

He returned the following summer and started his photography career.

“His imagery captured the beauty of the hills, prairies, sunsets and so much more,” said his parents.

Snell moved to Banff in January 2017 when he got a permanent job with Parks Canada.

“He had been to these mountains many times but now could wake up to them every morning,” they wrote. “And that he did – often rising so early he could climb a summit to catch the sunrise.

“Then off to work for the day and back to a lake where he could capture the sunrise, the aurora, the stars so bright.”

They said he enjoyed backcountry hikes, camping, skiing, scrambling, kayaking and climbing.

Police said Snell stumbled and fell about 25 to 40 metres while he was climbing a Tunnel Mountain rock face known as Le Soulier, or The Shoe, on Friday.

His parents said they want to call the mountain a beast for taking their son.

“But we can’t – Matthew loved these mountains,” they wrote. “He was in his element and now he is truly part of that element.”

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