WSJ reporter Ybarra dies in fall at Yosemite
by Chris Roush
Michael J. Ybarra, an extreme-sports correspondent for The Wall Street Journal‘s Leisure & Arts page, died this weekend on a recreational climb of the Sawtooth Ridge, a rugged area near Yosemite National Park. He was 45.
Larry Gordon of the Los Angeles Times writes, “In a statement, the Wall Street Journal described Ybarra as ‘an extraordinary journalist. In the best traditions of his profession he enlightened and engaged readers on a wide array of topics in clear, vivid prose.’
“His Journal column often described his own exploits and travels, such as a recent white-water kayaking trip: ‘When I’m on a whitewater run, I often feel like a pinball: shooting downstream, bumping off rocks, wildly paddling through waves to keep from being capsized. The potential for disaster seems to be everywhere.’
“Last year, Ybarra described in a Journal column how he fell — but was not hurt — during a icy mountain climb. ’Climbing in the mountains is serious business. Mistakes carry consequences — for yourself and your partner. At night I lay awake wondering if I should just go back to gym climbing or find a more sensible sports, such as table tennis,’ he wrote.”
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