Elizabeth Tyler Strandberg ran marathons and climbed mountains.
The North Carolina native died Saturday while climbing Teewinot in Grand Teton National Park.
Strandberg called North Carolina home until 2009. She was born in Rocky Mount on Aug. 26, 1986, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. An active lifestyle and a love of the mountains brought her to Jackson Hole, where she put her degree to use as a resident counselor at C-Bar-V Ranch.
Friends and family members remember her passion and determination to change people’s lives for the better. She was ambitious, active and goal-oriented, always willing to push her limits and encouraging others to do the same.
“Tyler inspired all of those around her with her mental and physical toughness,” an obituary in the Rocky Mount Telegram reported. “She ran, skied, biked and hiked nearly all of the terrain and jagged peaks of the Teton Mountain Range, rarely embarking on an adventure without the steadfast and loyal companionship of her beloved pug-Labrador mix, Milly.”
Strandberg’s Facebook page includes photos of her running through the mountains and skiing in the backcountry with her dog. Her smile was always wide.
The mountains, her friends recalled, were where Strandberg felt most at home. She found solitude there and was always looking for new adventures.
She didn’t need much, friends said, just a friend or two, mountains, and her furry best friend.
“Those who had the privilege of knowing Tyler knew her grace, humor, elegance, selflessness and mental and physical fortitude embodied by her,” friend Will Field said. “She left us while challenging the elements and pushing herself further along in her lofty and transcendent pursuit.”
Her enthusiasm was contagious, friends recalled.
“Her laughter was contagious, unforgettable and heard often,” the obituary said. “She didn’t know a stranger, saw the best in everyone and was a loyal, devoted friend to many. With her courageous nature and soul, she embodied her favorite line from a song: ‘I’d rather be a sparrow than a snail.’”
When she wasn’t in the backcountry or working with the kids at C-Bar-V, Strandberg loved to knit.
Strandberg was killed in a fall on Teewinot Mountain on Saturday, along with companion Catherine Nix. The two were attempting to ascend the East Face with their friend Rebecca Anderson, 26, but are believed to have wandered away from the route. They were not using ropes.
Strandberg is survived by her mother Beth Gardner Strandberg, her father, Buckley Strandberg, her sisters Josie Strandberg and Blair Strandberg (Buch) Tomlinson, and her canine companion, Milly.
Strandberg would have turned 29 today.
A memorial service will be held in her hometown at 11 a.m. Thursday.
Memorial contributions in Strandberg’s honor may be made to C-Bar-V Ranch, P.O. Box 899, Wilson, WY 83014.