Brad Parker died on the happiest day of his life. The avid rock climber died just hours after proposing to his girlfriend. Parker's girlfriend had accepted the marriage proposal during a climb on Cathedral Peak in Yosemite. Later in the afternoon, Parker went on a solo climb on Matthes Crest, a ridge of upturned rock which is only about three miles from Cathedral Peak in Yosemite, reported the Santa Rosa Press Democrat on Aug. 18. During his climb, he fell 300 feet.
On Saturday, Parker and his girlfriend, Jainee Dial, had climbed the summit of Cathedral Peak together where he proposed marriage to her. After saying “yes,” the couple descended the peak, and the 36-year-old veteran rock climber told his dad that this was the happiest day of his life.
After his graduation from Santa Rosa’s Montgomery High School in 1996, Parker had become a yoga instructor, a world traveler and a passionate rock climber. He was a resident of Sebastopol in northern California. To his friends and family he was a man who was an avid surfer, a mountain biker, and a man who enjoyed fly fishing trips in the Sierra Nevada with his father. Because of his experience and passion for climbing, he appeared on the cover of California Climber magazine in 2012.
Only hours after having received a “yes” from the love of his life on Cathedral Peak on Saturday, Parker went on another climb on Matthes Crest. Around 5:45 p.m., other climbers saw Parker fall on an established route. According to Yosemite Park Ranger Kari Cobb, the 36-year-old veteran climber had gone climbing alone and without ropes. After reporting the tragic fall, park rangers immediately hiked in, located Parker's body, and stayed with him overnight until a helicopter could transport his body back home on Sunday.
Following Brad Parker’s death, his dad, Bill Parker, said that “we're all so stunned. What happened is so unbelievable." His son had told him that Dial accepting his marriage proposal had made this the happiest day of his life. Bill Parker told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat newspaper that he believes that making a second climb on Saturday and fatigue might have been a factor in his son’s tragic fall.