A 25-year-old Quebec woman has died in an avalanche in Ecuador.
Rebecca Dinelle, co-founder of a local communications agency, is being remembered by friends and family for her kindness and strength.
Her colleagues are also launching a fundraiser to help her mourning mother.
Dinelle had travelled to Ecuador with 24-year-old Eloi Larrivée.
Jeff Flynn, friend and co-founder of 3 Spheres Communications, said Dinelle “went to join (Larrivée) to do some hiking and have some fun.”
READ MORE: 14 hikers still missing after deadly Italian glacier avalanche
The pair’s ultimate goal was to climb Chimborazo. At more than 6,000 meters, it is the highest summit in Ecuador and one of the tallest dormant volcanoes in the world.
Flynn said on July 7, the pair had nearly reached the peak, but just a few hundred meters from the top, the snow gave way.
The South Shore resident was killed in the avalanche; Larrivée was injured but survived. He struggled down the mountain and managed to direct authorities to her body, according to a social media post written in Spanish by rescuers with the Ecuadorian Mountain Guides Association.
“She was supposed to come back today. I could not believe that she would never come back,” said Kim Morissette, a friend and colleague of Dinelle. “She was like a sister to me.”
- Canadian MPs voicing concern over Punjab internet crackdown receive ‘harsh’ responses
- Canada’s bank deposit insurance limits being reviewed after SVB collapse, trade group says
- Liberal MP Han Dong says he hasn’t verified Chinese interference allegations with PMO
- Tory motion fails after Katie Telford agrees to testify on foreign interference
Everyone at the communications agency is in mourning.
“All the employees cried a lot about the news,” said Flynn.
Even though she was just 25, her colleagues say Dinelle had an old – wise – soul. Many looked up to her and turned to her for advice.
“She was the anchor for a lot of people here,” said Morissette.
Dinelle’s goal was to make sure her mother was financially secure, and now her friends want to help.
“We started the fundraiser as a first step, because we want her mother to be to be safe,” Morissette explained.
They’ve launched a crowd funding campaign to help cover the costs of bringing home Dinelle’s remains and arranging a funeral.
And, they say they’ll push forward to represent the young woman’s vision for the company she founded, and they’re motivated now more than ever to achieve success in her honour.