But on Aug. 22, Strandberg fell to her death while rock climbing at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
Strandberg and two friends, Catherine Nix and Rebecca Anderson, were climbing Teewinot Mountain when they veered off course while trying to find the route. Strandberg and Nix fell 200 feet. Anderson was caught on a ledge and survived.
The three were not using ropes because the route they intended to climb is rated as a class 4.0 climb, which, according to the National Park Service’s news release, “consists of exposed rock climbing” and “is frequently climbed without ropes.”
Colby Kirkpatrick, a UNC freshman and Strandberg’s former neighbor, said the UNC graduate lived a life full of adventure and laughs — and she always wanted to share it with those she loved.
“She started out hiking, cross-country skiing and just was always out there looking for the next way she could exercise and connect with nature,” Kirkpatrick said. “And rock climbing, from my understanding, was her most recent love.”
After receiving her undergraduate degree in psychology from UNC, Strandberg moved to Jackson, Wyoming where she worked at C-V Ranch. She helped at-risk youth with special needs, most of whom have behavioral and emotional problems, said Patty Talley, program director and principal at the ranch.
“Her life, although short, is a legacy to her students,” Talley said. “So many of them just want to push us away, and you just have to try and try and try again, and Tyler just never gave up on any of the kids.”
She said Strandberg, who was a residential counselor, often planned after-school and weekend outdoor activities with the young boys she worked with at the ranch.