Identical twin’s grief at death of Camden doctor killed in Yosemite rock climbing accident
- Credit: Archant
A doctor from Camden killed in a tragic rock climbing accident in Yosemite National Park was a “charming” and “extremely loveable” man.
Felix Kiernan, 28, whose family home is in Laurier Road, Dartmouth Park, was climbing on the East Buttress of El Capitan, a popular climbing route in Yosemite Valley, when he was struck by a rock dislodged by his climbing partner on Sunday.
Mr Kiernan, a University of Manchester graduate, was about 600 feet up the climbing route when a loose block roughly one foot by two feet was dislodged by his climbing partner Luke Jones at around 2pm local time.
It fell 150ft before striking Mr Kiernan. He was killed instantly.
A climbing party below Mr Kiernan called the Yosemite Emergency Communication Centre and reported the incident but he was pronounced dead at the scene by park rangers
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Mr Kiernan’s identical twin brother Miles said although they had lived independently and attended different schools, their lives were “inextricably linked”.
The 28-year-old, also a doctor, said: “We shared and enjoyed many of life’s milestones together, whether it was learning to ride a bike with no hands or progressing through our careers in medicine. It is deeply upsetting to think that I will no longer be able to share those things with him and to think that he will no longer be around to constantly bounce ideas off him.”
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In February Mr Kiernan had taken a six-month break from work as a doctor at Homerton University Hospital in Hackney to travel in Thailand and the US before he was due to start training as an oncologist at the Royal London Hospital in Tower Hamlets.
His best friend, Tom Brooks, described him as a “cautious” and “dedicated” climber who had travelled all over the world to climb cliff sides. He said: “He was a dependable climbing partner and was a charming, extremely loveable man. He always offered thoughtful advice when it was asked of him. He is one of the best friends I have ever had, and was an inspiring individual who changed the way I see the world. I will miss him so much.”
Mr Brooks said Mr Kiernan liked taking photos, good food and had a refined taste in music, having run a club night with his twin brother at university.
The funeral is planned for next week with a gathering to be held at the house where Mr Kiernan was living in Tottenham, which he renovated single-handedly.
Neighbour Judy Goldhill, of Laurier Road, said the family were very close, adding “I used to see him around on the street with his twin”. One neighbour said the family were “heartbroken”.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are aware of the death of a British national and we are providing consular assistance to the family.”
He is survived by father Patrick, mother Sarah, brother Miles and sister Dorcas, 23.