Elizabeth Erickson Alberti passed away on February 1, 1995 and is missed by all who know and loved her. While earning a geology degree, Libby became a skilled rock climber, an instructor in rock climbing with the Dartmouth Outing Club and in her senior year, director of the club. Libby’s contributions to the climbing instructors training program are detailed in the book, “Talus: A History of the Dartmouth Mountaineering Club.” She also played violin in the DSO, played rugby and was a member of Phi Tau.
Libby earned a master’s degree in hydrogeology at Lehigh University, completing two field trips to the Himalayan Karakorum Range. She married John Alberti, had a daughter, Erica Jane, in 1993, and worked for Dupont Chemical in environmental remediation. She passed away on February 1, 1995. “After her death a star in the heavens was named in her memory. So when you look up to the heavens, Libby’s star is gazing out at you,” shared Libby’s mother, Julia Erickson.
Mark Filimonov ’89 captured Libby’s spirit with this remembrance:
I met Libby through the Dartmouth Mountaineering Club, and discovered our shared passion for climbing. One fall day, we climbed the Whitney-Gilman Ridge. Young and foolish, I dressed lightly.
Late afternoon, the sky grew overcast and light snow began to fall. We still climbed and reached the cliff top. The sky was dark and we looked for a trail to lead us to our car. After awhile, Libby and I decided the safest course was to wait until morning.
In a small clearing, we sat on our coiled ropes, huddling together against the cold. Settling in for the night, we shared stories to keep each other awake until daylight.
My feet numbing from my too-tight climbing shoes, I put on my holey sneakers, but soon began to worry about frostbite. Sheepishly, I asked Libby–who was made of sturdier stuff than I–if I could slip my foot into her shirt, against her abdomen. Like the kind and incredible trooper that she was, Libby spent the rest of the night alternating my feet against her warm skin.
At the first pre-dawn light, we found a trail that led us to the aerial tram building near the mountain-top. A maintenance man let us use a phone. Just in time, as they were preparing to mount a search.
All in all, the adventurous weekend made for great memories. And without her help, I could have easily developed frostbite or worse.