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Ex-Buffalo man dies in Yosemite accident Bad weather trapped Peter Noble on peak

A Buffalo native has been killed in a hiking accident at Yosemite National Park.

Peter C. Noble, 44, an architect, artist and outdoorsman who had been living in Oakland, became trapped by bad weather on Cathedral Peak on Nov. 11. A climbing partner was able to forge ahead to summon help, but rescuers found Noble unresponsive.

Noble was a son of Robert W. Noble, a professor of biochemistry at the University at Buffalo, and the late Bernice Katz Noble, a UB professor of microbiology and an advocate for women's equality before her death in November 2003.

Peter Noble moved to the San Francisco Bay area in the early 1990s after earning a bachelor's degree in architecture from Cornell University in 1986 and a master's degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture in 1992. He was licensed in California in 1993 and with a friend, Michael Webb, founded the firm Revolver Design in Berkeley.

Webb and Noble spoke by telephone after Noble set out on a hike Nov. 10 with another friend, according to the San Francisco Chronicle in an article about the death. They intended to make it a one-day climb or, at worst, be out of the back country by nightfall.

Unexpected snow and sleet hampered the pair's descent from Cathedral Peak, and at one point while rappeling, both fell about 15 feet, which did not injure them seriously. But the weather sapped their strength, Noble's especially. His partner could not carry him and around dawn the next morning continued ahead for help, but it did not reach Noble in time.

He was the eldest among the brothers who survive him, Benjamin and Aaron, who live in the Seattle area. Benjamin Noble told the Chronicle that his brother developed a love of the outdoors when he was a child and the family hiked and camped often.

Peter Noble's death rocked his friends, who contributed to a blog about him. They said he was full of wit and laughter but had recently gone through a divorce.

"The world lost a great soul on Sunday," said one contributor. "He was the kind of guy everyone wanted to be around, who could make humor out of thin air. Evenings with Peter usually involved much debate and hours of infectious laughter on topics ranging from the most inane to the deeply erudite. It's an indescribable loss."


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