Andrew "Andy" Embick
Andy Embick grew up in Salem, Oregon and attended Pomona College in Pomona, California. He studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1977. After a year with the Indian Health Service in Nevada and Arizona, Dr. Embick joined Dr. Bernard Gerard at the Valdez Medical Clinic. Andy was well-known in Alaska and beyond, as an accomplished climber, skier, and kayaker. He climbed some exceedingly difficult routes in the Alaska Range and pioneered almost all the first kayak descents of rivers and streams in the Wrangell-St. Elias Range and many in the Chugach mountains. His love of dangerous sport was infectious and his descriptions of class six (whitewater's highest difficulty rating) descents are harrowing. A leading authority on Alaskan whitewater and ice climbing, Dr. Embick published two books, Fast and Cold: A Guide to Alaska Whitewater and Blue Ice and Black Gold, a guide for ice climbing in Alaska. Both books are considered primary references on their subjects. Dr. Andy Embick's obituary in the Valdez Vanguard Obituary and an article in the Anchorage Press are available online.