Over four years ago, I read “Touching the Void” and I was always intrigued by situation hikers find themselves in and the incredible things they do to stay alive.

This blog is about learning from other people’s mistakes, so you don’t make the same ones.

“Better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat”

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Woman Dies on Mt. Whitney

Who: 53-year-old Keum Kim
Where: Mountaineers Route, Mt. Whitney, California
Her mistake: Seems like they were a bit unprepared, but details are thin.
What happened: A woman and three of her friends were climbing the Mountaineers Route when the woman suddenly slipped in an ice and rock chute. The accident happened around 9 p.m. It is unknown why the climbing party was on the mountain at night, but other climbers thought they were trying to reach the summit to watch the sunrise.

Other climbers in the area also said they weren’t using headlamps on their nighttime ascent. On one message board, a climber said one of the tents in the group was a Eureka tent, a budget brand sold at Wal Mart. Some message boarders believe some in the group were experienced climbers, but there were one or two inexperienced climbers in the group.

The woman died in the fall. A climber at Iceberg Lake called for help, and a recovery mission began. A chopper was brought in to recover the body from the mountain.

Read the story here.

Coincidentally, my friend and I are going to be climbing Mt. Whitney this weekend via the Mountaineers Route. Yes, we have headlamps. No, we won’t be watching the sunset from the summit. Hopefully our trip goes well.

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2 comments to Woman Dies on Mt. Whitney

  • Anonymous

    Eureka makes plenty of quality non “wal-mart” tents. Just because their tent wasn’t north face or mountain hardwear doesn’t mean they were inexperienced.

    eureka tents:

  • Anonymous

    You should know that climber message boards often rag on victims as being stupid. While many climbers are fine individuals, some need to assume that all mistakes happen to gumbys, it’s part of a denial-of-risk mentality.

    The Mountaineers Route, at present, is a steep snow climb. The crux area near the notch has seen about 4 deaths in the last couple years. The lower couloir faces east, and sun strikes it very early. It is often climbed in the dark.

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