YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, California (KSEE) – Yosemite National Park Service rangers reported finding the body of 61-year-old Fred Zalokar of Reno Tuesday, July 20th near the summit of Mount Clark. His running and climbing partner for decades, Sean Crom, says the mountain is about 28 miles roundtrip and a total of 7,500 vertical feet.
“The last 4,500 vertical feet is where you have to bushwhack at the top, that’s where all the rock and technical work is and that’s the part where you would have needed a rope. Unfortunately, Fred, I’m sure just thought he could go for it and I just understand this morning, Fred had actually fallen 800 feet, so that was quite a fall,” said Crom.
Zalokar went on the hike solo Saturday, July 17th, which is not out of the ordinary for a man who’s braved much more dangerous climbs like Mount McKinley and Mount Everest.
“There is nothing that says that, somebody else being there would have prevented Fred’s death and there’s also nothing to say that if somebody else would have been there, maybe two people would have gone down instead of one. So, he wasn’t being irresponsible by climbing on his own and especially not in this situation,” said Todd Huston, a climbing partner and a friend of Zalokar.
Zalokar is well-known for his passion for running marathons and mountain climbing and broke many records while pushing others to be their best.
“So, I’m really gonna miss Fred, he kind of took the wind out of my sails because now I don’t really have anybody to egg me on anymore,” said Crom.
“And I’ll tell you this, if there are any mountains in heaven, he’s already geared up and he’s already been climbing a number of them. Fred does not stop and he’ll always be there, I know in my heart and in my mind encouraging me,” said Huston.