Fred Zalokar, Marathoner Who Took On Mountains, Is Found Dead in Yosemite

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The assemblage of the 61-year-old, who had been missing since Saturday, was recovered connected Tuesday adjacent the acme of Mount Clark, the National Park Service said.

The presumption    from Mount Clark, which overlooks Half Dome, close    center, and the Yosemite Valley successful  Yosemite National Park, Calif. The assemblage  of Fred Zalokar was recovered by parkland  rangers adjacent   the acme  of Mount Clark.
Credit...Tami Abdollah/Associated Press

Neil Vigdor

July 22, 2021, 8:09 p.m. ET

An accomplished endurance jock who competed successful ultramarathons and listed summiting respective of the world’s tallest mountains among his feats was recovered dormant this week successful Yosemite National Park successful California, the National Park Service said.

The hiker, Fred Zalokar, had been missing since Saturday, according to park officials, who said his assemblage was recovered by parkland rangers connected Tuesday adjacent the acme of Mount Clark, a granite highest that rises much than 11,500 feet.

The Park Service did not instantly accidental however Mr. Zalokar, 61, had died, but a longtime friend, Sean Crom, said successful an interrogation connected Thursday that Mr. Zalokar had fallen. An autopsy is not scheduled until adjacent week, according to a typical for the Mariposa County sheriff and coroner.


Credit...Deborah Zalokar

Mr. Zalokar, who was from Reno, Nev., went connected a time hike connected Saturday utilizing an off-trail way and did not return, parkland officials said. He was reported missing connected Sunday.

Mr. Crom, who archetypal met Mr. Zalokar astir 35 years agone portion grooming for a 100-mile ultramarathon, said that they had climbed mountains unneurotic each implicit the satellite and that his person was fearless.

“Fred would beryllium the 1 to ascent up connected the method portion and propulsion a enactment down to the remainder of us,” said Mr. Crom, who climbed Mount Aconcagua successful Argentina, the highest constituent successful the Americas, with Mr. Zalokar, and Mont Blanc connected the borderline of France and Italy.

The household of Mr. Zalokar, who was a hubby and father, said connected Thursday that it was not prepared to comment.

His decease acceptable disconnected an outpouring of tributes to Mr. Zalokar, who was good known successful the spheres of competitory moving and upland climbing.

At property 55, Mr. Zalokar ran the New York City Marathon successful 2 hours 43 minutes 10 seconds successful 2015, finishing archetypal successful his property group, according to authoritative records. In 2011, helium finished the Boston Marathon successful 2:34:52, the fastest clip successful the 50 to 54 property bracket.

According to his website, helium was the archetypal runner to triumph his property radical successful each six Abbott World Marathon Majors, which are successful New York, Boston, Chicago, London, Berlin and Tokyo. He had besides competed successful marathons connected each continent, including Antarctica, where, his website said, helium finished archetypal successful February 1999 successful conscionable implicit 3:45.

“When I heard astir the Antarctica Marathon successful 1998, I thought, ‘Hey, I could bash that!’” Mr. Zalokar said connected his website.

He said that the marathon was much applicable and outgo little than trying to ascent the Vinson Massif, the highest highest successful Antarctica and 1 of the Seven Summits, the nickname for the tallest mountains connected each continent.

According to his website, helium had summited astatine slightest 4 of them — Aconcagua (South America), Denali (North America), Kilimanjaro (Africa) and Elbrus (Europe). A fifth, Kosciusko, is considered by immoderate arsenic the tallest upland successful Australia.

“He didn’t marque it up Mount Everest, but helium tried it,” Mr. Crom said.

Mr. Zalokar’s website is simply a transverse betwixt a scrapbook and a catalog of his feats. On 1 leafage is simply a database of the countries that helium said helium had visited, 137 successful all, from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe. There are photos of him rappelling down a granite upland face, lasting with arms raised connected a soil dune successful Namibia and, of course, running.

“He was precise adventurous,” Mr. Crom said. “He’d benignant of prime a extremity and spell aft it hard.”

From ascending each upland implicit 14,000 feet successful California to exploring the tallest volcanoes successful Mexico, Mr. Zalokar would cheque disconnected the peaks that helium had summited connected his website. It’s known arsenic “peak bagging,” said Mr. Crom, who explained that it was not antithetic for Mr. Zalokar to hike connected a upland by himself.

“We don’t cognize yet if helium made it to the apical of the mountain,” helium said of Mount Clark, noting that parkland rangers would astir apt cheque a log publication astatine the summit. “Fred ever signs into the log book.”

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