Mountain Climber and Marathon Runner Found Dead in Yosemite National Park

by Jonathan Howard

Sad news out of Yosemite National Park. Fred Zalokar, a mountain climber and marathon runner was found dead at the park days after he went missing while on a hike. Zalokar was an experienced runner and mountain climber. The 61-year old was found near the peak of Mount Clark in California. The mountain is 11,527 feet tall.

Park officials are saying that an investigation is underway. “No additional information is available. Our condolences to his family and friends,” park officials said. A resident of Reno, Nevada Zalokar went missing late Sunday. The trip he made was a solo venture and he did not return.

While Yosemite National Park officials have not made an official statement on how Zalokar died, a friend told the New York Times on Thursday that he had fallen. Sean Crom, a mountain climbing and running friend of Zalokar remembers his friend as being very adventurous. While describing his late companion, “He’s kind of pick a goal and go after it hard,” which he did often.

Through their adventures together Crom said that the two had attempted to climb mountains worldwide. According to Zalokar’s personal website he had tried to complete the Sevin Summits. A feat achieved by reaching the peak of the highest mountains on each continent. “He didn’t make it up Mount Everest, but he tried it,” Crom reflected.

According to official records from the New York City Marathon, Zalokar won his age group at 55 years old in 2:43:10. His site says he also won his age group in Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, and Tokyo which are the six Abbott World Marathon Majors. His site said, “I want to inspire people to dream big and go out there and make it happen!”

Fred Zalokar Found Dead in Yosemite National Park

While relatives of Zalokar have not spoken to the media, Crom has made more than a few statements. As an avid outdoorsman and athlete, the mountain climber and marathon runner was surely experienced enough to be on the hike. Accidents happen when doing outdoor sports such as climbing, and have happened at Yosemite National Park in the past multiple times.

There will be an investigation to determine exactly what happened that led up to Zalokar’s death. According to Crom, it is unclear if he actually cleared the summit of Yosemite National Park’s Mount Clark prior to the accident. However, park officials will likely check the logbook near the peak that climbers sign. “Fred always signs into the log book,” Crom said.

Survived by his wife Deb and son Ian, Zalokar will be remembered for his adventurous nature and attitude. Someone who stays that active for that long surely had a bit of grit and determination within himself. Zalokar was the general manager of Lakeridge Tennis Club in northern Nevada. According to his website, he wanted to one day set an American age-group record in one of his running events.