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Reaching 1,000 summits, hikers make the final climb for 78-year-old mountaineer

By his count, Seuk Doo Kimhasclimbed Mt. Baldy nearly 750times and aims to log 1,000 summits by next year.

Some 200 hikers summited Mt. Baldy in a memorial Saturday for the late Seuk Doo Kim, the hiker from Culver City who climbed the mountain nearly 800 times. Kim, 78, died last month after falling from the north side of the 10,064-foot mountain. Saturday’s hikers symbolically finished the remaining 200 summits Kim had to reach his goal of 1,000.

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(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles-area hikers gather for a group photo as they honor the late and legendary Sam Kim during a memorial hike of Mt. Baldy, symbolically completing his dream of 1,000 summits.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Mt. Baldy's 10,064-foot summit has snow and temperatures in the 60s as the L.A. basin swelters below.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Hikers make their way up to the summit of Mt. Baldy, where the late and legendary Sam Kim was honored during a memorial hike.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

By his count, Sam Kim had climbed Mt. Baldy nearly 750 times and aimed to log 1,000 summits by next year.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Sam Kim near the summit of Mt. Baldy.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

“If you go to Baldy tomorrow, you will run into him,” said his son David Kim. “You will never see another man who loves hiking or who is as obsessed with hiking as him.”

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Sam Kim off trail, up a steep slope on the approach to Mt. Baldy.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Kim at the San Antonio Ski Hut at 8,300 feet.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

“I’m feeling God’s embrace — this is better than church,” Sam Kim said on the way up. “My shortcut is the Holy Spirit.”

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Sam Kim atop Mt. Baldy.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Sam Kim with the flag of his native South Korea.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Sam Kim had made the journey more than 240 times this year alone.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Sam Kim's favorite snacks included spicy Cheetos and Funyuns.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Sam’s enthusiasm for the 10,064-foot mountain — the highest point in the San Gabriel range and Los Angeles County — inspired dozens of hikers to share stories on blogs and social media.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Kim off trail, up a steep, rocky slope on the approach to Mt. Baldy.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Kim hiking down Mt. Baldy, with sunset light bathing the shoulders of the San Gabriel Mountains.

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