Body of Nevada athlete found near summit in Yosemite National Park
The body of a famed endurance athlete has been found near the summit of a peak in Yosemite National Park days after he went missing, authorities said Thursday.
Fred Zalokar, 61, of Reno, Nev. was reported missing a day after a solo day hike July 17 to Mount Clark, a popular peak for for mountaineers. His body was found Tuesday.
Zalokar hiked from Happy Isles to the summit using an off-trail route from Bunnell Point in Little Yosemite Valley, the National Park Service said in a statement.
The hike should’ve taken about 15 hours round-trip, but Zalokar never returned to Yosemite Valley as planned.
Authorities recovered his body Tuesday, and his death remains under investigation. No further details were provided.
Zalokar was a dedicated athlete. He worked as the general manager of Lakeridge Tennis Club in Reno, where he trained and helped others accomplish their fitness goals. Family vacations were planned around destination races and challenging climbs.
For fun, he meticulously planned personal challenges. He ran four of the original and prestigious 100-mile races in the United States in under 24 hours. He climbed six of the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on each continent. By 2006, he had run a marathon on every continent.
“I’m not focused on what I’ve done,” Zalokar told the Reno Gazette Journal in 2016. “I’m more focused on what I’m going to do. I still believe my best race is ahead of me. That’s my mindset. It motivates me. It builds on itself. Being perceived [as] successful just reinforces what I’m doing.”
His latest challenge was climbing all of the Eastern Sierra peaks, which included Mount Clark, according to Sean Crom, a longtime friend.
The two became close friends 35 years ago while training for an ultramarathon. Since then, Crom had joined Zalokar on many adventures.
“I’m going to miss not being able to do these challenges with Fred,” he said. “Even though we were both getting older and slowing down a bit, it’s hard to find people to do that type of endurance stuff with.”
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