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EverestHistory.com: Kim Momb


Kim Momb seems to have had a love of sports and the outdoors that reaches back to his earliest years. It’s a love that would lead him to make the first summit of Everest via the East or Kangshung face on October 8, 1983.

 

Kim began skiing on the slopes of Mt. Spokane where his parents were instructors at the age of 6. By the time he was in his teens he was riding on the national motocross race circuit as well as kayaking, wind surfing, and studying karate. His focus would shift to mountaineering in 1986 when he joined his sister and her boyfriend on a climb. He soon hooked up with noted mountaineer John Roskelley and began climbing in earnest. The two men climbed Yosemite's El Capitan in one day and then moved on to bigger challenges.

 

The next year saw Kim join the Spokane Mountaineer and just three years later (1980) came the all-Spokane expedition up Makalu (27,790 feet), without the assistance of Sherpa or supplemental oxygen. While teammates Chris Kopczynski and Jim States were stopped a few hundred feet short of the top, Kim was able to summit the world’s fifth tallest peak.

 

In 1985 Kim was awarded he David A. Sowles Memorial Award, an award given out “from time to time on mountaineers who have distinguished themselves, with unselfish devotion at personal risk or sacrifice of a major objective, in going to the assistance of fellow climbers imperiled in the mountains.” Kim received the award for his rescue and assistance of fellow climbers in distress, more than once aborting his own summit attempts to help others. 

Nearing his 30th birthday Kim was guiding heliskiers east of Nakusp, BC when he was overtaken and buried in an avalanche, he later died in Nakusp’s hospital.

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