Jean Muenchrath's passion for hiking, skiing and exploring wild places began as a child in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. In 1982 she skied 223 miles along California’s John Muir Trail using skinny Nordic skis without metal edges. Her strength, courage and determination helped her survive a near fatal mountaineering accident on Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the continental United States, and a five-day epic to self-evacuate.
Her love for nature and travel has take her to South America and Asia. Jean has worked as a trekking guide in Nepal and Thailand and as a consultant in Bhutan with the World Wildlife Fund. She was a park ranger with the U.S. National Park Service for over thirty years.
Today she gives inspirational talks about pursuing one's dreams, outdoor adventures and what she’s learned from her tragedy. Through sharing her story, she hopes to give others the strength and courage to transform their own life’s challenges and the moxie to follow their dreams.
Her book, If I Live Until Morning, A True Story of Adventure, Tragedy and Transformation, was a finalist in the 2018 Best Book Awards in the Travel: Guides & Essays Category sponsored by the American Book Fest.
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- Who is Jean
- Becoming an author later on in life
- Working as a Park ranger for the US National Park Service
- Spending her 21st birthday in a tree!
- Growing up in Colorado
- Being in love with the mountains from a young age
- Her dreams as a young girl
- Going to college and making some changes in her life
- Spending time alone and living in remote places
- Starting to take on her own personal challenges
- The 1982 expedition
- The John Muir Trail - 240km/211miles
- Concerns regards the adventure
- Having to delay the trip by 1 month due to avalanches
- Background to the ski trip
- Getting ahead of schedule by 1 week
- Deciding to climb Mt. Whitney (14,505ft)
- Reliving the trauma and being able to health
- Dealing with an lightening strike
- Changing plans due to the storm and needing to get down the mountain fast
- Falling 45/50m down the mountain and having very sever injuries
- Going unconscious… Breaking a lot of bones…
- Not having mobile phones or GPS
- “I’m going to live”
- Hope and despair
- Pain and not being able to pee
- The recovery process
- Making it to the Himalayas
- Lessons learned from the challenges faced
- The journey of writing the book
- Wanting to go back to Mt. Whitney
- Getting back into the mountains
- Learning how to process your traumas
- Wanting to inspire people