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.
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.
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
were stopped a few hundred feet short of the top, Kim was able to summit the
world’s fifth tallest peak.
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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