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Climber missing in High Sierra Kearsarge Pass Area (looking for info!)

Original Post
Clark Hollenberg · · Claremont, CA · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 105

Longtime SoCal climber and mountain project user Alfred Kwok is currently missing in the High Sierra. He went for a hike presumably up the NE Ridge of Deerhorn Mountain off the JMT near Kearsarge Pass. His trip started Saturday morning, and he should have been back to his car by Sunday evening, since he is a professor at Pomona College where I go to school and he has to teach on Mondays. Kwok tried to invite me to go climbing with him on this trip, so I thought maybe he had reached out to other Mountain Project users and someone might have more information. If anyone knows anything or has been in this area and has seen him, please contact me or one of the emergency contacts listed below.


  • Approximate Age 50
  • 5’ 7” 125 lbs
  • Glasses, black hair
  • Blue Subaru Forester
  • Ranger confirmed check in on Friday, Sheriff confirmed vehicle was still in parking lot Monday evening
  • Permit at Kearsarge Pass – planned to camp at Kearsarge Lake the first night then go to Bubbs Creek. Bubbs Creek to John Muir trail on the east side of Deerhorn Mtn.

Search Area

Alfred Kwok

Emergency Contacts
Inyo County Sheriff – (760) 876-5606 main (760) 873-7414 cell
Sequoia National Park Dispatch – (559) 565-3195
Lone Pine Ranger Station – (760) 876-6200 (press 0) Cousin – Enoch Kwok (818) 519-9895 (Thousand Oaks)
Brother – Ronald Kwok (619) 944-7666 (San Diego)
Admin. Asst. – Natalie Hughes (909) 621-8724
csproul · · Davis, CA · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 330

I did a cross country climbing trip with Al many years ago. He's a good guy. I hope this turns out ok.

Chris Owen · · Big Bear Lake · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 10,146

I was going to post but you already have - thanks. Let's hope for a good outcome to this. I was on the trail the same day as him - but started at 7am and camped at Matlock to climb Gould. It bothers me to think I hiked out Sunday not knowing he might be in trouble.

If he was climbing one of the Deerhorn Mountain routes he may have decided to camp at Vidette Lakes, as Vidette Meadow is 1000 feet lower. If he bivouaced he may have packed his stuff prior to doing the climb - so his camp may be hard to find. But needless to say searching the meadow and the lakes would be a good thing to do.

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 60

Saw the related post on supertopo. My recollection is that most of the routes on Deerhorn are 4th class and has it's fair share of loose rock, not to mention a bit of a hike to get to. Let's hope that this is just a case of a minor injury that's slowing his walk out. Also, I've had trips before where I made the decision to be a day late and deal with the consequences just because I knew the opportunity wouldn't be available again. Sending out good thoughts for a good outcome.

Rob Selter · · running springs Ca · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 140

I have climbed with Alfred many times. Al is a great guy, and his love runs deep for the mountains. Let us hope this story turns out with Alfred safe.

Chris Owen · · Big Bear Lake · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 10,146

Seems like good news.

Rob Selter · · running springs Ca · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 140

Thank you for the update Chris!

StatJuan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 10
Chris Owen wrote: Seems like good news.
That information does not seem accurate. His Facebook wall is being regularly updated by people actively searching, and there has been no posts suggesting this is the case. Rather, there were posts late last night saying the opposite, that they had suspended the search for the night and will continue today.
Chris Owen · · Big Bear Lake · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 10,146

I know and agree - hence my use of "seems" - let's wait and see.

fossana · · leeds, ut · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 12,957

I just confirmed with the SEKI dispatch office that he was found.

Chris Owen · · Big Bear Lake · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 10,146


JSH · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2007 · Points: 969

phew (hope). Will look forward to hearing about it from Al.

drjman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 2,441
fossana wrote:I just confirmed with the SEKI dispatch office that he was found.
The family hasn't confirmed that so in case it's not accurate (different hiker), and if people are checking here, I'd hold off on calling this one.
StatJuan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 10

From his Facebook page
"Dear friends of Alfred, we are in the process of traveling to meet with National Park officials involved with the search for Alfred Kwok. It will take us several hours to complete our travels. Once we are able to meet with them we will provide an update here on Facebook. Thank you for your patience during the next few hours of news "blackout" due to our travels. There may be a lot of mis-informed conversations on the inter webs right now, but you should know that if there is any positive news to share, we would be among the first to share it. Your continued prayers for the whole Kwok family are appreciated. We will disseminate what we know by early this evening. Thank you all for your love and concern. Enoch Kwok, for the family. 11:30AM 9/21/2016"

Merritt King · · Long Beach, Ca · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 25

I met Alfred at the Idyllwild Climbers Cleanup. Thoughts will be out for him and his family...hopefully hes ok.

Chris Owen · · Big Bear Lake · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 10,146

"Dear Friends of Alfred Kwok,
It is with great sadness and regret that we must inform you that Alfred Kwok has passed on from this world to our loss. Heaven has required his full attention and presence. We were notified last night that a body had been spotted by the National Park Service rescue helicopter in the vicinity where Alfred was expected to be hiking, but due to impending weather conditions, the body was not able to be recovered until this morning. Park Rangers have positively identified the corpse as belonging to Alfred, and family members are on the way to receive him. From the preliminary autopsy, Alfred suffered a quick death from a fall and did not suffer for long. We know that Alfred touched many people’s lives and will be making arrangements for a memorial service to take place in or around Claremont, CA in the near future. When those arrangements are finalized, we will post the details here on Facebook. In the mean time, we would like to request that people think of one or two favorite memories or photos of Alfred and post them here on this Facebook thread, so that we can all share in the grieving process, but also to celebrate the blessing that Alfred has been in our lives. Enoch Kwok, for the Kwok Family. 1:40PM 9/21/2016"

Posted on Facebook by his family.

Rob Selter · · running springs Ca · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 140

Alfred was just straight up a great person, and he was filled with positive energy. I will never forget him showing up to climb with a bag of Panera baked goods, and how he once feel asleep with his helmet still on during a ride home from day climbing. I share and understand the passion he had for the mountains. This kind sole will be missed

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 60

Very sad news. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Tapawingo Markey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75

Such a bummer. We just lost a good friend two weeks ago in the High Sierra. Thoughts and good vibes to the friends and family.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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