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[pct-l] "Grandma Whitney"
- Subject: [pct-l] "Grandma Whitney"
- From: Kevin Corcoran <kevin%40hughes%2Enet>
- Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 18:39:15 -0800
This is interesting........it's clipped from the LA Times website.....
Wednesday, November 26, 1997
Hulda Crooks, 101; Oldest Woman to Scale Mt. Whitney
By MYRNA OLIVER, Times Staff Writer
Hulda Crooks, nicknamed "Grandma Whitney" for her two
dozen climbs up 14,495-foot Mt. Whitney between
of 66 and 91, has died. She was 101.
Crooks, the oldest woman to scale Mt. Whitney and
12,388-foot Mt. Fuji in Japan, died Sunday at Linda
retirement home in Loma Linda, Calif., where she had
lived for the
last six years.
"It's been a great inspiration for me," she told
The Times in
1991, four years after her last climb up Mt. Whitney,
peak in the continental United States. "When I come
down from the
mountain, I feel like I can battle in the valley again."
That year, she took a helicopter to the top of
Mt. Whitney for a
special ceremony--designation of the second peak to
the south as
Legislation to name the mountain for the climber,
her friend and climbing companion Rep. Jerry Lewis
took five years to win passage because Congress was
confer the honor on anyone still living.
Last year, Crooks published her memoirs,
Mountains." In 1989, she was featured in a book by Francis
Raymond Line titled "Super Seniors: Their Stories and
Crooks started hiking as solace after the death
of her husband,
Dr. Samuel Crooks, in 1950. She climbed the San Bernardino
Mountains' 11,502-foot Mt. Gorgonio about 20 times before
challenging Mt. Whitney for the first time in 1962.
Six years later, when she was 72, she started
running because, she said "it made climbing so much
At 82, she ran 1,500 meters in 10 minutes, 58
seconds in the
Senior Olympics, setting a world record for the 80 to
85 age group.
At 95, she continued to walk two miles a day.
The 5-foot-1, 115-pound phenomenon also
212-mile John Muir Trail, hiked to the bottom of the
and trekked the Sierra 80 miles from west to east.
"Good health doesn't always happen by accident,"
she told The
Times in 1978. "Sometimes you have to work at it."
One of 18 children of a Saskatchewan, Canada,
young Hulda gorged on meat and candy and by age 16 weighed
Shortly before she turned 18, however, she left
became a Seventh-day Adventist and adopted the religion's
The weight came off as she worked and went to
Pacific Union College north of San Francisco and Loma
University. But the work and study combination damaged her
health, and she was 31 by the time she completed her
She married Dr. Crooks, who taught anatomy at
University, where she became a researcher. Despite his
condition, Crooks took his wife camping and continually
encouraged her to study and enjoy the outdoors.
Hiking and climbing helped her endure his death
and that of their
only son, Wesley, in 1969 from a drug overdose. She began
running by jogging across her backyard. Later, when rain
occasionally marred the the Loma Linda University
track, she ran
up and down the fire escape.
"Exercise you enjoy does you more good than
exercise that you
do because you think that you have to do it," she once
say, 'I'm going to do this. I have to do it. I'm going
to do it if it kills
me.' And maybe it will, if you do it that way."
Crooks credited her longevity not only to
exercise and diet but
also to her religious faith. Mountain climbing and
running, she once
told a reporter, were her "high-altitude evangelism"
inspiring young people.
"Good health is not just a matter of diet or
exercise," she said in
1978. "It's a way of life, and I think in my church
affiliation I have
"When you have faith in a supreme power that you
love and kindness and justice and has a care for you,
under tensions that people are that don't know where
or what's going to happen to them," she said. "You
develop a habit
of trusting. Whatever comes to you in life, you feel
that it's part of
character development. You learn patience, hopefully, and
tolerance. I think that to look at things hopefully
and develop a spirit
of gratitude is very important."
Crooks is survived by three grandchildren, Bruce
Tammie Singer and Scott Hoehn, and two
Search the archives of the Los Angeles Times for
similar stories. You will
not be charged to look for stories, only to retrieve one.
Copyright Los Angeles Times
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