Body Found At Mt. Baldy Confirmed As Culver City Man Who Ascended The Mountain Over 700 Times
Authorities have confirmed that a body found just northwest of Mt. Baldy is that of 78-year-old Seuk Doo Kim, reports the L.A. Times.
Kim, of Culver City, had gone hiking on Friday but never returned, reports CBS 2. He was reported missing on Sunday. The body was located at about 2:10 p.m. on Tuesday by a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department flight crew— it was discovered on the northside of the 10,064-foot mountain.
Kim was by all accounts a veteran hiker. According to a San Bernardino County Sheriff's press release, Kim was an “avid and experienced hiker" who had summited Mt. Baldy nearly 800 times. Sheriffs also said that Kim had food, water and weather-appropriate clothing with him during his hike. “This is definitely out of the ordinary when we have someone who is so experienced,” Cindy Bachman, a spokesperson with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, told the Press-Telegram.
Kim was regarded as a minor celebrity among other hikers in the area. So much so that the Times had actually written a profile on him last year. “If you go to Baldy tomorrow, you will run into him,” Kim's son, David, told the Times in 2016. “You will never see another man who loves hiking or who is as obsessed with hiking as him.”
Kim had said that climbing the mountain was akin to having a religious experience. “I’m feeling God’s embrace—this is better than church,”Kim told the Times during one of his excursions. “My shortcut is the holy spirit.”
He was such a common face that he'd run into the same people on occasion. He was gregarious, too, say hikers. Kim was known to hand out snacks like jelly beans and Clif Bars, as well as requesting for selfies with fellow hikers.
According to the Times, Kim had immigrated from South Korea in 1981. He worked as a manager at the Bank of Seoul in Southern California, and later operated a convenience store.