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Illness Delays Record Climb by Woman, 90

August 13, 1986

Altitude sickness Tuesday postponed for at least 24 hours an attempt by 90-year-old Hulda Crooks to become the oldest person ever to climb 14,494-foot-high Mt. Whitney, Inyo National Forest rangers monitoring radio communications with the climbing party reported.

"They reached (the 12,000-foot level) trail camp as scheduled Monday, but her doctors ordered her to put off the climb to the summit Tuesday and remain in camp resting because she was not feeling well," Ranger Craig Frank said in a telephone interview from Lone Pine.

Crooks, who started her climb Sunday morning, is a sprightly, diminutive widow who has climbed this Sierra Nevada peak, 200 miles north of Los Angeles, successfully 22 times before. She is now attempting to become the oldest person ever to hike up the rugged trail, which climbs 6,200 feet in 11 miles to the stormy summit. Mt. Whitney is the highest mountain in the contiguous 48 states.

Storms, which have three times prevented her from reaching the top in recent years, are again a threat to her record climb, according to Frank, who is in radio contact with rangers near the summit.

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