Backpacker Radio 68 | Jean Muenchrath on Her Near Death Experience in the High Sierra

Today we are joined by Jean Muenchrath, mountaineer, escaper of death, author, and spiritual being.  Simply put, Jean’s story is remarkable.  Jean gives us a play by play of the time she nearly died after catastrophic fall near Mount Whitney in winter conditions.  She walks us through not only this harrowing tale, but the long process to physical, emotional, and spiritual recovery, the subject of her book If I Live Until Morning: A True Story of Adventure, Tragedy and Transformation.

Chaunce and Badger wrap up the show with some listener emails, Poop Stories, and a new segment, One Line Movie Reviews.  This is our last in-person podcast until the apocalypse blows over, so please do savor the flavor of this one.


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Interview with Jean Muenchrath

00:03:14 – QOTD: What is your least favorite animal?

00:05:18 – Intro to Jean (backpacking, mountaineering, and skiing background) 

00:08:50 – The Cross Country John Muir Trail Ski Expedition

00:10:16 – Muenchrath’s Backpacking Experience

00:11:12 – How did Ken and Jean meet?

00:14:14 – How many miles were you doing per day (during the XC JMT Ski Expedition)?

00:15:10 – Going up Mt.Whitney

00:18:22 – Ken goes sledding down the mountain all of a sudden

00:24:00 – The Fall on Mt.Whitney

00:30:00 – Jean’s Extensive Injuries

00:32:40 – After the Fall (Jean Woke Up The Next Morning)

00:34:25 – A Detailed List of Jean’s Injuries

00:36:40 – Getting Out 

00:39:40 – Getting a Ride to the Hospital

00:42:00 Jean Had a Bad Feeling Before Leaving 

00:43:40 – If you could do it again, would you? 

00:49:00 – Jean’s Journal

00:51:25 – How did Jean and Paul meet?

00:53:00 – The Second Half of Jean’s Book

00:54:00 – The Himalayas

00:58:20 – Returning to Asia

00:59:30 – Have you always been a spiritual person?

01:02:40 – Jean’s Spiritual Transition

01:05:00 – Opioid Withdrawals

01:12:45 – Getting Started with Meditation 

01:14:10 – Final Thoughts?



01:17:00 – Sign up for Hikerlink!

01:17:40 – Trek propaganda – Kelly Floro – How to Choose the Proper Rain Gear For Your Hike 

01:18:20 – One sentence movie plots 

01:26:00 – Mail Bag

01:29:37 – Buy Chaunce’s book (on her website or from Amazon)!!


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