Hulda Crooks

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Hulda Hoehn Crooks (May 19, 1896 – November 23, 1997) was an American mountaineer. Affectionately known as "Grandma Whitney" she successfully scaled 14,505-foot (4,421 m) Mount Whitney 23 times between the ages of 65 and 91. She had climbed 97 other peaks during this period.[1] In 1990, an Act of Congress renamed Day Needle, one of the peaks in the Whitney area, to Crooks Peak in her honor.[2]

Hulda Hoehn was born in Saskatchewan, Canada, one of 18 children of a farming couple. She left the farm just before she turned eighteen and enrolled at Pacific Union College north of San Francisco and later at Loma Linda University. There she met and married Dr Crooks.[3] She took up climbing in 1950, after the death of her husband[3] as he had encouraged her to start after she suffered a bout of pneumonia.[4]

On July 24, 1987, at the age of 91, she became the oldest woman to complete the ascent of Mount Fuji in Japan.[5] She hiked the entire 212 mile John Muir Trail in the high Sierras, completing the hike in segments over five years.[6]

Hulda Crooks was a long-time resident of Loma Linda, California and a Seventh-day Adventist. She often spent time with children in the community, encouraging them to appreciate nature and stay active. In 1991 Loma Linda dedicated a park at the base of the south hills as Hulda Crooks Park.[7]

Early to bed and early to rise. Out jogging about 5:30am. Jog a mile and walk it back briskly. It takes me 12 minutes to jog the mile and 15 minutes to walk it. Do some upper trunk exercises, work in the yard, and walk to the market, and work

— Hulda Crooks describing life at 80[8][9]

According to Congressman Jerry Lewis (R California), one of her hiking companions,

No mountain was ever too high for this gentle giant. With a twinkle in her eye, and purpose in her step, 'Grandma Whitney' showed the world that mental, physical and spiritual health is attainable at any age.

Crooks died in 1997, aged 101.[3]


  1. ^ "Hulda Crooks passes away at 101". Loma Linda University. Retrieved 2009-04-29.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Crooks Peak. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
  3. ^ a b c Oliver, Myrna (26 November 1997). "Hulda Crooks, 101; Oldest Woman to Scale Mt. Whitney". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  4. ^ Jackson, Maggie (24 July 1987). "Japan's highest peak 91-year-old climber conquers Mount Fuji". Desert Sun. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  5. ^ Farah, Judy (July 30, 1987). "91-year-old Climber Returns From Mount Fuji". Associated Press. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Hulda Crooks Passes Away at 101". Loma Linda University News. December 3, 1997. Archived from the original on 12 December 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
  7. ^ "Public Works: Parks". City of Loma Linda. Archived from the original on 2009-04-06. Retrieved 2009-04-29.
  8. ^ Crooks, Hulda (1996). Conquering life's mountains: A collection of writings. Redlands, CA: Quiet Hour. p. 1. OCLC 35020378.
  9. ^ "Who Are The Oldest People On Our Planet? And, Why Are They That Healthy? Part 6". Diabetes Diet Dialogue. Retrieved 2009-04-29.

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