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  • Writer's pictureC4 Adventures

Adieu Fred

Renowned mountain runner Fred Zalokar, owner of the Cambodian mount Aural fastest ascent record has passed away. C4 Adventure partners remembers a breathtaking performance, a wise athlete and unique adventurer.

Fred Zalokar

I am interested in transportation and a guide to climb to the high point of Cambodia - Aural Mtn- 1813m. I am an experienced mountain runner and climber who would like to move fast - maybe do it in a day.

As adventure professionals, we are very used to overconfident participants. To avoid any bad surprises on trail, we tend to suggest more of a classic schedule in order to avoir surprises.

Can you provide a trip to the top (1813m) in less than 3 days? Would you or do you know someone else who would be interested in doing the hike faster?

Thank for your consideration,

Fred Zalokar

After researching "Fred Zalokar" online, I understand that Fred Zalokar is not an overconfident participant. He is Fred Zalokar, the endurance athlete who competed in several ultramarathons and climbed the world’s tallest mountains.

Understood. Please find your Aural mountain 1 day ascent schedule.

Midnight: departure from Phnom Penh.

5AM: arrival in Aural district, 10km light trek to the mountain foothill.

7AM: arrival at insertion point, Aural mountain ascent departure.

1/2PM: return to logistic point, refreshments and lunch

3/4PM: 10km light trekking in the valley to extraction point

5/6PM: arrival to the vehicle, departure to Phnom Penh

10PM: arrival in Phnom Penh

When Fred arrives in Cambodia, I am already in Aural district to set up the logistic points. David is with Fred in Phnom Penh. They will do the ascent together.

Fred and David arrived at the Aural summit at 6AM. The schedule I sent was not followed at all, they were supposed to be there around 10AM. Enthusiastic and making a few jokes with David, Fred turns to me and says "This is exactly what I wanted, thank you". In the early hours of February 17 2020, Fred Zalokar 59 years old and David Minetti 42 years old ascended the highest peak of Cambodia in 3 hours and 27 minutes.

A few days after, in Phnom Penh, David and I are having a beer with Fred and his wife Deb. Fred explains he went for a 4km light run yesterday on the riverside to avoid any muscle pain. I am clearly in front of a legend. The conversation goes on and Deb suggests we should come to Reno, Nevada.

I did not just met Fred Zalokar, I met who I want to be in 25 years : an accomplish athlete, a loving father, a gentle husband, a successful entrepreneur and a humble man. Yesterday, I texted David: "I hope you are well seated". I was on my way back from a 4 days tour in the forests with a group. His death felt like our minivan suddenly stopped. I turn to our driver. The very same driver who was driving Fred to his national record. He can't believe it. David texts me back: "I am bummed. I liked this guy, a nice encounter, short but strong in emotions".

The adventure community and the spheres of competitive running and mountain climbing just lost an icon. The C4 team is devastated by the news. It was an honor to organise your nation ascent record Fred. All our thoughts goes to your love ones.


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