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Wednesday, October 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Post Falls High School graduate dies in fall from Utah’s highest peak

UPDATED: Tue., Sept. 22, 2020

Kyle Wimpenny, a 2014 graduate of Post Falls High School, died during a solo backpacking trip in Utah. His roommate in Boise reported him missing on Sept. 16 after he didn’t return home as planned.  (Summit County Sheriff's Office)
Kyle Wimpenny, a 2014 graduate of Post Falls High School, died during a solo backpacking trip in Utah. His roommate in Boise reported him missing on Sept. 16 after he didn’t return home as planned. (Summit County Sheriff's Office)

A 25-year-old man who grew up in Post Falls died last week during a solo backpacking trip in northeastern Utah.

Kyle Wimpenny, a 2014 graduate of Post Falls High School, appears to have fallen about 1,000 feet while attempting to summit King’s Peak, Utah’s tallest mountain, according to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

Search-and-rescue crews found Wimpenny’s body Sunday afternoon after a four-day search. He had left his home in Boise on Sept. 13, and his roommate reported him missing when he didn’t return as planned on Sept. 16.

“Our hearts are broken for the Wimpenny family and friends,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “We offer our most sincere condolences as they mourn the tragic loss of Kyle.”

Wimpenny attended North Idaho College and Boise State University after graduating from Post Falls, where he ran track and cross country.

“He was a very, very likable kid,” recalled Wade Quesnell, the school’s head track coach. “He had a ton of friends.”

Cross country coach Brian Trefry said Wimpenny was a “free spirit” and a strong athlete.

“He was extremely talented as a runner,” Trefry said. “Boy, was he talented. He was good.”

King’s Peak, which stands more than 13,500 feet above sea level, is part of the federally managed High Uintas Wilderness area. The most popular trail to the summit is nearly 27 miles and considered difficult among experienced hikers. It can take several days to complete an out-and-back trip.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office said about a dozen local, state and federal agencies took part in the search for Wimpenny. Crews scoured the area on horseback, from aircraft and with the assistance of search-and-rescue dogs.

The Utah Department of Public Safety airlifted Wimpenny’s body from a drainage area on the mountain to a medical examiner in the city of Kamas after he was found at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

“Although it was not the outcome we hoped for, we are relieved that Kyle will be returned to his family,” the sheriff’s office said.

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