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If I Live Until Morning: A True Story of Adventure, Tragedy and Transformation
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If I Live Until Morning: A True Story of Adventure, Tragedy and Transformation

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  452 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Her grand adventure turned into a nightmare. After skiing 200 miles along California's John Muir Trail, Jean faces death from a mountaineering accident on Mount Whitney. Broken and bleeding on the highest peak in the continental United States, she vows to realize her greatest dreams if she lives until morning. Her escape from the Sierra Nevada Mountains turns into a five-d ...more
Paperback, 274 pages
Published March 18th 2018 by Vajrasky Books
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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  452 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Ummm...if you can not say something nice don't say anything at all comes to mind. I can't really think of anything positive to say about this read. Due to the nature of being the authors life story I don't feel comfortable sharing my thoughts so I will just let this one go with my rating and say I am surprised it is so highly rated by others. ...more
Smitha Murthy
I thought this would be a much-needed inspirational lift for my jaded soul. But while I understand the grit and courage behind Jean’s story, I just wish it read more like a story.

I can’t put my finger on it - I lost the story right from the beginning with long, overly detailed accounts of Jean’s attempt to ski the John Muir Trail. Courageous. I know. I can’t even dream of doing anything like that. But while I admire Jean, I can’t admire the way this story was written. Sadly. :-(
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was great to hear Jean speak at Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder, CO and see slides of her epic skiing adventure on Mt. Whitney in 82 before reading the book. I know & love the physical therapist who helped her heal her once broken body 20 yrs after the accident.
Mt. Whitney is a magical place that could have turned so tragic for both Jean & Ken. I found the book full of adventure. Jean’s travels in Asia were delightful and the meditation piece very critical to her healing spiritually. I hav
Judy Churchill
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
The author has a true love for mountains - and climbing them. She and her future husband were undertaking the trip of a lifetime. They were following the John Muir trail across the Sierras on cross country skis culminating with the ascent of Mount Whitney. On the descent Muenchrath fell 150 feet and was grievously injured. This is the story of her survival and long road to healing.
Inspiring and Tear Jerking

It feels like 2 books beautifully merged into one; one about adventure and tragedy, flowing into another about transformation. The transformation story deeply follows the author’s Buddhist beliefs. Even though I don’t follow Buddhist teachings, and have never suffered through the kind of physical trauma that the author did, I found a lot that I could relate to. This is an inspiring, attention grabbing and at times eye-watering story, with some strong writing. It is boun
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This could have benefited from tighter editing and proofreading. Still, it's a compelling life story. For me, it was something of an exercise in not judging, and trying to understand why the author made some of the decisions she did. I appreciated that opportunity. By the end of the book I was moved to tears. I bumped my rating up to compensate for those who bumped theirs down due to their dislike of non-Christian spirituality. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4. ...more
Story Circle Book Reviews
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
The title of Jean Muenchrath's book, If I Live Until Morning and the book's moody cover of high mountains provide more than a hint of what story awaits readers. Something tragic is going to happen that will leave the author near death. And that is exactly how the tale unfolds. Caught in a storm high on Mount Whitney in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the author slips and falls. She comes close to death before she and her cross-country skiing companion painfully make it down the mountain five days l ...more
Jul 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-unlimited
A reluctant 3 stars because the writing was pretty good and I finished it, though barely. Amazon promoted this book to me as a hiking survival story. It started off as that but I was surprised to be only one-third through the book when the author’s hiking ordeal ended. The rest of the book was part memoir, part bitterness over the end of her marriage, and mostly her new age woo quest for healing of her pain. I enjoyed some parts of her travel descriptions but the the mystical and new age parts o ...more
Jann Hurley
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that will be enjoyed by adventurers, travelers, hikers and climbers. It also explores meditation and belief. Readers who want to learn more about Buddhist healing and teachings will find fascinating insights. Jean tells a very gripping, fascinating, and beautiful story. Jean's love of climbing and of the mountains shine through in this story. Her real-life story is incredible. It reads like a fictional adventure story, yet it is real. Jean's honesty in describing her struggles bot ...more
Molly Geib Eldridge
Truly inspirational.

This survival story was a book I couldn't wait to get back to. It chronicles the author's near fatal accident on Mt. Whitney and her ability to get down the mountain in spite of her injuries including fractured bones. As a retired therapist, I became even more impressed with her inner journey of emotional healing from trauma that was unfortunately delayed. Her spiritual quest into Buddhism provided her with existential healing as well. It's a testament to human endurance, and
Sue Davidson
Generally, I love adventure stories, and I really wanted to like this book. The first third of the book, in which the author recounts her adventure, and then tragedy on Mt Whitney, was great. I was much less enchanted with the rest of the book and was grateful when it ended. I know I can't really know her heart and soul and motives, but she seems very focused on herself. It was all about her adventures and then all about her trauma and efforts to get relief. It is understandable that her pain dr ...more
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jean shows through firsthand experience that disaster can open the door to a new perspective and even new adventures. What at first appears as a journey to conquer physical pain soon reveals itself as a journey to overcome the emotional trauma from dealing with the aftermath of a near-death experience. This inspiring book is well worth the read, especially for others dealing with their own difficulties.
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Not only was reading If I Live Until Morning a life-changing experience - SO WAS MEETING HER!
A story of growth and survival and perseverance, I still can't believe it. Because I'm no such mountain climber myself, much of this was difficult to envision. The pure natural gusto of it all is shocking, and then the pain and rebuilding she went through. I'll read this again. And then probably again. And maybe even one more time.
Christine Arrowsmith Hartman
Searching for truth and missing the real truth of salvation through Jesus Christ.

The book was easy to read and very interesting. I would have enjoyed a deeper understanding of the human relationships. The descriptions of places to into much more detail than the details of relational matters.

I felt sad that the author was in a sincere search for dinner peace and had missed knowing the Prince of Peace.
Danielle Leick
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought the entirety of this book was amazing and awe-inspiring. I can only imagine how tough it must have been out there on Mount Whitney only to be silenced for so long after. It’s amazing how much courage the author gained in order to overcome her hardships. I’m a fan of adventure memoirs and this one really hit the spot. It invoked both a greater sense of adventure in me and the thought that I should be a little more cautious when out on the PNW trails myself.
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There were some parts in the middle that lagged but I’m glad I listened to the whole thing. The transformation at the end is worth it. The author’s description of skiing the John Muir Trail are pretty amazing and I shuddered in sympathetic pain and fear over her accident. It really is amazing that she survived. Maybe back in 1992, it didn’t seem so weird to never talk about feelings but this seems a perfect illustration of what unprocessed trauma can manifest.
Hannah M.  Sherwood
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring. Beautiful. Made me miss the mountains and itch to explore. I want to go to Nepal I think haha I want to see the Himalayas. This book deserves no lower than 4 stars. The author’s heart wrenching story of survival and healing says a lot to the reader. There’s so much to take away. Maybe I am biased as mountain lover, but I don’t care :)
Priscilla Darling
A heartwarming book

Food for thought. How our mind can give negative or positive thoughts. Negative will take over if we let it. She learned the hard way but concord the negative. I am thankful Jean wrote the book not only for helping her self healing, but to inspire and help others.
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Dear Jean
During these depressing COVID times I found your book very inspirational and positive. You write so well and connect with the reader from the first page. I am an armchair mountain climber and your book took me with you to every exotic location.
Well done. Be well.
Cheryl L English
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hard to stop reading

This book transports the reader to worlds few people ever experience. I admire the author's courage to travel alone in these places of remote beauty. She has great courage and strength. She also makes friends and is able to experience whatever the world offers. I really admire her.
Lorri Stanton
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing story and beautiful read

Loved this book. Mountainiers and rock climbers, adventurers in general just fascinate me. In Jean's book the end result of what her mind could accomplish was unbelievable, especially that she could get her and her pack out of the mountains with broken and shattered bones, is truly remarkable.
Colleen Froats
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspiring account of human spirit and determination

I enjoyed reading this book, sometimes in total wonderment of her strength and determination. I am happy for the path she has found and traveled since this life altering accident. It gives hope and proves the strength of spirit.
Sharon Stern
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Originally I was looking for a climbing adventure but this turned into so much more.
Yes the climbing was very adventurous and scenic descriptions fabulous. Then it moved on into a world of personal growth and awareness. I enjoyed this book very much, and intend to go forward looking for that unique balance between peace and pain.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent reading

I loved this story, well written and informative. Insightful and thoughtful, delves into how fear can disable us. Enjoyed the authors ' physical and mental journeys
Alayne Rosenstein
Beautiful and Inspiring

I couldn’t put this book down. Such a beautiful story and beautiful spirit that I could identify with over and over again. This is the best book I’ve ever read. Thank you for sharing with us!
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A worthwhile read

The story is much more than an unfortunate accident on a mountain in winter. Meaningful, uplifting, inspiring. Enjoy the highs and lows . Unforgettable adventure with earned wisdom.
Barbara Notobartolo
True grit!

I was amazed at the authors true grit and have to come off the mountain with all her injuries on mostly her own grit is beyond comprehension...I enjoyed reading her other adventures throughout the story and am glad she finally found peace.
Sonya  Stephens
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and inspiring

I enjoyed this story that was both adventurous and emotional. The author didn't let a scary accident in her 20's stop her from exploring the Himalayas and living her !I've to the fullest.
Jolene Elison
I really enjoyed the hiking and skiing parts on John Muir trail and Mount Whitney. However the heavy Buddhist and enlightenment parts were ....? How can such a strong person put up with such a toxic relationship? That was confusing. Her
Diane Grenier
Dec 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story of endurance, survival, and determination

Very well written and fast read. Helps mountain trauma surviors feel not so alone and good story to give to others to help understand!
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Jean Muenchrath’s insatiable appetite for adventure has taken her on mountain escapades across North and South America and Asia. She loves to explore wild places under the power of her own two feet. She has been a park ranger for over thirty years, led treks in Nepal and Thaila

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