SAN DIEGO — Thirty-four-year-old Adam Shmidt is being remembered as a man who gave everything he did — his all — as a teacher, loving husband and avid climber.
Shmidt died while hiking and climbing El Cajon Mountain, or El Capitan, in Lakeside. He left home to hike around 9 a.m. Monday, and was supposed to return home by 2 p.m. When he didn’t come home, his family called authorities.
On Tuesday around 8:45 a.m., crews found a man’s body in their search for a 34-year-old hiker near one of the hiking trails on El Cajon Mountain.
Becca Fink, Shmidt’s wife of 13 years, told FOX 5, “… on July 31 he went to the place where he felt most connected to himself and nature. Adam died doing his favorite thing in his favorite place.”
She shared the following words to honor her husband:
“Adam Shmidt seized every opportunity that life gave him. If he had an interest in something, it would fully consume him. As summer began, Adam set an intention to meaningfully fill each day before starting a new high school English instructor position in the fall. He continued his two+ year streak of New York Times crosswords, read the 12 books on the curriculum for his upcoming school year, accomplished a lifetime goal of climbing the diamond and summiting Longs Peak, conquered the Vampire at Tahquitz, made the summit of Grand Teton, explored big wall climbing in Zion, climbed in Yosemite, gave me more love and affection than another person has known, and gave all of himself to his family and friends, especially his Mom. And on July 31 he went to the place where he felt most connected to himself and nature. Adam died doing his favorite thing in his favorite place. He lived life to the fullest knowing it could be taken at any time. His accident doesn’t mean we should stop. His accident fuels me to continue adventuring more. I’ll keep showing him the natural beauty of this world through my eyes, and continue his journey of living fully through me. While not present, Adam is not gone.”
The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office will perform an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of his death.
Three San Diego County trails are now closed because of the heat: El Capitan County Preserve, Hellhole Canyon County Preserve and Mt. Gower County Preserve. They will reopen Sept. 1.