If I Live Until Morning

A True Story of Adventure, Tragedy and Transformation

Non-Fiction - Adventure
274 Pages
Reviewed on 12/13/2020
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Author Biography

Author and inspirational speaker Jean Muenchrath wrote her memoir, If I Live Until Morning, A True Story of Adventure, Tragedy and Transformation, to heal herself and to inspire others to live their dreams and to find the courage to deal with their life’s greatest challenges. Muenchrath’s Colorado childhood gave her an insatiable appetite for mountain adventures. She loves to explore wild places under the power of her own two feet, and to feel the connection between her heart and soul and the natural world. She has traveled throughout North and South America and Asia. Her journeys have broadened her perspective about herself, humanity and the planet we share. She has been a park ranger with the National Park Service for over three decades, led trekking tours in Nepal and Thailand, and worked in Bhutan with the World Wildlife Fund. To balance her outer and inner worlds, she spends two months a year in solitary retreat. 100% of the proceeds from her book are donated to charity.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

If I Live Until Morning: A True Story of Adventure, Tragedy and Transformation by Jean Muenchrath is a memoir in which the author explores her inner journey towards healing and wholeness after a devastating accident. It was supposed to be a fun wilderness adventure but a fall at the peak of the mountain left Jean broken and bleeding, with fractures in her spine and pelvis. She vowed that she was going to achieve her greatest dreams should she live until morning. Follow her struggle to survive and recover and as she embarked on a journey that took her around the world. The new adventure brought her to many places and to the spiritual guides of Tibet where she learned invaluable lessons from their ancient wisdom.

If I Live Until Morning is an inspiring memoir filled with insights, powerful lessons in facing pain, and spiritual wisdom. I enjoyed the way the author explores her inner transformation. The work she does on herself has lessons for everyone. I also loved how the author juxtaposes what happens in the outside world with the stirrings and growth of her spirit. This is a story of courage, and at the center of the story is the author’s drive to survive, to heal, to manifest a new reality. If you are looking for an inspiring story, then this is it!

The audio-book is narrated in Sarah Brands’ compelling voice. It is clear and captures the moods of the author as she lives through agony and strong emotions. The audio-book is professionally recorded and Sarah Brands allows readers to feel the pain of the author, her debilitating sense of despair, her hope, and her struggle to deal with the trauma.

Joanie Chevalier

If I live Until Morning by Jean Muenchrath is a deeply moving real-life story about one woman’s near-death experience on Mount Whitney, and then her decades-long quest for peace and healing. Jean takes the reader on the journey with her and her boyfriend (and later, her husband) as they prepare for a trip of a lifetime skiing in Sequoia National Park, and finally on Mount Whitney. They meticulously prepare by stashing food caches along the way before the main trip. What they didn’t prepare for was the fall both of them took and the painful hike back to civilization, Jean with a broken pelvis and a punctured and mutilated buttock. It was a miracle they survived in that cold, wintery environment. Later, Ken insists that Jean not talk about their adventure, and she complies, not really understanding why. After their horrifying ordeal, Jean spends almost three decades trying to find healing and peace, finally finding it while hiking in the Himalayas, and discovering the Tibetan lamas and their teachings.

If I Live Until Morning by Jean Muenchrath is so much more than the first part of her book in which she describes in detail her fall and survival on Mount Whitney. The second and third parts of the book are about her recovery and then her study of Buddhism by trusted and beloved Tibetan lamas. She takes the reader with her as she details her life for over three decades. Her fall happened when she was only twenty-two years old, and death touched and changed her life forever in her relationships and her continued body pain. When she and her husband drift apart after the accident, she goes on a hiking trip with a friend to the Himalayas and that trip changed her life. After studying Buddhism for years, she comes to understand the Eastern view of death, which is to transfer to another life, to be reincarnated. This understanding leads Jean to accept her own near-death experience and the painful deaths of her sister and then her ex-husband Ken. Jean finds closure when she hikes up Mount Whitney almost thirty-one years after her near-death experience.

A moving, compelling story that would be enjoyed by all who love adventure and those who are searching for the insightful meaning of life. If I Live Until Morning by Jean Muenchrath audio version was narrated by Sarah Brands. Sarah Brands is a successful narrator of almost a dozen books. I would definitely recommend reading any book narrated by this performer. Her clear, crisp voice is easy to listen to, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Joe Wisinski

If I Live Until Morning: A True Story of Adventure, Tragedy and Transformation is Jean Muenchrath’s autobiographical story. It begins with the aftermath of a horrific accident she suffered while on Mount Whitney. The book then flashes back to the skiing adventure taken by Muenchrath and her then-boyfriend, which was an attempt to ski the entire length of the John Muir Trail in California. It was on this trip that the accident took place. Muenchrath relates the trip’s highs and lows in detail, as she does again later with her adventures in the Himalayans. The book continues with the telling of Muenchrath’s spiritual journey, which is interlaced with her battle against the physical devastation caused by the Mount Whitney accident. She realizes that much of her physical and emotional healing depends on her sharing the story of the accident and her subsequent journey. Fittingly, near the end of the book, she returns to Mount Whitney.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was hooked from the first chapter. If I Live Until Morning: A True Story of Adventure, Tragedy and Transformation is partly an adventure story and partly a tale of courage, survival, and spiritual seeking. Jean Muenchrath is a fine writer and a superb storyteller. Anyone who likes adventures and/or wants to be inspired by a courageous story will enjoy If I Live Until Morning. Muenchrath not only tells her adventurous life story, but she also provides key insights into the human condition. The version that I “read” was an audiobook, and Muenchrath also chose wisely in her selection of narrator Sarah Brands. Her voice is warm, pleasant, and clear. It fits in perfectly with the book’s style and tone. I never had to go back and listen again to understand a sentence or to clarify what Muenchrath wrote.


I enjoyed this book. It was lovely to read about another persons spiritual/life journey.
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov said something like "This life is the gymnasium of the soul" and this resonated strongly with me. I remember it daily and it has helped me to understand that difficulties viewed this way can lead to Acceptance. Through Acceptance we begin to make progress on the spiritual path. At least that has been my experience.
Thank you Jean Muenchrath for sharing your story. I think what you have written about is inspiring. I love too that all profits from this book go to charity.