Body of Canadian climber recovered on Everest to be airlifted off mountain

The body of a Canadian woman who died hours after fulfilling her dream of summiting the world’s tallest mountain is one step closer to being returned to her family members.

The body of a Canadian woman who died hours after fulfilling her dream of summiting the world’s tallest mountain is one step closer to being returned to her family members.

A five-person climbing team slogged through rough weather over two days to recover the body of Shriya Shah-Klorfine from the slopes of Mount Everest.

Her remains are currently resting at a camp within helicopter range and are to be flown on Tuesday to the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, where her husband and other family members are waiting to make final arrangements.

The 33-year-old from Toronto succumbed to exhaustion and cold while making her way down from the summit to the camp where she was slated to rest for the night on May 19. She was one of four climbers to perish on an usually busy day on the peak.

Ganesh Thakuri, owner of Utmost Adventure Trekking which oversaw Shah-Klorfine’s expedition, said recovering her body was a way to make amends for failing to bring her home alive.

“Anything can happen on the mountain,” he said in a telephone interview from Kathmandu. “Sometimes we work hard and we try to help each other, but sometimes it doesn’t work.”

The recovery operation involved a team of five climbers ascending to more than 8,000 metres above sea level, Thakuri said.

Difficult weather conditions slowed the group’s progress, but the team succeeded in bringing the body back to the second of four climbing camps early Monday.

Thakuri said a helicopter was scheduled to retrieve Shah-Klorfine’s body from the mountain later in the day, but had to abort the plan after running into cloudy weather.

Shah-Klorfine’s death was caused in part by overcrowding in the mountain’s so-called “death zone” between the final camp and the summit, Thakuri said.

The area above the last camp at the South Col earned its name because of its steep icy terrain, treacherous conditions and low oxygen level. Climbers are generally advised not to attempt the dangerous area too late in the day in order to conserve their strength for the return trip.

The estimated 150 people making their way up the peak that day caused many bottlenecks along the route, slowing progress for all concerned and taxing some beyond their strength.

Shah-Klorfine had been climbing for nearly 17 hours by the time she reached the summit at 2:00 p.m., Thakuri said.

The descent was further complicated by cold, windy conditions, he added.

“She lost her stamina, and according to the sherpas was suffering with the altitude. Everything came together when they were coming down and she collapsed,” Thakuri said.

German doctor Eberhard Schaaf, 62, 55-year-old Wang-yi Fa of China and 44-year-old South Korean mountaineer Song Won-bin also died on the mountain that day.

Born in Kathmandu, Shah-Klorfine grew up in Mumbai, India and moved to Canada to be with her husband and start an import business, SOS Splash of Style Inc.

Her adopted country soon became central to her convictions as she involved herself in social and political groups, including the Conservative Party of Canada, where she was on the board of directors as secretary to the party’s Toronto-Davenport riding association.

Her desire to climb Mount Everest was also intermingled with her patriotism. “This is my dream and passion, and (I) want to do something for my country,” Shah-Klorfine wrote on her website.

“Nothing is impossible in this world, even the word ’impossible’ says ’I M POSSIBLE’!”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer RCMP say a 30-year-old man faces sexual charges against a teen. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Innisfail RCMP arrest man following ‘lengthy pursuit’

Innisfail RCMP say a “lengthy pursuit” through a rural area ended with… Continue reading

Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan speaks in the Alberta Legislature on Wednesday in this image from his Facebook page.
Red Deer MLA Jason Stephan sounds off on socialism in anti-lockdown speech

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan has applauded his government’s COVID-19 response, saying… Continue reading

(Photo by Paul Cowley/ Advocate Staff)
Mask bylaws not popular in rural areas

Red Deer and Blackfalds bylaws requiring masks in public places kick in on Monday

A GoFundMe campaign to support a Stettler couple following a fire has raised more than $3,000. (Contributed photo)
Family pet dies in Stettler fire

GoFundMe page has raised more than $3K so far

Canadian Olympic gymnast and National Sport School alumni Kyle Shewfelt announces his retirement in Calgary, Thursday, May 21, 2009. Calgary's board of education will close the National Sport School that has produced Olympic and Paralympic champions for 26 years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Calgary’s National Sport School to close, looks to join a different school division

Calgary’s National Sport School to close, looks to join a different school division

Canada's Erica Wiebe, left, celebrates after defeating Nigeria's Blessing Onyebuchi, right on the ground, to win Gold medal in women's FS 76Kg wrestling at the Commonwealth Games on Gold Coast, Australia, Thursday, April 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Canada’s Olympic champion wrestler Erica Wiebe eyes return to competition

Canada’s Olympic champion wrestler Erica Wiebe eyes return to competition

Louisiana-Lafayette running back Elijah Mitchell (15) is tackled by Coastal Carolina linebacker Enock Makonzo (43) and safety Cameron Mitchell (49) during the first half of an NCAA football game in Lafayette, La., Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. It's already been a season to remember but Canadian Enock Makonzo and the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers will chase two more firsts Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Paul Kieu
Canadian Enock Makonzo, Chanticleers chase Sun Belt East regular-season crown

Canadian Enock Makonzo, Chanticleers chase Sun Belt East regular-season crown

Atlanta United's Mo Adams, right, challenges Toronto FC's Alejandro Pozuelo during first half MLS soccer action in East Hartford, Conn., Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. Toronto FC's Alejandro Pozuelo says he finished the season with an injured leg. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jessica Hill
Toronto FC ready to refocus on future as long, hard season comes to an end

Toronto FC ready to refocus on future as long, hard season comes to an end

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart speak to the media during a visit to the Molson Overdose Prevention Site in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, Thursday, January 16, 2020. City councillors in Vancouver voted unanimously this week to ask federal officials for an exemption to Canada's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, a decision advocates hope will blaze a trail for the decriminalization of small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use in other municipalities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Advocates aim to shape ‘Vancouver model’ for drug decriminalization

Advocates aim to shape ‘Vancouver model’ for drug decriminalization

Senator Murray Sinclair appears before the Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples in Ottawa, Tuesday, May 28, 2019. Sinclair is planning to leave the Senate early next year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Sen. Murray Sinclair, former head of TRC, set to leave the upper chamber next January

Sen. Murray Sinclair, former head of TRC, set to leave the upper chamber next January

Carolina De La Torre, right, owner of Arepas Ranch in Calgary, poses for a photo with her husband in this undated handout photo. The Venezuelan woman who believes she was used as part of Jason Kenney's argument not to lockdown restaurants in the province remembers her encounter with the premier as a lot less dramatic than he suggested. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Carolina De La Torre *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘No crying’: Venezuelan refugee Kenney cited says interaction was less dramatic

‘No crying’: Venezuelan refugee Kenney cited says interaction was less dramatic

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question from a reporter during a bi-weekly news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau feels most Canadians could be vaccinated by September 2021

Trudeau feels most Canadians could be vaccinated by September 2021

Most Read