Canadian woman who died on Everest to be repatriated
Shriya Shah-Klorfine (foreground), of Toronto, is shown at the summit of Mount Everest. The body of the Canadian woman who died while returning from the summit of Mount Everest is one step closer to being evacuated from the mountain. (Utmost Adventure Trekking Pvt. Ltd.)
Published Wednesday, May 30, 2012 3:18PM EDT
TORONTO - A Toronto woman who died hours after reaching the summit of the world's tallest peak will eventually be laid to rest in the country she came to regard as home, her husband said Wednesday.
Bruce Klorfine said his wife, Shriya Shah-Klorfine, will be repatriated to Canada in the coming days.
Family members were able to proceed with funeral arrangements on Tuesday after a helicopter plucked her remains from the slopes of Mount Everest. It was the culmination of a complex recovery operation that saw five climbers slog through difficult conditions to bring her body down from the mountain's so-called death zone, an area named for its treacherous terrain and sparse oxygen supplies.
In a statement emailed to The Canadian Press, Klorfine said his wife's family members gathered at a temple in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu for a traditional funeral and cremation service shortly after her body was returned.
Her remains will be flown back to Canada, he said, adding she will also be honoured at a memorial service in the Toronto area.
"I am staying with the family in Kathmandu until next week, and observing the Hindu mourning traditions with them insomuch as I am able," Klorfine said.
Shah-Klorfine, 33, perished hours after fulfilling a long-held dream of reaching the peak of Mount Everest on May 19.
She was among an estimated 150 climbers making their way to the top that day and one of four mountaineers to die in what have been described as overcrowded conditions.
Ganesh Thakuri, owner of the company that oversaw Shah-Klorfine's expedition, said the throng on the peak made her ascent unusually sluggish.
She had been climbing for more than 17 hours by the time she reached the summit at 2 P.M., he said, adding her exhaustion and windy weather conditions proved too much for her on the way back down.
"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," Thakury previously 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'!"