Toronto woman dies while descending Mount Everest
Published Monday, May 21, 2012 9:48PM EDT
A Canadian-Nepali woman described as a "daring lady" died on the weekend along with two others while descending from the summit of Mount Everest.
Shriya Shah-Klorfine died on Saturday along with 61-year-old German doctor Eberhard Schaaf, and South Korean mountaineer Song Won-bin, The Associated Press reports.
Shah-Klorfine, a 33-year-old Toronto resident, and the other climbers were descending the south face of the mountain when they died.
Two other climbers, a Chinese national and his Nepalese Sherpa guide, are still missing.
"My wife was someone who lived life to its fullest, with irrepressible energy and vitality, and won over many hearts with her deep compassion and generous nature," Shah-Klorfine's husband Bruce Klorfine said in a statement to CTV Toronto.
"She died in the pursuit of her dreams, and with the satisfaction of having achieved them."
According to reports, climbers began their summit bids en masse on Friday and Saturday with 150 climbers reaching the top over those two days, taking advantage of the first clear days of the short spring climbing season.
But by Saturday afternoon a windstorm had set in at the higher altitudes of Everest, Gyanendra Shrestha of Nepal's Mountaineering Department told The Canadian Press.
With so many climbers making for the 8,848-metre summit on Saturday, progress was slow and many had to remain in the dangerous "death zone" longer than usual, Shrestha said.
"Many of them are believed to be carrying limited amount of oxygen not anticipating the extra time spent," Shrestha said.
Exhaustion and altitude sickness are believed to have played a role in the deaths.
According to her website, Shah-Klorfine was born in Kathmandu, Nepal and grew up in Mumbai, India before eventually meeting her husband and settling in his hometown of Toronto.
According to the website "she is an entrepreneur, political activist, social worker, and above all, a daring lady."
The website states that Shah-Klorfine was the first South Asian woman from Canada to attempt to raise the Canadian flag on the summit of the world's highest mountain.
"This is my dream and passion, and I want to do something for my country. Nothing is impossible in this world, even the word 'impossible' says 'IM POSSIBLE'!" Shah-Klorfine is quoted as saying on her website.
According to the website, Shah-Klorfine was raising money for the SickKids Foundation through her expedition, with 5 per cent of every dollar raised going to the charity.
However, according to a donation-tracking thermometre on the site, the amount of money raised towards the $5,000 goal was still zero as of Monday.