A Toronto woman who died on Mount Everest did not heed warnings for her to turn back, according to the Nepalese tour company who organized her expedition.
Ganesh Thakuri, a guide with Utmost Adventure Trekking, said Shriya Shah-Klorfine, who died on Everest this past Saturday, encountered increased traffic on the mountain, where between 250 and 300 climbers were attempting to reach the summit.
Due to poor weather conditions in the week before the climb, Sherpas had only been able to secure one safety rope on the mountain.
"There was only one rope, so there was lots of traffic," said Thakuri. "Sometimes there was lots of traffic, we had to wait 2½ hours for the traffic to pass the route."
Thakuri said he encouraged Shah-Klorfine to turn back and try again for the summit another time but the Canadian climber was too determined to fulfill her dream.
"Myself, I asked her to go back and try next year or some other year," he said. "But she didn’t listen."
Her decision to push on would prove fatal. On her descent, Shah-Klorfine, 33, ran out of oxygen bottles and died.
Overcrowding, inexperience a common Everest problem
Sam Wyatt and Steve Curtis, two Vancouver-based climbers who successfully made the summit trek on May 19, were climbing on the north side of Everest and saw the clog of climbers, which included Shah-Klorfine, venturing up the south side.
Even though the north side was less crowded, Juan Jose Polo Carbayo, a Spanish climber on Curtis and Wyatt’s expedition, died while trying to reach the summit.
"When someone shows up on the mountain and doesn't have their gear together and doesn't know if their crampons fits their boots, they shouldn't be on Everest," said Curtis. "That was the case with Juan when he showed up."
Reports say Sherpas working with Utmost Adventure Trekking will attempt to recover Shah-Klorfine’s body from the mountain later this week, but poor weather conditions could make recovery difficult.
Canadian climber Sandra Leduc, who was forced to turn back on May 19 but plans to make another attempt at the summit this weekend, has tweeted that the sides of Everest seemed "like a morgue."
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