A Fitting Memorial


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Today we had a sombre reminder of our shared mortality, as we passed the memorial cairns above Dughla, that stand as a testament to those who have lost their lives on Everest, including several Canadians.

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Our expedition left its own cairn to commemorate the passing of Mrs Shriya Klorfine-Shah, a Nepali-Canadian woman who sadly died on Everest this spring. The soldiers mounted a plaque dedicated by her family, to facilitate their grieving and to mourn the passing of a fellow Canadian. I asked our team to share some of their sentiments about how they felt during the ceremony.

Neal Carman - "Proud to remember."

Corey Hatt - "Honoured to pay tribute, to come together as one and to pay my respects to those who have walked before us."

Chris Drewes - "Solemn reminder of the sacrifices we make for the things we love."

Carl Keenan - "We came together for an honourable cause and together are forever bonded in our journey."

Brian Hyland - "Glad to have been allowed to participate and honoured. Rest in peace."

Matt Nilson - "Everyone deserves a proper tribute. I feel it was the only right thing to do and I'm happy to be a part of it."

Michelle Quinton-Hickey - "Respect. She died doing what she loved -- as our soldiers are respected and honoured when they pay the ultimate sacrifice."

David MacDonald - "We may not have known her, but we gathered to pay our respects to a woman who had died doing what she loved. I have said goodbye to comrades and I hope that we did her family proud."

Roseanna Mandy - "I was proud to be part of the memorial ceremony and found myself thinking of her family. I had planned to take my blessed scarf from Tengboche monastery to the top of Island Peak, but tied it to the top of Mrs Shah's memorial instead, because I felt her family needed the team's blessings and prayers more at this time."

Craig Tourangeau - "Honoured. I was proud to be part of the team that erected the plaque. It was a surreal feeling as my team mates hammered in the nails. I also left my kata from our expedition puja as a tribute to a life lost."

And as we head to Everest base camp in a day or two, I shall leave you with the wise words of Peter Burcrew: "Not all climbers will win against the mountains. Today's memorial is just a reminder of how we should never forget to pay all due respect to these giants."

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