Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Sherpa Decision

We had great news this morning when we heard that Barbara and Nima Tashi summited Loboche. They did it in fine style too summiting in about 5 hours from high camp. We expect them back later today. I'm very pleased and proud of Barbara. She accomplished her goal of climbing over 20,000. She's a strong woman.

This afternoon there was a large Puja and memorial service for the lost Sherpa with all of the teams in Base Camp participating. It was a fitting and moving ceremony. Towards the end of the gathering it became more of a political rally to support the reasons many of the Sherpa had gone on strike until the Nepalese government meets their demands for the climbers that were killed or injured in the Ice Fall accident. In the end it became clear that no matter what happens with the Sherpa's demands on the Nepalese government the Everest climbing season is now over. The Sherpa do not want to go into the Ice Fall again this season out of respect to the ones they lost. They are too sad and have suffered too much this time to continue.

To the lost and injured Sherpa's my heart goes out to them and their families. To the Sherpa who have decided not to continue this season, again in my heart, I can understand their difficult decision and pain. We've heard the accident scene is a living nightmare. Getting the bodies out of the ice was messy. How could anyone that witnessed this scene not be traumatized.  

I hope everyone that has been effected by this tragedy both Sherpa and and us foreigners can move forward and learn something from it. I know I will.

So, it's with a heavy, but healthy heart, that I now need to start packing to go home in a few days. After all the training, planning, and worries of back trouble, knee trouble, and heart issues I never thought this would end my climb. I sure wish things were different because I feel very strong after going to 19,000 feet yesterday. My legs feel strong, my lungs feel strong, and the team we have was perfect for a successful climb. Mentally, I'd have to say that since the accident, and being in limbo about wherever or not we'd get a chance to climb these last five days, has worn on me some. It's hard to keep your eyes on the prize when so many have lost their lives and have been permanently injured. It is what it is…

I do know that Steve, Martin, Jeff, Jim, Scott, Nima, Jetha, Barbara, the rest of our Sherpa staff, and I, are all very disappointed and sad. This team was a perfect mix of personalities and I have grown to really respect and admire all these fine folks. I could not have picked a better group people to attempt this climb with and do hope to climb something with them again in the future.

After many years of dreaming about this climb and finally being so close, I will be coming home forever changed. Many thoughts are forming and will be for days, weeks, months, and probably years. I'm lucky to have Barbara with me and we will have a joyful walk out of this majestic Khumbu region once again together. Will we come back…only time will tell.

Namaste my friends.


  1. Sad for those that lost the loved ones and for those poor guys that went through it all. Glad the ones we care about are coming home safe. The mountain ain't going away. It will always be there for you my brother. God speed. Enjoy what you can...reflect on that experience. Can't wait to catch up. I'll continue the training hikes....no matter what the end game is... see you soon.

  2. Well said Ron. Safe travels home Shane and Barbara. Much love, Therese and Neil

  3. Shane - I'm excited that Barbara and Nima made their goal !
    Such a pivotal moment in time to be at Khumbu, and Mt. Everest. We all look forward to seeing you both upon your return. Much Love, MK

    1. Shane I know how important this is to you - you can go again, as Ronnie says that mountain ain't going anywhere. You can accomplish your goal. I am very proud of you and Barbara but sad that this has happened. You have worked very hard. Enjoy the rest of your stay and look forward to another climb. Love you both. Congratulations Barbara. Darcey

  4. Shane - Give Barbara a hug of congratulations from us. What an experience you have had, albeit very different from what you imagined. We are thinking of as you journey home. Much love, Susan and Peter

  5. Big big hugs from here! So glad you are both safe and so very thoughtful as always,


  6. Shane - I am sad for you and disappointed for you, and - I confess - relieved you and Barbara are coming home safe and sound. What an experience for you both - my heart goes out to you. With love,

  7. We get it.................
    So, to distract you, let's all plan a climb together. You are trip leader!
    (And congrats Barb-you are a Goddess)

  8. Sorry to hear that you missed out on the big part of this adventure Shane. I don't know how it could have happened after the accident. Your blog is eloquent and heartful. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your trip out. Travel home safe.

  9. Very sorry to hear that but understand this decision was out of your hands. I'm glad Barbara completed her climb. Very impressive! Thank you for keeping us all involved in this great chapter in your life through your blog. Looking forward to lunch at Carolina Sushi and Roll when you get back! You'll probably have to break your Vegan diet for the day, though! Safe travels back to the US.

    BTW, do you know specifically when you will be arriving back at RDU? Please let us all know!

  10. Shane, not sure what to say, other than even with the tragedy and disappointment try to enjoy the time, place and people as much as you can. Make the most of it! It's the journey not the destination and all that...

  11. Shane, I just know you will be back to climb Everest. Huge congrats to Barbara on her summit!

  12. Shane, nothing I can really add to your eloquent words and those of your other friends here on the blog, but please tell Barbara congratulations from us on her climb (she is fierce!!). Despite your disappointment and this terrible tragedy, you will go on to climb many mountains, and we are so glad that you and Barb are safe. Hope to see you and Barb in the not too distant future. Namaste.

  13. Hi-thinking of you all the time these days. The thing I most cherish about the magical trek back (and there were many things), was entering the lush, oxygen-rich, Edenesque Bengkar region--esp after the dry rocky desolation of the upper altitudes. And the lovely people (sans the masses of tourists). I know this trek back will be bittersweet but Goddess Mother of the Earth "is there" and you will most definitely return. Namaste...

  14. Swami thanks for all the updates, it was a different adventure than you expected but that's what adventures are. Your blessed to have been able to come back and share the experience - those prayer wheels do work! It seems like the petition of the Sherpa's make good sense for everyone if they are enacted. The bigger issue is the state of the declining glaciers and increasing dangers as they erode at the higher elevations. Here is a link I was using to follow your trek and learn a bit more of the environmental challenges. Looking forward to the KAC debriefing at TPR.


    Cheers and Namaste Sw


  15. The disappointment must be huge, but I know that you've gained an incredible insights from all this.

    Bill Triplett

  16. Shane & Barbara - Take in the love and support from all of us as you make your trek back home !


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  18. You both must be carrying a poignant mix of emotions as you journey home. May you find meaning and insight in this unexpected trek of the heart. Come home safe and well. namaste, Amyla