Honouring Shriya Shah-Klorfine, an extraordinary woman who summited Mount Everest, but lost her life

On May 19, 2012, Shriya Shah-Klorfine became the first South Asian woman from Canada (and the fourth Canadian woman) to summit the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest.

Today, we received sad news that Shriya will not be coming home. She died on the descent.

In memory: Shriya Shah-Klorfine, by Shannon Skinner

photo: Shriya Shah-Klorfine









The life of an explorer is no-doubt an exciting one. It also has its dangers. But Shriya did not let the fear get in her way.

I had spoken to Shriya a few times on the telephone, as she was booked to be a guest on my talk show Extraordinary Women TV. She was so excited about her pending Everest expedition and what she was doing to inspire youth and other women, and was training hard for it. The day before our interview, I had to unfortunately reschedule it due to a terrible cold/flu I was fighting, and we thought we’d wait until after she got home from her expedition to share her story.

I was looking forward to helping Shriya get her inspiring message out – to inspire other young women to follow their dreams, as Shriya has done. In my heart, I feel as if I have let down Shriya.

So today, I honour Shriya in the way I can. Shriya had emailed me these two lovely photos of her, so I thought I would share them here.

In her words:

“This is my dream and passion, and want to do something for my country. Nothing is impossible in this world; even the word ‘impossible’ says ‘I M POSSIBLE’! … Dream big and live happy!”

In memory: Shriya Shah-Klorfine, by Shannon Skinner

photo: Shriya Shah-Klorfine











Shriya was born in Kathmandu, Nepal, and grew up in Mumbai, India, exposed to a diverse mix of South Asian cultures.

She was an entrepreneur, social worker, and above all, a daring lady. She gained professional experience in various industries including fashion and food production, hospitality, imports and exports.

In 2000, she took the opportunity to work on cruise ships, traveling around the world. She said, “It was tough, but I enjoyed every challenge that came my way.”

While aboard she met her life partner, Bruce Klorfine, and after 2 years they decided to get married. After their engagement and wedding in Mumbai, India, they came to settle in Bruce’s home city of Toronto, Canada.

Shriya was the owner/president of SOS Splash of Style Inc., a company recognized as the exclusive importer of Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s ‘Khazana’ products in Canada. She was an active member of various social and cultural organizations.

She is the first South Asian woman from Canada to summit the world’s highest mountain -Mount Everest. Her ambition was to become Canada’s 4th Canadian woman to make the climb and encouraging the youth, women and helping SickKids hospital.

copyright © Shannon Skinner 2012