Everest 3.0: Journey’s End for Now

When I awoke this morning, I got a glimmer of optimism and thought I felt a bit better. I even tried to plot out whether I could fly in tomorrow or the next day to meet my trekking friends. Within 30 minutes though, things regressed and I realized it might be time to toss in the towel or at least the boots and socks.

You see, though my energy is slowly returning, there is something almost equally important to a mountaineer missing. That is my balance and clearheadedness. Since flying down, there has been something wrong with my equilibrium. I am frequently dizzy. I frequently stumble and almost trip. My mind is thick and impaired. I don’t like it one bit. I thought, at first, rest/sleep might change it but it seems to be hanging stubbornly about.

I can’t climb or trek safely when navigating a city block is a challenge and taking a bad fall is a reality. I thought I could keep waiting for it to shift (which it hasn’t much in five days) as well as look into changing my flight home and to my surprise, there were seats tomorrow so I’m headed for home and my own medical team to sort out what’s on the go.

I have a similar boot picture from 2007 and 2010. Linda Cox has painted me a beautiful rendition of it. I took this pic on the way up. I don’t even have my boots. They are still at base camp but the sentiment is still there. It’s been a good journey. I climbed high. Not as high as I wanted. But high. I slept higher than I ever have before. I saw beautiful views and I worked hard. I got taken out of the game by some combo of altitude/illness issues and that’s how it goes sometimes. It’s one of the few times in over 20 expeditions that altitude overwhelmed me. Its humbling, its disappointing, and it is what it is.

Thanks for your support and I’ll be back in St. John’s sometime on Friday.

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32 Responses to Everest 3.0: Journey’s End for Now

  1. Walter Harding says:

    You’re totally amazing.

  2. Denise Ouellette says:

    Oh TA, my heart goes out to you. On a much smaller scale I know that feeling of holding onto HOPE until the bittersweet realization that what you prayed to shift or to become miraculously possible was not going to go in the direction you yearned for with your whole being…to accept the reality of the moment. To make the wiser choice in the moment because to choose otherwise could have such immense consequences. This take so much courage. You are so courageous in so many ways. And then to have the grace and spirit to see the blessings and joys of the journey. I am honored and humbled to witness & share in some small part of your journey!

    I hope you heal easily & quickly. Safe travels home! I can’t wait to see you at AEE in the Twin Cities and to give you the biggest hug full of LOVE!

  3. Your courage, as always, awes and inspires me, TA. Love to you.

  4. Safe travels you totally awesome soul! My respect for you deepens daily, ~D

  5. Anne James says:

    A wise and courageous decision….so happy you are safe. Travel well.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Your safety is number one. Be as proud of yourself as everyone else is! Safe travels home.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Fuzzy-headedness is not impacting your wisdom and ability as a great role model. Safe travels. Hope you are soon feeling 100%

  8. Marie says:

    You have done well. Be proud of your accomplishments. Come home now and get your health back.

  9. Betty Gill says:

    TA, “High Five” to you, on this good journey you have surpassed other highs to higher again!
    Safe travels and get well and get back into those mountain boots soon!
    All the best,
    Betty

  10. rjhoran@gmail.com says:

    No doubt a very difficult decision but from the sound of it, the correct and wise one.

    May you get home and safely and thoroughly recuperate.

    I have enjoyed reading your account. You are a most optimistic and up-beat person. Always a pleasure to witness such individuals.

    >

  11. Marie says:

    Have a safe journey home TA. It was awesome to follow your trip – you have lots to be thankful for!

  12. Shelagh says:

    You ARE totally awesome! It was a hard decision but the right one for you right now and I wish you safe travels home. I hope your medical issues are quickly and easily resolved.

  13. Anonymous says:

    TA, we looked forward to seeing how you were doing on this wonderful experience each day. We are so proud of your determination and hard work. You showed us that sometimes things may not work out as planned, but having the will and strength to keep trying is most important. You are an inspiration to us. Wishing you a good flight home and hope you feel better soon 🙂
    Ms. Green and the Grade 2 class at Holy Family Elementary in Paradise, NL.

  14. whelanweb says:

    You are still my inspiration TA. I have to work around my physical limitations and “watching” you give it your all pushes me to try again every day.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Superior effort, TA, you gave it you all!

  16. lookingforlori says:

    I know it isn’t the outcome you wished for, but it is the outcome that is. You continue to inspire by making the tough choices to know when to put your health first. It’s hard when you want something so badly, but that means you had even more courage to listen to your body and do what’s best for your health. We have been so fortunate to come along for the ride and sleep at Camp 3 with you. You have inspired all of us. We wish you a safe ride home and all the comfy sleepy beds to recover. 🙂 ❤ Newfoundland will be a better place once your feet are standing on it again ❤

  17. Jill says:

    TA, u r smart to come home. U gave it ur best. U climbed very high. U r the female equivalent of a stud! Be proud of what u accomplished – u motivated hundreds of people to dream n go for their own Everest, n not least, u got really far up the actual Everest! I’d say u were VERY successful! Safe travel home n please keep posting.

  18. Donna Hewitt says:

    Congratulations, TA, on accomplishing so much on this climb and for having the wisdom to toss in the boots. I feel a smidgen of your disappointment, though. I wish you a speedy and complete recovery.
    Donna

  19. Pingback: 'It's humbling, it's disappointing': Mountaineer TA Loeffler calls off 3rd Everest attempt - Ba Wire

  20. Pingback: 'It's humbling, it's disappointing': Mountaineer TA Loeffler calls off 3rd Everest attempt - Castwb

  21. Les Barbour says:

    TA… I had hoped you’d recover enough to get back to Base Camp and while that wasn’t to be I admire your decision to know when to call it off. I enjoyed every minute tagging along with you. Thanks for that. Have a safe flight home. Les

  22. Jackie Collins says:

    You’re a pretty courageous person TA!

  23. Anonymous says:

    We are so proud of you! We hope you feel better soon. We have enjoyed following you each day. You have taught us a lot and we love you!
    Mrs. Molloy’s Grade Four Class,
    Bishop’s Falls

  24. The grade fours at BFS says:

    T.A, we are so proud of you for doing so well on Mt. Everest. We are sorry you are disappointed but we loved following your posts and looking at your amazing pictures. Have a safe journey home and we look forward to seeing you again. Your cheerleaders in grade four at Bishop Feild School.

  25. Marie Tison says:

    I understand your disappointment. But sleeping at 7000 m? WOW. You should be proud of you. And you did more than set a personal record: you inspired a lot of people with your thoughtful posts. Great job!

  26. Vicky H. says:

    Safely home and alive to climb another day – it could be worse! Your adventures are far from over I’m sure, so I feel it’s okay to wish you congratulations on your valiant attempt and happy trails in your next pair of boots.

  27. Amy says:

    A big goal of mine is to see Mount Everest with my own eyes. Thanks for showing and teaching me so much over the last few weeks. You’re so lucky to see and experience the beauty there.

    Sleeping at 7200m is unbelievably epic – props. You’re a true adventurer. Your attitude and the hard work is super inspiring 🙂

  28. Coadie says:

    Your Big Goal Will Live On Forever

    -Cody

  29. Kellie Baker (Chantal) says:

    I hope when you get back home you feel much better and that you make it up the molten next time
    from Chantal

  30. Kellie Baker (Abby) says:

    I hope you feel better soon. I hope to meet you some day
    from Abby

  31. Your efforts, determination and drive are inspiring, as is your humility and ability to back down when necessary. Safe travels home TA, and I look forward to crossing paths soon.

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