Since You Asked: Climber's back and feels just fine

Whatever happened to the young fellow from Jacksonville who climbed Mount Everest? Did he make it home safe and sound? That must have been quite an adventure.

— John B., Eugene

After standing on top of the world — literally — Brian Smith, the son of Larry and Linda Smith of Jacksonville where he was reared, is back home in Loveland, Colo., his mom reports.

You may recall that the mountain climber, a 1988 graduate of South Medford High School, summited on May 24, overcoming life-threatening high-altitude pulmonary edema and just about everything else Everest could throw at him.

After conquering the mountain, he returned to Kathmandu a week earlier than anticipated, giving him time to explore the region before he could catch a flight back home, she said.

"Brian took a couple of days to kayak — he's a kayaker — and raft on one of the rivers," she said. "But he took a spill one day and drank some river water. That made him very sick. He spent a couple of days recovering from that."

Brian Smith, 37, a real estate investor when he isn't climbing mountains or running rivers, also was able to spend some time in a national park near the India border, she added.

"Compared to the mountain, it was a jungle and very hot," she said.

When he returned to Loveland, his wife, Helen, threw him a big welcome home party, she said. The couple have two children, daughter Chloe, 6, and son Everest, 3.

"He's home safe now," his mom said. "He's probably going through culture shock after spending a couple of months in Tibet."

Meanwhile, his Everest climb was filmed by a BBC crew and is expected to be part of a series to be released internationally late this year or early next year.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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