BOISE -- A Boise man on Mount Everest will not be completing his climb.
A week after the deadliest avalanche ever to hit the peak took 16 lives, the Heroes Project decided to head off Mount Everest.
The group was climbing with their own Sherpas, guides that the organization had been working with for more than a decade.
When the guides decided not to stay on the mountain, their team not only respected their choice, but decided to leave with them.
Mount Everest has been closed since the disaster a week ago.
Instead of climbs, there are ceremonies and services in honor of the 16 guides killed in the avalanche.
The Heroes Project was on the mountain not far from the avalanche site when it hit.
The team includes leader Tim Medvetz, and local marine Charlie Linville.
The group's mission is mountaineering expeditions to raise awareness for wounded veterans.
Their spokesperson released a statement saying the group decided to cancel the mission.
The team spent the last 7 days since the avalanche, taking part in recovery efforts and deciding as a team what they are going to do, said Zach Rosenfield.
Linville was injured in an IED explosion in Afghanistan and had to have his right leg amputated below the knee.
He wanted to show that despite his disability, he could conquer the highest and most dangerous peak.
They've been training for more than 8 months for the climb and everyone knows when you go to Everest that there is tremendous amount of risk involved, said Rosenfield.
But the risk took on new meaning after the devastating disaster.
Rosenfield says the group's Sherpas, who the Heroes Project has worked with for years, decided to come off the mountain, still grieving their fellow guides.
The team decided to stay by their side, and cancel the climb.
When they were informed of their decision it was immediately decided that they will come down the mountain in the same way they came up, which is as a team and they are doing so out of respect to not only the Sherpa that are part of The Heroes Project team but all those who were lost last week, said Rosenfield.
We did talk with Linville's wife Mandi by phone, who said she is excited to see her husband, and respects the team's decision.
She tells us Charlie is scheduled to return home in about a week.
Many other expeditions have also canceled their climbs.
Here's the official release on the Heroes Project's decision:
One week since the avalanche that claimed the lives of 16 Sherpas on Mount Everest, The Heroes Project Founder Tim Medvetz announced they are suspending Operation Everest: 2014. The team consisting of Medvetz, USMC Staff Sergeant, Charles Linville, Climbing Sirdar Gyalbu Sherpa, and the film crew Cherie Silvera and Kazuya Hiraide, as well Director of Operations, Carly Portalupi are heading home.
Medvetz released the following statement, We have decided to come home and are no longer pursuing Operation Everest: 2014, honoring our Sherpas decision to not climb this year, and out of respect for those who were lost last week. We have spent the last week focused on the recovery effort and mourning those who were lost and discussing all aspects as a team.
He continued, The bond and personal relationships I have with these men goes back over ten years, they are my family. They are members of our team and out of respect to our Sherpas, we are not continuing. We fully support their decision to leave the mountain and we will leave the mountain together the same way we came up, as a team.
The Heroes Project team was not at Everest Base Camp at the time of the avalanche; they were acclimating on nearby Lobuche Peak (20,000 ft). The team was unharmed in last week s tragedy although the news hit them hard.
Operation Everest: 2014 was the most recent climb set up by The Heroes Project, a 501(c)3 (EIN: 27-1288926) created by Tim Medvetz, that leads mountaineering expeditions with severely wounded veterans and active service members, enabling them to rediscover their strength and pride by scaling the world s most challenging summits. Since its inception in 2009, the foundation has raised over $1-million and taken wounded veterans on over a dozen climbs, including six of the world s seven highest summits. This was the foundations first attempt at Mount Everest.
For this climb, the foundation chose USMC Staff Sergeant, Charles Linville. A Boise native, Linville joined the Marines where he volunteered to be an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technician in Afghanistan. His job consisted of diffusing as many as 40-bombs on a daily basis. After sustaining his injuries in 2011, he was sent to Bob Wilson Naval Hospital (Balboa Hospital) where he began a full year of rehabilitation that included 12 re-constructive surgeries stemming from his injuries. It was during this time that he met Medvetz and the two formed a bond, each drawing inspiration from one another. When SSgt. Linville made the life-altering decision to say goodbye to his right foot, thus becoming a below the knee amputee, Medvetz found himself in awe of his courage. The Heroes Project had found their man.
The Heroes Project is committed to completing Operation Everest and is planning to resume the climb with Linville in the spring of 2015. The Heroes Project will also continue to work with other wounded veterans by climbing the world s most challenging mountains, and will also include expeditions to the North and South Pole in the near future.
For more about The Heroes Project, click HERE.
The Heroes Project, once again, gives its deepest condolences to the families of those lost in the tragic accident on April 18th, 2014. Their spirits will remain forever with The Heroes Project team.