Nelson, 49, fell down a narrow slope after climbing Nepali peak Manaslu together with his partner.
After falling down a steep 5,000ft slope on a trek in The Himalayas, Hilaree Nelson, a well-known American big-mountain skier, was found dead on Wednesday morning.
Jim Morrison and Nelson had reached the summit of Manaslu at 26,781 feet on Monday morning. Morrison posted on Wednesday that they reached the summit at 10.42am, “in difficult conditions,” in an Instagram post. They switched from climbing to skiing down, allowing them to regroup with their sherpa crew.
“I skied first and Hilaree followed me after a few turns. This started an avalanche. Morrison wrote that she was carried down a narrow slope of snow on the south side (opposite to climbing route) at the mountain’s 5,000 feet. Morrison wrote, “I tried everything to locate her but couldn’t go down that face because I wanted to find her alive and share my life with her.”
“I spent the past two days looking from the air in my helicopter.”
Morrison wrote that Morrison and a rescue crew landed at 22,000ft to find her body.
Nelson, 49, has two children and is one of the most prominent mountaineers with a two-decade career. On its website, North Face called her “the most prolific ski climber of her generation.”
She became the first woman in 2012 to reach the summit of Everest as well as the peak of the adjacent mountain Lhotse in 24 hours.
After making the first ever ski down Lhotse in 2018, Telluride resident, Colorado was awarded National Geographic Adventurer of The Year.
Morrison wrote, “There are no words that can describe my love for this woman. She was my life partner, my lover and my best friend. And my mountain partner.” “My loss is unimaginable, and I am focused now on her children and the steps she will take to make it better.”
National Geographic was told by Nelson’s friends that Nelson was an accomplished athlete who was also known for her grace and determination in facing difficult situations.
Renan Ozturk (climber and videographer), a friend of Nelson, said that she had “heroic strengths” in climbing and in her community. Her positivity is evident in her ability to overcome her fears and find a way to laugh in the face if difficult situations.
The conditions on Manaslu were difficult in the days leading up to Nelson and Morrison’s ascent to the peak. Nelson posted on Instagram last week that he was unsure if they would make it to the summit because of heavy rains and high humidity.
She wrote, “I haven’t felt as confident on Manaslu than I have on past adventures in the thin atmosphere of high Himalaya.” “These last weeks have tested me in new ways.”
A separate avalanche also struck Monday’s mountain, injuring a dozen climbers and killing one climber.
Manaslu is the eighth-tallest mountain on the planet. It has had a busy climbing season up its highest peaks. According to Outside Magazine, 404 climbing permits have been issued by Nepali authorities for this fall, up from 150 in 2012. Although it is one of the most difficult high peaks to climb the mountain, the massive avalanches that have ravaged the mountain have been deadly. In 2012, eight people were killed by an avalanche.