Big mountain skier Hilaree Nelson went missing near the summit of Manaslu within the past day while her partner Jim Morrison descended on skies. The Himalayan Times broke the news this morning.
Nelson and Morrison had climbed to the true summit of Manaslu and started to ski down when she reportedly fell into crevasse. The Times noted that she fell around 25 metres into a crevasse. Other climbers on the mountain said Morrison was skiing down while their guides were waiting at camp four – this report is hours old and things have probably changed since.
Update: Morrison shared an update on his social media that they’d recovered Nelson’s body – see below.
Nelson is a mother of two and is considered one of the most experienced skiers ever, with over 40 expeditions to 16 countries with dozens of first descents. Her accomplishments include the first ski descent of Lhotse Couloir in 2018; National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2018; first ski descent of Papsura Peak in India in 2017; double summit of Denali in June 2017 – Messner Couloir ski descent, climb of Cassin Ridge; and Everest and Lhotse in one push in 2012.
Nelson is one of The North Face’s top winter athletes. On her bio page, it read: “Hilaree grew up in Seattle, skiing on the weekends at Stevens Pass in Washington’s Cascades. After college, Hilaree booked a one-way ticket to Chamonix, France that would change the course of her life. That first season, she learned the ins and outs of ski mountaineering and won a world extreme skiing contest. Read more here.
There are several tragedies unfolding on Manaslu right now. A huge avalanche on the upper slopes has reportedly killed at least one climber and injured several. We will update this story once there’s more news about Nelson.