Hilaree Nelson has gone missing on Nepal’s Manaslu.
Since we first published this story, the details of Nelson’s accident remain murky. (The post’s title has been changed to reflect this update.)
The precise cause of Nelson’s accident remains speculation. Initially, it was reported by several outlets that Nelson had fallen into a crevasse below Manaslu’s 26,781-foot summit. Since then, there have been other accounts regarding the cause of the accident. One account claims a slide knocked Nelson down. Outside reports the possibility of Nelson losing a ski after interviewing the managing director of the guide company assisting Nelson, and her partner, Jim Morrison.
On Tuesday, the Everest Chronicle reports a helicopter flew a search mission with Morrison on board in an attempt to locate Nelson. The ski mountaineer remains missing.
For the past several weeks, Hilaree Nelson (49) and partner Jim Morrison have been acclimating for a planned ski descent of Nepal’s Manaslu (8613m).
According to a report, Nelson and Morrison had summited earlier on September 26, and were descending on skis when an accident occurred. According to The Himalayan, a Nepal based online news source, Nelson fell into a crevasse below the mountain’s summit.
Morrison is said to have notified relevant parties to initiate an emergency response as he descended to lower camps.
Outside Online, in its report, includes this statement from Jiban Ghimire, the managing director of Shangri-La Nepal Trek, the company working with Nelson and Morrison to organize and guide the expedition: “The duo reached the true summit of Manaslu at 11.30 A.M. local time. And about 15 minute later I got a call from our staff at Base Camp that her ski blade skidded off and [she] fell off the other side of the peak.”
For those that have interacted with Nelson, her humility was striking. She shattered the glass ceiling regarding steep skiing and grinding efforts in the major ranges. Along with Morrison, she famously completed the first ski descent of the Lhotse Couloir on 27,940 foot Lhotse.
Earlier in her career, Nelson became the first women to link up two 8000meter peaks within 24 hours, when in 2012 she summited both Everest and Lhotse. She leads The North Face Athlete Team and is the mother of two sons. For many in the ski community, Nelson is a role model.
Below is a post from Nelson’s Instagram account posted last week.
The day also saw a deadly avalanche rake the mountain’s lower slopes as the weather deteriorated. Several outlets report one dead and 14 climbers injured. Chang Dawa Sherpa’s Instagram (@14dawa) says the avalanche occurred between camps three and four.
This is an evolving story; we will update it accordingly. At this time, Nelson is still missing.
Jason Albert comes to WildSnow from Bend, Oregon. After growing up on the East Coast, he migrated from Montana to Colorado and settled in Oregon. Simple pleasures are quiet and long days touring. His gray hair might stem from his first Grand Traverse in 2000 when rented leather boots and 210cm skis were not the speed weapons he had hoped for. Jason survived the transition from free-heel kool-aid drinker to faster and lighter (think AT), and safer, are better.