Celebrated American Ski Mountaineer Missing on World’s 8th Highest Mountain

Celebrated American Ski Mountaineer Missing on World’s 8th Highest Mountain
Hilaree Nelson and James Morrison raise their fists as the pair arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Oct. 4, 2018. (Niranjan Shrestha/AP Photo)
Lorenz Duchamps
9/27/2022
Updated:
9/27/2022
0:00

A renowned American ski mountaineer has gone missing on Mount Manaslu in Nepal on Sept. 26, the same day an avalanche swept several climbers, killing at least one climber and injuring a dozen more.

Hilaree Nelson, 49, successfully summited the world’s eighth-highest mountain with her partner, Jim Morrison, on Monday and was skiing down from the peak when she got into an accident, according to the organizer of the expedition.

“She had an accident yesterday as she was descending shortly after her summit. We are trying to get clarity on what happened,” Jiban Ghimire of Shangri-La Nepal Treks told news agency AFP on Tuesday.

Just days before she went missing, Nelson shared several pictures on Instagram, saying she hasn’t “felt as sure-footed on Manaslu” as she had on a “past adventure into the thin atmosphere of the high Himalaya.”

“These past weeks have tested my resilience in new ways,” Nelson wrote. “The constant monsoon with its incessant rain and humidity has made me hopelessly homesick. I am challenged to find the peace and inspiration from the mountain when it’s been constantly shrouded in mist.”

Bad weather hampered rescue efforts on Monday, said Ghimire, who added that visibility and weather conditions improved on Tuesday and a helicopter was sent to the site of Nelson’s accident to look for signs of the missing climber.

Nelson’s partner safely reached base camp and was accompanying the search and rescue team, said Ghimire.

The North Face, which sponsors Nelson, has also confirmed on social media that the climber has gone missing in Nepal.

“We are in touch with Hilaree’s family and supporting search and rescue efforts in every way we can,” the company said in a Sept. 27 Instagram post.
Nelson, from Telluride, Colorado, and Morrison, from Tahoe, California, are extreme skiers who summited Mount Lhotse, the world’s fourth-highest, in 2018.

Avalanche Sweeps Climbers on Manaslu

Also on Monday, a group of climbers was struck by an avalanche just below Camp Four of Mount Manaslu, killing at least one climber and injuring 12 more. The deaths were the first confirmed casualties of the fall climbing season in Nepal, which is home to eight of the world’s 14 highest peaks.
Two Nepali sherpa guides (2nd R, 4th R) who survived an avalanche at a lower elevation on the world's eighth-highest mountain Mount Manaslu are taken for treatment after being flown to a hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Sept. 27, 2022. (Niranjan Shrestha/AP Photo)
Two Nepali sherpa guides (2nd R, 4th R) who survived an avalanche at a lower elevation on the world's eighth-highest mountain Mount Manaslu are taken for treatment after being flown to a hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Sept. 27, 2022. (Niranjan Shrestha/AP Photo)
A Nepali sherpa guide who survived an avalanche at a lower elevation on the world's eighth-highest mountain Mount Manaslu is taken for treatment after being flown to a hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Sept. 27, 2022. (Niranjan Shrestha/AP Photo)
A Nepali sherpa guide who survived an avalanche at a lower elevation on the world's eighth-highest mountain Mount Manaslu is taken for treatment after being flown to a hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Sept. 27, 2022. (Niranjan Shrestha/AP Photo)

All of the climbers caught in the avalanche were accounted for. Some of the injured were flown to Kathmandu and were being treated in hospitals.

One of those injured, Phurte Sherpa, said there were about 13–14 people who were swept by the avalanche.

“One of our friends died in the avalanche and there has been efforts to retrieve the body but the rescue helicopter has not been able to do so yet,” Sherpa said. “Others injured ones have broken hands and feet.”

Sherpa said they were on their way to Camp Four to drop oxygen cylinders when the avalanche pushed them down to Camp Three. He and his brother were flown by a rescue helicopter to HAMS Hospital in Kathmandu on Tuesday.

Nepal’s government has issued permits to 504 climbers to attempt to scale high mountain peaks during the autumn season. Most of them are on Mount Manaslu, the world’s eighth-highest mountain.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Lorenz Duchamps is a news writer for NTD, The Epoch Times’ sister media, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and entertainment news.
Related Topics