Professional U.S. ski mountaineer Hilaree Nelson has gone missing after reportedly falling into a 2,000ft crevasse while descending Mt. Manaslu in Nepal on Monday, September 26th. Bad weather delayed search efforts until Tuesday, September 27th, when a helicopter was able to bring rescue workers closer to where Nelson went missing. Nelson and her partner, Jim Morrison, were attempting a ski descent of the eighth tallest mountain in the world when the accident occurred.
“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” – Jiban Ghimire, managing director of Shangri-La Nepal Trek, to Outside Magazine
Hilaree Nelson is the first woman to ever climb both Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse in 24-hours, and both Nelson and Morrison became the first two people to complete a ski descent of Mount Lhotse in 2018. Nelson’s sponsor, The North Face, released a statement on Monday addressing her disappearance.
“Hilaree Nelson, professional ski mountaineer and team captain for The North Face, has gone missing below the summit of Mt. Manaslu in Nepal. We are in touch with Hilaree’s family and supporting search and rescue efforts in every way we can.” – The North Face via Twitter
Sharing an update on Hilaree Nelson, a beloved member of The North Face family. pic.twitter.com/qv0bOL0LsB
— The North Face (@thenorthface) September 26, 2022
According to National Public Radio, a small avalanche occurred at a lower elevation on Mount Manaslu on the same day as Nelson’s disappearance, killing a Nepali guide and injuring several others. All of the climbers caught in that avalanche were accounted for.
One of those injured in the avalanche, Phurte Sherpa, confirmed that Nelson’s partner, Jim Morrison, is safe and has joined in on the search.
“I am not sure about the whereabouts of the missing climber but her husband (partner) was with us during the search (today). We made two helicopter rescue attempts to find her but were unable.” – Phurte Sherpa according to NPR
Image Credit: Hilaree Nelson on Instagram