American Ski Mountaineer Hilaree Nelson Missing After Fall Into Crevasse

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by Narayan Maharjan/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Hilaree Nelson, an American ski mountaineer sponsored by North Face, is reportedly missing after attempting to ski down Manaslu in Nepal. Nepal is home to the Himalayan mountain range, which houses Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the world.

Nelson was on Manaslu, the eighth highest peak in the world, at the time of her disappearance. She was skiing with her partner Jim Morrison when she went missing just below the summit, according to North Face.

They had reached the true summit of the mountain late Monday morning, according to Outside magazine. The Himalayan Times reported that eyewitnesses said she fell into a crevasse.

Manaslu stands at 26,781 feet, so rescue efforts remain difficult in the area. Bad weather on the mountain also is hampering rescue efforts for Nelson.

An avalanche had already caused tragedy lower down the mountain that day. According to The New York Times, one person died as a result of the avalanche. Additionally, fourteen people were injured.

Chhang Dawa Sherpa, a director at Seven Summit Treks, wrote on Instagram that the avalanche took place between Camps 3 and 4. Both of these camps are above 22,000 feet, and “more than 13 climbers (including Sherpas) were swept along.” Mountaineer Nims Purja posted videos which showed helicopters attempting rescues during the ordeal.

Hilaree Nelson Wrote About a Tough Summit Push Last Week

Hilaree Nelson and Jim Morrison experienced tough times on Manaslu before the tragic disappearance of Nelson. Late last week, they tried a summit push. However, “the mountain said no,” Morrison wrote on Instagram.

“I haven’t felt as sure-footed on Manaslu as I have on past adventure into the thin atmosphere of the high Himalaya,” Nelson wrote about the failed summit attempt. “These past weeks have tested my resilience in new ways. 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.”

However, she said they found positivity on their skis that day. She recalled racing with Palden Namgye, Sherpa Yulha Nurbu and Pemba Sharwa. She wrote that she was happy “generally just finally being present and actually seeing what I have been seeing for weeks but not absorbing.”

Nelson is the captain for The North Face Athlete Team. In, 2018, Nelson was recognized as a National Geographic adventurer of the year after summiting and skiing down Papsura in India. Then, Nelson turned around and did the same thing on Denali in Alaska.

Nelson, a mother of two, is the first woman to summit Mounts Everest and Lhotse within 24 hours, according to North Face. She’s also the first person, along with Morrison, to ski down the Lhotse Couloir.

“[Climbing] has significantly shaped who I am, the places I’ve travelled, the people with whom I’ve been privileged to share climbing experiences with,” she wrote on social media last month. “From terror to triumph, tears to laughter, solitude to partnership, it’s been a path of joy, one that I hope to share with others.”