Hilaree Nelson’s Body Found After American Skier Killed During Nepal Expedition
Hilaree Nelson’s body was found on Wednesday and taken to a forensic laboratory in Kathmandu for an autopsy after the famous American ski mountaineer died during an expedition in Nepal, according to Sachindra Kumar Yadav, an official with the Department of tourism.
The 49-year-old American, who enjoyed a celebrated career spanning more than two decades, had disappeared under the peak of Mount Manaslu in Nepal, the eighth highest mountain in the world.
Nelson was a mother of two and her partner is also experienced ski mountaineer Jim Morrison, according to The North Face, which sponsors the American.
On Wednesday, Morrison said in an Instagram post that he and Nelson were skiing down from the summit of Manaslu to join their sherpa team when the 49-year-old « triggered a small avalanche ».
She was swept up and carried down a narrow snow slope, Morrison added in the post, and he found her body on Wednesday after two days of searching for her by helicopter.
‘I did everything I could to locate her but couldn’t get my face down as I was hoping to find her alive and live my life with her,’ he wrote, calling Nelson « the most inspiring person in life ».
« My loss is indescribable and my focus is on his children and their steps forward, » Morrison added, describing Nelson as « my life partner, my love, my best friend and my mountain partner. »
The North Face said Nelson « had a spirit as big as the places she took us », adding in her statement that « she embodied possibility. Her adventures made us feel at home in the vastness of the world. .
Last week, Nelson wrote an Instagram post about the challenges of the trip with photos from the expedition.
« I didn’t feel as sure about Manaslu as I did on my past adventures in the thin atmosphere of the high Himalayas, » she wrote, mentioning the bad weather that has plagued climbers for the past few days.
« The past few weeks have tested my resilience in new ways. »
Morrison also posted on Instagram last week saying: « We climbed high and tried hard but the mountain said no. Tails between our legs we left camp 3 and heads down (on skis).
Nelson was a pioneer in the mountaineering community and a role model for the next generation of mountaineers.
She had made her first runs in more than 40 expeditions around the world and was named captain of The North Face athlete team in 2018.
In 2012, she became the first known woman to have climbed the world’s highest peak, Everest, as well as the adjacent mountain, Lhotse, in 24 hours.
She continued to explore the mountains of the world, often with Morrison, and pushed the boundaries of what is expected in the sport.