Famed American Ski Mountaineer Found Dead After Falling From Nepal Peak


Wednesday, September 28th 2022, 7:38 am

By: CBS News


The body of a famed U.S. extreme skier who went missing this week after falling from the world's eighth-highest mountain was recovered Wednesday and transported to Nepal's capital.

Hilaree Nelson, 49, was skiing down from the 8,163-meter summit of Mount Manaslu with her partner, Jim Morrison, on Monday when she fell off the mountain.

Her body was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Kathmandu where doctors planned to perform an autopsy.

Rescuers searching by helicopter located Nelson's body on Wednesday after failing to find her on Tuesday and Monday, when bad weather hampered their search.

Also on Monday, an avalanche at a lower elevation on the same mountain killed a Nepalese man and injured several other climbers.

Hundreds of climbers and their local guides were attempting to reach the summit during Nepal's autumn climbing season.

Nelson, from Telluride, Colorado, and Morrison, from Tahoe, California, are extreme skiers who reached the summit of Mount Lhotse, the world's fourth highest mountain, in 2018.

Nepal's government has issued permits to 504 climbers during the autumn season. Most are climbing Mount Manaslu.

"Most prolific ski mountaineer of her generation"

Nelson, 49, has had a career spanning two decades and is described on the company's website as "the most prolific ski mountaineer of her generation."

In 2012, she became the first woman to summit the highest mountain in the world, Everest, and its adjacent Lhotse within 24 hours.

Six years later, she returned to Lhotse and made the first ski descent of the mountain, which earned her the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year award.

In an Instagram post last week, Nelson said her latest climb had been deeply challenging because of "incessant rain" and dangerous conditions.

"I haven't felt as sure-footed on Manaslu as I have on past adventure into the thin atmosphere of the high Himalaya," Nelson said in an Instagram post on Thursday.

"These past weeks have tested my resilience in new ways."

In 2019,  CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford met Nelson and Morrison on the peaks of the San Juan Mountains, some of America's highest at 12,000 feet, where Nelson and Morrison showed their training grounds. See that story in the video player above.

Related Story: Famed American Ski Mountaineer Missing After Fall Near Nepal

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