Hilary Nelson, a 49-year-old American ski mountaineer, disappeared while skiing on Mount Manaslu two days ago. Her body was found by rescuers in Nepal two days later.
According to the Associated Press, people searching for Nelson found her body on Wednesday. On Monday and Tuesday, bad weather made it difficult to search and find her.
Sources said Nelson’s sponsor, The North Face, confirmed a high-line descent from a rescue helicopter was used to retrieve Nelson’s body.
Sources say Nelson’s body was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, so doctors could perform an autopsy.
The New York Times said Nelson and her partner, Jim Morrison, climbed Mount Manaslu, the world’s eighth-highest mountain, with three Sherpa guides on Monday. Then they tried to ski down from the top.
Outside magazine said that a quarter of an hour after Nelson and Morrison started skiing, the group radioed the manager of the company planning the trip to say that Nelson appeared to have fallen into a 2,000-foot crevasse.
“The couple reached the actual peak of Manaslu at 11.30 am local time. And about 15 minutes later I got a call from our staff at base camp that the blade on her skis had slipped and [she] fell on the other side of the peak,” Jiban Ghimire, managing director of Shangri-La Nepal Trek told Outside on Monday.
On Monday, an unnamed eyewitness told The Himalayan Times that during the incident, Nelson appeared to have fallen about 80 feet into the crevasse.
Fernanda Maciel, a runner from Brazil who was also on the mountain on Monday, said in an Instagram post on Tuesday that Nelson went missing after being caught in an avalanche near the summit of Manaslu.
Maciel wrote in the post’s caption that she returned down the mountain after a separate avalanche on Manaslu killed one climber and injured 14 others, The Times reported.
“More than 6 people are injured. And worst of all, @hilareenelson was caught in another avalanche just below the summit,” Maciel wrote, adding that she spent time with Morrison on Monday as they tried to find a helicopter to conduct a rescue mission.
Maciel wrote in a post on Tuesday: “Jim just got on a helicopter to try to find [Nelson] on the mountain.”
Nelson, who is from Telluride, Colorado, was the first woman to climb two 8,000-meter mountains in 24 hours. She did this when she climbed Mount Everest and Lhotse, the fourth highest peak in the world, which is nearby.
Nelson, a mother of two, and Morrison were the first people to ski down from the summit of Lhotse in 2018. Nelson’s website, which has not yet been updated with news about her body, says she was declared an adventurer of the year 2018 by National Geographic.
The website states that Nelson was a “passionate supporter of wild places such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and adheres to the philosophy that these places are of great importance to the well-being of both the planet and the human psyche.”
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