Famed American ski mountaineer Hilaree Nelson missing in Nepal mountain

KATHMANDU, Nepal — Rescuers in a helicopter were searching on the world’s eighth-highest mountain Tuesday for a famed U.S. ski mountaineer a day after she fell off the mountain near the peak.

Also Monday, an avalanche at a lower elevation on Mount Manaslu swept several climbers, killing a Nepali guide and injuring other climbers.

Hilaree Nelson, 49, was skiing down from the 26,775 feet summit with her partner Jim Morrison when she fell off the mountain, according to Jiban Ghimire of the Kathmandu-based Shangri-La Nepal Trek that organized and outfitted the expedition.

Bad weather hampered rescue efforts Monday. But visibility was good in improved weather conditions Tuesday while a helicopter was hovering over the mountain to see any signs of the missing climber, Ghimire said.

Hundreds of climbers and their local guides are on the mountain attempting to reach the summit during Nepal’s autumn climbing season.

All of the climbers caught in the avalanche Monday were accounted for. Some of the injured were flown to Kathmandu and are being treated at hospitals for their injuries.

Hilaree Nelson was skiing with her partner, James Morrison (right), when she fell off the mountain.
Hilaree Nelson was skiing with her partner, James Morrison (right), when she fell off the mountain.
AP

Nelson, from Telluride, Colorado, and Morrison, from Tahoe, California, are extreme skiers who summited Mount Lhotse, the world’s fourth-highest peak, in 2018.

Nepal’s government has issued permits to 504 climbers to attempt to scale high mountain peaks during the autumn season. Most of them are on Mount Manaslu.