Ski mountaineer Hilaree Nelson is still missing on Manaslu. A rescue helicopter took off today. The crew searched the south side of the eight-thousander in western Nepal for the 49-year-old – so far without success. Also on board was Nelson’s partner, Jim Morrison.
The couple from the USA had reached the “True Summit” of Manaslu at 8,163 meters on Monday – with bottled oxygen. Then they started their planned ski descent. What exactly happened then is not yet clear. Early reports said Nelson had fallen into a 25-metre-deep crevasse in the summit zone. It was later reported that her ski blade skidded off and she fell into the deep. There was also talk of an avalanche that caused her fall. The helicopter search for Hilaree is scheduled to continue this Wednesday.
Spectacular ski descent from Lhotse
Nelson has two sons from her previous marriage. 15 and 13 years old. In 2012, she was the first woman to scale two eight-thousanders within 24 hours (with breathing mask): first Mount Everest (8,849 m), then neighboring Lhotse (8,516 m).
Also on the Lhotse, Hilaree and her partner Jim Morisson achieved another coup in fall 2018. After the ascent with bottled oxygen, they mastered the so-called “Dream Line” on skis for the first time: from the summit through the narrow, around 45 to 50 degree steep Lhotse Couloir down to Camp 2 in Western Qwm at 6,400 meters.
Nepalese mountain guide dies in avalanche
Meanwhile, more climbers who were injured in an avalanche below Camp 4 (at about 7,400 m) yesterday have been flown out of Manaslu.
Any help came too late for Anup Rai. The 34-year-old Nepalese mountain guide, who had stood on the summit of Mount Everest for the fourth time last May (with breathing mask), died of his injuries.