Renowned ski mountaineer goes missing on Nepal’s Manaslu mountain

Renowned US ski mountaineer Hilaree Nelson has gone missing on Nepal’s Manaslu mountain, expedition organisers and officials said Tuesday. The incident happened on the same day an avalanche killed a Nepali climber on the same peak. Nelson was skiing down Manaslu after having successfully summited the world’s eighth-highest mountain with her partner Jim Morrison on Monday.

“She had an accident yesterday as she was descending shortly after her summit. We are trying to get clarity on what happened,” Jiban Ghimire of Shangri-La Nepal Treks, which organised the expedition, told AFP.

The North Face, which sponsors Nelson, confirmed the climber was missing.

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“We are in touch with Hilaree’s family and supporting search and rescue efforts in every way we can,” the company said in an Instagram post on Tuesday.

An avalanche hit between Camps three and four on the 8,163-metre (26,781-foot) mountain, killing a Nepali climber and injuring a dozen others, the government’s tourism department said. It was the first confirmed casualty of the autumn climbing season in Nepal.

Bad weather was hampering rescue efforts, with helicopters unable to fly on Monday. Ghimire said that the weather had improved on Tuesday and a helicopter was headed to the site of Nelson’s accident. Constant rain and snow have been a challenge for the 404 paying climbers attempting to reach the summit of Manaslu this year.

Morrison safely reached base camp and was accompanying the search and rescue team, Ghimire added.

“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.