American ski mountaineer Hilaree Nelson is reportedly missing after attempting to descend Manaslu in Nepal, sponsor North Face confirmed to ABC News.
Nelson was on the eighth highest peak in the world with her partner, Jim Morrison, when she disappeared just below the peak, North Face said, according to reports.
They had reached the true peak by late Monday morning, Outside magazine reported, the chief executive of the guiding company they were with said. The Himalayan Times reported that eyewitnesses said she fell into a crevasse.
At 26,781 feet, Manaslu is a difficult peak for rescue efforts. Bad weather on the mountain is further hampering efforts, according to the Himalayan Times and Outside.
It comes as an avalanche has caused tragedy further down the mountain. One person was killed and 14 others injured, according to the New York Times.
Chhang Dawa Sherpa, director of Seven Summit Treks, wrote on Instagram that the avalanche happened between Camps 3 and 4, which are above 22,000 feet, and “more than 13 climbers (including the Sherpas) were swept away”. Mountaineer Nims Purja, of Elite Exped, posted videos apparently showing helicopters handling rescues from the avalanche.
ABC News contacted the Nepal Tourism Board and Shangri-La Nepal Trek, the guide company Morrison and Nelson were with, for more information.
It had already been a difficult time on the Manaslu before Monday for Nelson and Morrison. Late last week, they flipped on a summit push when “the mountain said no,” Morrison wrote on Instagram.
“I didn’t feel as sure of Manaslu as I did on my past adventures in the thin atmosphere of the high Himalayas,” Nelson wrote of the failed summit push. “The past few weeks have tested my resilience in new ways. The constant monsoon with its relentless rains and humidity has left me desperately homesick. I am challenged to find peace and inspiration from the mountains so that it is constantly shrouded in mist.”
Even so, she wrote, they found joy on their skis that day, including racing Palden Namgye, Sherpa Yulha Nurbu and Pemba Sharwa and “generally they are finally present and seeing really what I’ve been seeing for weeks but not absorbing”.
Nelson is the captain of The North Face athlete team and in 2018 was recognized as the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year after summiting and descending Papsura, known as the Peak of Evil, India , then did the same on Denali in Alaska.
A mother of two, she was the first woman to climb Mounts Everest and Lhotse in 24 hours, according to North Face, and the first person, along with Morrison, to descend the Lhotse Couloir.
“[Climbing] has dramatically shaped who I am, the places I’ve travelled, the people I’ve had the privilege of sharing climbing experiences with,” she wrote on social media last month. terror to triumph, tears to laughter, loneliness to partnership, it’s been a journey of joy, a journey I hope to share with others.”
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