The body of famed big-mountain skier Hilaree Nelson was found Wednesday after she went missing below the summit of Mount Manaslu in the Himalayas on Sept. 26. The 49-year-old mother of two was skiing with her partner, Jim Morrison, when she fell down the mountain.
Mount Manaslu is the world's eighth-highest mountain, but the pair of adventurers had a lot of experience before embarking on the trip. In 2012, Nelson became the first woman to climb both Mount Everest and Lhotse, which are adjacent to each other, in a single 24-hour period. Six years later, she and Morrison became the first people to ever ski down Lhotse, the world's fourth-highest peak.
Nelson made the North Face Athlete Team in 2018, and became one of the winners of the 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year award. Less than a week ago, however, Nelson said on an Instagram post that she hadn't felt as "sure-footed on Manaslu" as she had in the past.
In a social media post the day her body was found, Morrison explained the accident that caused her to lose her life. He said they were climbing and reached the summit of Manaslu around 10:42 am, when the weather conditions were rough, with cold temperature and high winds.
They were skiing down the 8,163-meter (26,775-foot) summit with plans to regroup with their Sherpa team, but Nelson accidentally started a small avalanche while she was following him.
"She was swept off her feet and carried down a narrow snow slope down the south side (opposite from climbing route) of the mountain over 5000'. I did everything I could to locate her but was unable to go down the face as I hoped to find her alive and live my life with her," Morrison wrote.
A helicopter team spent two days looking for her before they found her dead on Wednesday morning.
"My loss is indescribable and I am focused on her children and their steps forward. (Nelson) is the most inspiring person in life and now her energy will guide our collective souls," Morrison wrote. "Peace be with us all. Pray for her family and community which is broadly stretched across our planet. I'm devastated by the loss of her."