KATHMANDU, Nepal — The body of a famed U.S. extreme skier who went missing this week after she was swept off her feet in an avalanche on the world’s eighth-highest mountain was recovered Wednesday and transported to Nepal’s capital.
Hilaree Nelson, 49, of Telluride was skiing down from the 26,775-foot summit of Mount Manaslu with her partner, Jim Morrison, on Monday when she fell off the mountain.
After locating her body and bringing it down the mountain, Morrison posted about the incident on Instagram.
He said they reached the Manaslu summit at 10:42 a.m. in “tough conditions.”
“We quickly transitioned from climbing to skiing in cold and wind with a plan to ski around the corner and regroup with our Sherpa team. I skied first and after a few turns Hilaree followed and started a small avalanche,” Morrison wrote. “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 5,000 (meters).
“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. I spent the last two days searching from the air in a helicopter.”
Her body was flown by helicopter from a base camp to a hospital in Kathmandu where doctors planned to perform an autopsy. Nelson was the mother of two boys.
Rescuers searching by helicopter located Nelson’s body Wednesday after failing to find her Tuesday and Monday, when bad weather hampered their search.
“Pray for her family and community which is broadly stretched across our planet. I’m devastated by the loss of her,” Morrison said in his Instagram post.
Also on Monday, an avalanche at a lower elevation on the same mountain killed a Nepalese man and injured several other climbers.
Hundreds of climbers and their local guides were attempting to reach the summit during Nepal’s autumn climbing season.
Morrison, from Tahoe, California, and Nelson are extreme skiers who reached the summit of Mount Lhotse, the world’s fourth highest mountain, in 2018.
Nepal’s government has issued permits to 504 climbers during the autumn season. Most are climbing Mount Manaslu.