Famous American mountaineer Hilaree Nelson missing on Mount Manaslu in Nepal

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The famous American ski mountaineer Hilaree Nelson disappeared on the Nepalese mountain of Manaslu, the same day that an avalanche killed a Nepalese mountaineer on the same peak, organizers and leaders of the expedition announced on Tuesday.

Nelson was skiing Manaslu after successfully summiting the world’s eighth highest mountain with partner Jim Morrison on Monday.

“She had an accident yesterday when she was descending shortly after her summit. We are trying to get some clarification on what happened,” Jiban Ghimire of Shangri-La Nepal Treks, who took charge, told AFP. organized the expedition.

On the same day, an avalanche slammed between Camps 3 and 4 on the 8,163-metre (26,781ft) mountain, killing a Nepalese climber and injuring a dozen others, the government’s tourism department said.

The death was the first confirmed casualty of Nepal’s autumn climbing season.

Constant rain and snow have been a challenge for the 404 fee-paying climbers attempting to summit Manaslu this year, and bad weather has also hampered rescue efforts, with helicopters unable to fly on Monday due to conditions.

Ghimire said the weather improved on Tuesday and a helicopter was heading for the Nelson crash site.

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

“I didn’t feel as sure about Manaslu as I did on my past adventures in the thin atmosphere of the high Himalayas,” Nelson said in a Instagram post Thursday.

“The past few weeks have tested my resilience in new ways.”

The 49-year-old skier has had a career spanning two decades and is described as “the most prolific female ski mountaineer of her generation” in a profile on sponsor North Face’s website.

In 2012, she became the first woman to climb the world’s tallest mountain, Everest, and its adjacent Lhotse in 24 hours.

Six years later, she returned to Lhotse and made the first ski descent of the mountain, which earned her the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year award.

Nepal is home to eight of the world’s 14 highest peaks and the foreign climbers who flock to its mountains are a major source of income for the country.

The industry was almost completely shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, but the country reopened its peaks to climbers last year.

(AFP)

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