HomeSportAn Avalanche Hits Nepal, and a US Mountaineer Disappears

An Avalanche Hits Nepal, and a US Mountaineer Disappears

KATHMANDU, Nepal — A famous American ski mountaineer, Hilaree Nelson, is lacking after apparently falling right into a crevasse on Monday whereas trying to ski down a peak in Nepal.

Additionally on Monday, an avalanche decrease down the identical mountain, Manaslu, killed at the very least one individual and injured 14, some critically, on a separate expedition, in keeping with Nepal’s tourism division.

On Monday morning, Ms. Nelson and her climbing and romantic associate, Jim Morrison, stood atop Manaslu, the world’s eighth-tallest peak.

“Summit success!” they shouted, crying, hugging and taking pictures with their three Sherpa guides, who used a satellite tv for pc telephone to share the excellent news with Jiban Ghimire, proprietor of Shangri-La Nepal Trek, the clothes shop that organized their expedition.

Then, on the 8,163-meter (26,781-foot) peak, the couple strapped on their skis and pointed them down the slope. Fifteen minutes later, the guides radioed Mr. Ghimire as soon as once more: “large downside.”

They mentioned Ms. Nelson, 49, appeared to fall right into a 2,000-foot crevasse. Whether or not Ms. Nelson, an athlete and mom of two primarily based close to Telluride, Colo., survived the autumn was unknown. After the incident Mr. Morrison, skied safely to base camp in search of assist. He arrived round 4 and a half hours after the celebratory photos have been taken from the mountain’s peak.

On its web site, the North Face, her sponsor, mentioned of Ms. Nelson, “With a profession spanning twenty years that features dozens of first descents by way of greater than 40 expeditions to 16 completely different nations, Hilaree Nelson is probably the most prolific ski mountaineer of her era.”

The incidents highlighted the acute dangers taken in Nepal by mountaineers and the native guides who assist them and comprise an outsize share of accidents and deaths on the peaks. The Sherpas, members of an ethnic group in Nepal identified for his or her talent at high-altitude climbing, repair rope, carry provides and set up camps.

They’re usually the barrier between the overseas groups who rent them and loss of life on the mountain, ceaselessly expending their well being and even lives to guard visiting climbers.

Ms. Nelson’s profession has included working as a information herself on a few of North America’s hardest peaks.

On Monday, climate situations on the mountain rapidly modified, as they usually do on Nepal’s prime peaks, and an avalanche hit a separate expedition of climbers decrease down the mountain, killing one and injuring 14. 4 individuals who have been critically injured have been evacuated from base camp by helicopter.

On foot, “it takes three days to succeed in the incident web site from base camp,” mentioned Mr. Ghimire. “Climate is hampering search and rescue operations.”

He mentioned the corporate would ship a helicopter at first gentle Tuesday morning to the crevasse the place Ms. Nelson disappeared. Mr. Morrison, who reached base camp in good well being, can be on the helicopter for the rescue mission if the climate is conducive to flying, Mr. Ghimire mentioned.

Bigyan Koirala, a authorities tourism division official, mentioned the possibility of a rescue was slim.

“Based mostly on the briefings and troublesome terrain, it’s actually exhausting to say whether or not we can rescue her alive,” he mentioned.

The couple’s first main ski mountaineering expedition was in 2017, after they traveled to the Indian Himalayas to try the primary ski descent of 21,165-foot Papsura, often known as the Peak of Evil.

They did it, finishing “an icy, 3,000-foot, 60-degree virgin ski descent with nearly no visibility,” in keeping with the North Face.

Ms. Nelson was the primary lady to climb two 8,000-meter peaks, Everest and Lhotse, in a single 24-hour push.

She returned to make historical past in Nepal with Mr. Morrison in 2018, after they have been the primary to efficiently ski down Lhotse, the world’s fourth-highest peak at 27,940 ft. Within the wake of their achievement, they determined to ski down one other 8,000-meter peak, Manaslu, in keeping with Mr. Ghimire — a tried however nonetheless extraordinarily technically difficult feat.

They have been removed from alone on the mountain this fall. A whole lot of aspiring climbers have been drawn to Manaslu after Mingma Gyalje Sherpa rediscovered the mountain’s true summit, the place on the prime of the mountain simply above the fore summit, which mountain researchers mentioned had not been reached in autumn since a Japanese expedition in 1976.

Amongst these with permits this 12 months have been members of a rarefied group of climbers who’ve efficiently climbed the world’s 14 highest peaks, and who had counted Manaslu as a profitable summit till Mingma G., because the Nepali climber is thought, discovered the true peak.

Manaslu is among the many world’s most treacherous mountains, and dozens of individuals have died over the a whole bunch of recorded makes an attempt to succeed in the summit. In 2019, an avalanche on the mountain killed 9 climbers.

Bhadra Sharma reported from Kathmandu, and Emily Schmall reported from New Delhi.

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