Body of Missing U.S. Mountaineer Hilaree Nelson Found in Nepal

Body of Missing U.S. Mountaineer Hilaree Nelson Found in Nepal
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Rescuers searching for American ski mountaineer Hilaree Nelson have recovered her body via helicopter in Nepal two days after the 49-year-old disappeared while skiing the mountain Manaslu.

On Wednesday, rescuers searching for Nelson located her body after bad weather made search-and-recovery efforts difficult on Monday and Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

A high line drop from a rescue helicopter was used to retrieve Nelson's body, according to ABC News, citing confirmation from Nelson's sponsor, The North Face.

A helicopter flew Nelson's body to a hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal's capital, so doctors could perform an autopsy, the AP reports.

On Monday, Nelson and her partner Jim Morrison had ascended the peak of Manaslu, an 26,781-foot mountain that stands eighth-tallest in the world, with three Sherpa guides before they attempted to ski down from the summit, reported The New York Times.

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US Mountaineer Hilaree Nelson Missing After 'Skiing Into Crevasse'
US Mountaineer Hilaree Nelson Missing After 'Skiing Into Crevasse'

Hilaree Nelson/Instagram Hilaree Nelson

RELATED: U.S. Mountaineer Hilaree Nelson Missing After Falling Into Crevasse in Nepal

A quarter-hour after Nelson and Morrison started skiing, however, the group radioed the manager of expedition organizers Shangri-La Nepal Trek to report that Nelson appeared to fall into a 2,000-foot crevasse, reported Outside magazine.

Hilaree Nelson of Telluride, Colorado, and James Morrison of Tahoe, California, raise their fists as the pair arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal, . The two American extreme skiers who overcame weather conditions, delays, equipment and oxygen issues to successfully ski down from the summit of the world's fourth-highest peak Mount Lhotse returned safely from the mountains US Mountain Skiers, Kathmandu, Nepal - 04 Oct 2018

Niranjan Shrestha/AP/Shutterstock Hilaree Nelson and Jim Morrison

"The duo reached the true summit of Manaslu at 11.30 A.M. local time. And about 15 minutes later I got a call from our staff at Base Camp that her ski blade skidded off and [she] fell off the other side of the peak," Jiban Ghimire, managing director of Shangri-La Nepal Trek told Outside on Monday.

An unspecified eyewitness told The Himalayan Times Monday that Nelson appeared to fall roughly 80 feet into the crevasse during the accident.

Brazillian runner Fernanda Maciel, who was also on the mountain Monday, wrote in an Instagram post Tuesday that Nelson encountered an avalanche near Manaslu's summit Monday, leading to her disappearance.

In the post's caption, Maciel wrote that she herself had turned down the mountain after a separate avalanche on Manaslu hit a separate climbing expedition, killing one person and injuring 14 more, according to The Times.

"More 6 people got injured. And the worst was that @hilareenelson was caught by another avalanche just below the summit," Maciel wrote, adding that she spent time with Morrison on Monday as they tried to find a helicopter to conduct a rescue mission.

View of the mountains near the village of Bimthang on the Manaslu Circuit, 12 days from the trailhead at Arughat Bazaar. The 16-day Manaslu Circuit is part of the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT), a series of trekking trails developed by Dutch aid agency, SNV, together with the Nepalese government, which crosses Nepal from East to West and when finished aims to cover 8000 kilometres across the Himalayas. Around 85% of trekkers to Nepal - approximately 100,000 people per year walk in the country's three most established areas- Annapurna, Everest and Langtang. Around 45% of people living in Nepals mountains live below the poverty line. The GHT hopes that by opening new walking trails tourism can become a tool for poverty alleviation.

Leisa Tyler/LightRocket via Getty View of the mountains near the village of Bimthang in Nepal

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"Jim just got into a helicopter now to try to find [Nelson] on the mountain," Maciel wrote in the post Tuesday.

Nelson, from Telluride, Colorado, was the first woman to climb two 8,000-meter mountain peaks when she ascended both Mt. Everest and nearby Lhotse, the world's fourth-highest peak, in a 24-hour time period, according to her website and the Times.

A mother of two, Nelson and Morrison were also the first people to ever successfully ski down from Lhotse's peak in 2018.

Nelson's website, which has not yet been updated with news of her body's recovery, adds that she was named National Geographic's 2018 Adventurer of the Year.

The website states that Nelson was "an avid proponent of wild places such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and holds to the philosophy that these places have huge significance in the well-being of both the planet and the human psyche."