By Dan Whitcomb
(Reuters) – The body of top American mountaineer Hilaree Nelson was found on Wednesday near the 26,700-foot (8,138-meter) summit of Nepal, where she went missing earlier this week.
Nelson, 49, was blown off Manaslu, the world’s eighth highest mountain, by a small avalanche on Monday morning Nepal time as she and her partner, Jim Morrison, skied from the summit, according to Morrison and her sponsor, The North Face.
Morrison said: ‘She got caught in her leg and fell down a narrow snowy slope to the south (facing the climbing route) of the mountain.
Search and rescue teams were unable to locate Nelson’s body until Wednesday, when Morrison and a sherpa were airlifted to a point 22,000 feet from the mountain.
“I’m in Kathmandu with her and her spirit,” Morrison said in an Instagram post. “My loss is indescribable and I am focused on her children and their strides.”
Nelson, who grew up in Seattle, is considered one of the world’s top female ski climbers. At the time of her death, she was living in Telluride, Colorado with her two sons.
“Today we lost our hero, mentor and friend,” The North Face wrote in a Twitter (NYSE:) post. “Hilaree Nelson keeps a big spirit like the places she led us to.”