Hilaree Nelson: Reposting Story & Podcast Featuring Beloved Local & Elite Skier, Memorial 10/15!

Hilaree Nelson: Reposting Story & Podcast Featuring Beloved Local & Elite Skier, Memorial 10/15!

Local big mountain skier and North Face athlete, Hilaree Nelson, 49, died in an avalanche in the Himalayas last week. Her passing was confirmed after search-and-rescue efforts continued on Mt. Manaslu, where she and partner Jim Morrison summited the 26,781-foot peak on Monday.

From 2018:

Hilaree Nelson is a local legend for her now high-profile adventures in the mountains of the world. She is also captain of The North Face global athletes team. The North Face is a presenting sponsor at the 41st annual Mountainfilm and Nelson is in town to speak with her climbing partner about their latest conquests.

Nelson and her climbing partner Jim Morrison are scheduled to speak at Mountainfilm on Friday, May 24, 6:15 p.m., at the Sheridan Opera House, then again at a Coffee Talk on May 27, 8 a.m.

Scroll down to learn more by listening to her podcast.

Hilaree Nelson & her boys back when.

Lots of things go up and down.



Sine curves.


The stock market.

And big mountain adventurers.

Though the challenges are different from those of worker bees on desk jobs, climbing up a mountain, then descending on skis is just another day at the office for Hilaree Nelson, today The North Face global team captain.

Although September 30, 2018 was a bit of a departure from the norm.

Hilaree & The North Face team in Puerto Rico. She is team captain.

Nepal’s Lhotse is one of the tallest mountains in the world, at 27,940 feet, the fourth-highest. On September 30, 2018, Nelson and her climbing partner Jim Morrison became the first duo to successfully ski 7,000 vertical feet on a 60-degree slope from the summit of Lhotse, aka, the “Dream Line,” easily one of the most prized, aesthetic, high-altitude (not to mention narrow and challenging), runs on the planet. The couple achieved that, umm, lofty goal without once having to rope up, rappel or de-ski.

Nelson and Morrison are scheduled to return to Telluride following their triumph on Lhotse to speak at the 41st Mountainfilm. The event over Memorial Weekend, May 24 – May 27, is a gathering of the tribe, many in the crowd kindred souls: indomitable spirits.

Selfie of Hilaree’s Lhotse team featuring Hilaree and Jim Morrison. Behind them are videographers Nick Kalisz and Dutch Simpson (also a former Telluride resident).


Jim and Hilaree at Everest basecamp in September 2018. Photo @nickkalisz @thenorthface.


Hilaree and Jim just after exiting the choke of the Lhotse Couloir with Mt. Everest in the background. Photo @thenorthface @dutchsimpson.


Hilaree & Jim moving up the Khumbu icefall for the first time just after their puja ceremony Photo @thenorthface @dutchSimpson.


On the summit of Lhotse with skis on their feet paying a quick homage to Protect Our Winters. Photo @thenorthface @dutchsimpson.


Jim Morrison shredding the house face about halfway through the descent. Photo @hilareenelson.

Though more than a few in the media have described Nelson as a “superhero,” she just sees herself as just another one of the girls in a town populated by super women.

Telluride is Nelson’s Mother Ship, the place she has chosen to raise her two “fun” and “amazing” boys, Graydon (11) and Quinn (9). It is the Home Sweet Home she returns to recalibrate after a global adventure.

Her favorite runs in town?

Well documented (like the rest of Nelson’s very public, off-piste life):

“Telluride” is my home mountain, so it’s obviously my favorite. The hike-to terrain is some of the best anywhere, especially off Palmyra Peak, which is technically inbounds, but takes 45 minutes to an hour to get to. The top doesn’t open very often, so maybe that adds to the allure.

“The Mak-M–Stairs–Plunge combines three different runs—Kant-Mak-M, Spiral Stairs, and Plunge—off of Chair 9. It’s a big giant-bump run, meaning it’s a good way to get in shape. You just lap it. It’s steep, north facing, and always dependable. Dynamo, off Chair 14, a.k.a. the Gold Hill Lift, is probably my other favorite. It’s off a high-speed quad, and it’s this fast, straight-to-the-bottom run, which you can do in three minutes. It’s steep, rarely very moguly, and there are all these little secret shots off of it.

“The town of Telluride is small, but cool. The lifts come right out of town, and you can walk everywhere. But unlike many ski resorts, it feels real because it was a mining town in the 1800s, and then the ski area came in the seventies,” she explained to Teton Gravity Research (and other media over the years).

Nelson climbed and skied her first 8,000-meter peak, Cho Oyu, in 2005.

A brief montages of some of her other adventures includes: Gasherbrum II in 2008; Denali in 2011; then Everest and Lhotse in 2012.

In 2015, on Makalu, Nelson met Morrison, a steep-skiing pioneer from the Sierra Nevada. In 2017, the two went on to bag a first descent of Papsura Peak in India, aka, the “Peak of Evil” and then returned to Denali to do the Cassin Climb/Messner Couloir descent. In May 2018, Nelson went north of the Arctic Circle to the National Wildlife Refuge to ski Mount Chamberlin, the third-highest peak in the Brooks Range.

A few months later, at the end of August, the pair traveled to Nepal for their Lhotse adventure.

Hilaree Nelson, more:

Outside Magazine has honored her as one of the most adventurous women in the world of sports. And recently Hilaree Nelson was named captain of The North Face global athletes team. A seasoned adventurer with more than 40 expeditions to some of the most remote corners of the globe, her passion and dedication to climbing and skiing also won Nelson recognition as a 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.

Nelson has become a mentor for an upcoming generation of mountain athletes. As a member of Protect Our Winters Riders’ Alliance and an advocate of our wild places, she shares her stories and life experiences with them.

She is the first woman to climb two 8000 meter peaks, Everest and its neighboring peak Lhotse(Loht-say), in a single 24-hour period.

Born and raised in the Northwest, Hilaree Nelson began skiing at age three in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. Today, her favorite mountain town is Telluride, CO.

The North Face, Mountainfilm presenting sponsor:

Mountainfilm is thrilled to announce The North Face as its new presenting sponsor.

“The pioneering outdoor clothing company is known not only for its innovative gear, but also for its commitment to conservation, storytelling and exploration. This makes it a great match for the festival,” said Mountainfilm Executive Director Sage Martin.

“Through adventure films, expeditions and athletes, The North Face and Mountainfilm are undeniably connected by pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and by sharing a passion for adventure storytelling,” Martin added. “At Mountainfilm we work to inspire audiences to create a better world, and by partnering with The North Face, we see an opportunity to broaden that mission even further. We are honored to be aligned with this force of a company and their indomitable athletes.”

Like Mountainfilm, the brand has also long been committed to serving natural and wild lands by helping to conserve them.

For more on The North Face and the partnership with Mountainfilm, go here.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.