No one had ever skied down Lhotse from its summit when ski mountaineers Hilaree Nelson, 45, and Jim Morrison, 43, completed the route on September 30, 2018.
Sitting beside Mount Everest, Lhotse rises to 8,516 meters (27,940 feet) and is the 4th highest mountain in the world. Nelson and Morrison aren’t the first to set their skis on the mountain—Jamie Laidlaw partially skied Lhotse in 2007—but they are the first to drop from the summit.
This noteworthy achievement is another notch in Nelson’s already heavily marked belt. She’s one of about 10 women who has skied the world’s highest peaks—those exceeding 8,000 meters—and she's the only woman who has skied more than one.
She skied Cho Oyu in 2005 with no supplemental oxygen or assistance and was the first woman to ski the Makalu La Couloir on Makalu, the 5th highest mountain in the world. She and Morrison were the first Americans to complete a ski ascent and descent of India’s Papsura Peak (21,165 meters, 69,439 feet), a dream Nelson held for nearly two decades and an achievement that placed her on National Geographic’s 2018 Adventurers of the Year list.
In 2018, she was named the second-ever captain of The North Face’s Global Athlete Team, a role held for the past 26 years by seasoned climber Conrad Anker, and she is featured in the brand’s female-empowering “Move Mountains” movement.