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The body of a famed U.S. extreme skier has been recovered in Nepal


One of the world's top ski mountaineers has died in the Himalayas. She was in Nepal, where she reached the summit of the world's eighth-highest mountain and then suffered a fatal fall. Here's NPR's Lauren Frayer.


HILAREE NELSON: I started as a professional skier and climber, et cetera. But now I just go on adventures.

LAUREN FRAYER, BYLINE: That's the voice of Hilaree Nelson in a video produced by the outdoor gear company The North Face, which sponsored some of her adventures.


NELSON: You know, there's - a lot of things I've done are firsts.

FRAYER: Ten years ago, Nelson became the first woman to climb both Mount Everest and another peak together in under 24 hours. She and her partner, Jim Morrison, broke records for skiing in the Himalayas, too. And that's where and how she died. On Monday, the Colorado couple summited a nearly 27,000-foot peak in Nepal. They called colleagues from the top and then started skiing down. Fifteen minutes later, colleagues got another call. A small avalanche had swept Nelson off the mountain. Morrison managed to ski down to base camp and joined rescuers in a helicopter. They found her body Wednesday.

DAVID HALLOWELL: Amazing neighbor, friend, mother, athlete, member of the community.

FRAYER: David Hallowell lived near Nelson in Telluride, Colo., and knew her well. He works at Jagged Edge Mountain Gear, where he says Nelson inspired so many athletes.

HALLOWELL: She was always interested in what you were doing as well, even though you were in the presence of, you know, an amazing, inspirational, passionate athlete. That passion and inspiration and drive will just be carried through others.

FRAYER: Including through Nelson's two children, whom she referred to in that North Face video as two pretty crazy young boys. Her Instagram is full of pictures of them.

Lauren Frayer, NPR News, Mumbai. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Lauren Frayer covers India for NPR News. In June 2018, she opened a new NPR bureau in India's biggest city, its financial center, and the heart of Bollywood—Mumbai.