Jim Morrison to Ski Down Great Trango Tower

Jim Morrison, whose partner Hilaree Nelson perished on Manaslu last year as they attempted to ski down it, is in Pakistan with a small, strong team. They aim to climb 6,286m Great Trango Tower and then ski down it.

Morrison’s extreme ski mountaineering teammates are Christina “Lusti” Lustenberger and Nick McNutt, accompanied by photographer Drew Smith.

Jim Morrison, Christina Lusti and Nick McNutt.

Jim Morrison, Christina Lustenberger, and Nick McNutt. Photo: Jim Morrison


Two days ago, Morrison wrote on social media that they were starting to push for the summit of Great Trango Tower and would ski down. But where is their line on this huge granite tower? Apparently, “it’s an ephemeral band of snow linking an improbable descent through some of the world’s most dramatic and impressive towers of granite,” added Morrison.

Although the location of this line is still not clear, the team has apparently found one.

Great Trango Tower.

Great Trango Tower. Photo: Drew Smith


Renowned bigwall climber John Middendorf, a veteran of the Great Trango Tower, told ExplorersWeb, “I haven’t seen the backside, but I understand it is a tricky alpine climb. But people are doing amazing stuff these days!”

Great Trango Tower.

Great Trango Tower. Photo: Bill Hatcher


First attempt fell just short

A short time ago, Lustenberger announced that they had to turn around “painfully close to the summit,” but that they will try again.

“If you know me at all, you know this left me hungry for another attempt,” she said. They have descended and are now waiting for a second weather window.

Christina Lusti in the high camp during acclimatization.

Christina Lusti in the high camp during acclimatization. Photo: Christina Lustenberger


“Our team walked into a lot of unknowns, tried hard, protected when we could…[We’re] fine-tuning before we go high again.”

three climbers against a snowy white tower

Contemplating the tower. Photo: Drew Smith


“Climbing the Great Trango Tower has long been on my tick list, and one hot sunny day climbing in Indian Creek with Andres Marin, I asked him — a true alpinist — if he thought I could climb it. He replied, ‘You could ski it,’ and the dream was born,” wrote Morrison.

The snowy slope leading to the summit of Great Trango Tower

On their first attempt, the team had to turn around shortly before the summit. Photo: Christina Lustenberger


The original team would have included Hilaree Nelson, but unfortunately, she lost her life on Manaslu last autumn. “Hilaree’s spirit is filling me up,” Morrison says.

Adds Lustenberger: “I have my own memories of Hilaree Nelson that I keep close…She was supposed to be on this trip, I hate that she isn’t.”

Lusti, Morrison and McNutt climbing up high into thin air and asses the snow condition a week ago.

Lustenberger, Morrison, and McNutt climb up high into thin air a week ago. Photo: Jim Morrison


The three are among the best extreme ski mountaineers in the world. If successful, theirs would be the first ski descent of the Great Trango Tower.

Morrison descending on skis next to massive towers, during the acclimatization period.

Morrison descends on skis during the acclimatization period. Photo: Drew Smith

Kris Annapurna

KrisAnnapurna is a writer with ExplorersWeb.

Kris has been writing about history and tales in alpinism, news, mountaineering, and news updates in the Himalaya, Karakoram, etc., for the past year with ExplorersWeb. Prior to that, Kris worked as a real estate agent, interpreter, and translator in criminal law. Now based in Madrid, Spain, she was born and raised in Hungary.