Manaslu Avalanche Update; Plus, Hilaree Nelson Cremated Today

As we reported this morning, a huge avalanche hit Manaslu Base Camp earlier. Two other avalanches were also reported. One man died.

The fatality occurred between Camp 1 and Camp 2. The slide swept away a Sherpa guide on his way down. The victim has been identified as Dawa Chhiring Sherpa, who was working with the joint Seven Summit Treks/Arnold Coster Expeditions team. The highly experienced Dawa Chhiring had already climbed Manaslu five times, Everest six times, Cho Oyu twice, and Shishapangma once.

Dawa Chhiring Sherpa, missing and presumed dead after an avalanche on Manaslu. Photo: Dawa Chhiring Sherpa


First, several small avalanches

According to Chhang Dawa Sherpa, director of Seven Summit Treks, the weather worsened the previous night. Climbers witnessed several small avalanches that damaged the route from Camp 3 to Camp 4. Snowfall also buried the ropes. Then a bigger avalanche fell between Camp 1 and Camp 2, catching Dawa Chhiring.

Seven Summit Treks - Arnold Coster Expeditions Team, where Dawa Chhiring was working. Photo with the clients at the beggining of the Manaslu Expedition

The Seven Summit Treks/Arnold Coster Expeditions Team, where Dawa Chhiring was working. Taken at the beginning of the Manaslu expedition. Photo: Dawa Chhiring Sherpa


A search-and-rescue operation began immediately, with both a helicopter and ground personnel, but no trace of him was found. The search will continue tomorrow.

Chhang Dawa Sherpa said this afternoon that almost all those remaining on Manaslu were in the higher camps. The forecast predicted minimal snow and low wind for October 3 and the morning of October 4. These climbers hoped to summit during that window. Those summit hopes now seem to have ended.

climbers pick their way through snowy, glaciated terrain on Manaslu

Manaslu. Photo: Naoko Watanabe


Camp 3 climbers waiting to head down

Most of the remaining climbers on the mountain are in Camp 3, waiting for the weather to improve before making their way down tomorrow. This includes Adriana Brownlee and Gelje Sherpa.

Earlier this week, on September 26, two died on Manaslu — 34-year-old Anup Rai of Nepal, and 49-year-old American extreme skier and alpinist Hilaree Nelson.

Jost Kobusch of Germany had shared some past expeditions with Anup Rai. “We called him ‘the smiling Buddha’,” wrote Kobusch, “because nothing could make him sad.” Anup Rai is survived by his wife and two children.

Anup Rai.

Anup Rai. Photo: Daniel Hug


There has been no official statement about the condition of the Sherpas injured in that September 26 avalanche. According to witnesses, some were in serious condition when rescued.

The injured Sherpas were: Kinu Pemba (35), Phurte Sherpa (29), Sukman Tamang (27), Nima Sherpa, Nima Dorje Sherpa (40), Dawa Sherpa (25), Phurita Sherpa (40), Lakpa Tamang (37), and Jit Bahadur Sherpa (44).

Nima Dorje’s condition was critical.


There is little news from Dhaulagiri, also hit by avalanches earlier today. No casualties were reported. Albanian-Kosovo climber Uta Ibrahimi arrived safely in Base Camp earlier today. Given the hazardous conditions on Dhaulagiri this fall, Ibrahimi, like so many others, has decided to pack it in for the season.

“Dhaulagiri, I love you, but I [want] to live longer. See you next season,” she wrote.

Vadim Druelle is also back in Base Camp and will leave for home tomorrow morning.

Hilaree Nelson's body was transported to the Buddhist temple for the creamtion ceremony.

Hilaree Nelson’s body was transported to a Buddhist temple for the cremation ceremony. Photo: Dawa Yangzum Sherpa


Hilaree Nelson’s farewell

Skier and alpinist Hilaree Nelson was cremated today in a Buddhist ceremony at Swayambhunath temple, west of Kathmandu.

Her partner Jim Morrison was accompanied by, among others,  Jimmy Chin, Nelson’s brother Stan, and Nepali climber Dawa Yangzum Sherpa, a close friend of Hilaree Nelson’s.

“I’ve been uplifted and overwhelmed by all of the support across the world and thank you all for that,” Morrison wrote on social media.

Morrison will carry Nelson’s ashes back to the U.S.

b/w photo of Hilaree Nelson

Hilaree Nelson.


Swayambhunath Buddhist temple.

Swayambhunath temple, where Hilaree Nelson was cremated today. Photo: Wikipedia

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.