NAME: Hilaree Nelson
BIRTHDAY: 13 December 1972
HOME: Telluride CO
DISCIPLINES: Ski Mountaineering
Recently named the captain of The North Face Athlete Team, Hilaree is 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 has won her recognition as a 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. She has become a mentor for an upcoming generation of mountain athletes. As a member of Protect Our Winters Riders' Alliance, she shares her stories and life experiences as a voice for advocacy of our wild places.
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. Just this past September, Hilaree returned to Lhotse to complete the first-ever ski descent of the 4th highest peak in the world, aka the Dream Line.
Born and raised in the Northwest, Hilaree began skiing at age 3 in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. Today, her favorite mountain town is Telluride, CO - a place where she raises her two boys and is fortunate to call home.
I ski for the moment of awe.
The best way for me to recharge my batteries for the next expedition or ski challenge is to create another goal out in front of me and then slowly build up towards the challenge. Within that equation is a lot of rest, eating, hanging out with friends and family and yoga
You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose. -Dr. Suess. I’ve carried this quote around with me for my entire ski expedition career. It reminds me to appreciate simplicity. It reminds me that my path is my choice and to love that freedom and to be appreciative.
I try not to think or look too far ahead. I can get through difficult situations by being present and taking each step as it comes.
There have been many sacrifices on my path to climbing and skiing the biggest and most remote mountains in the world. I’ve spent big chunks of time away from my children, I’ve missed many a wedding or family gathering. The experiences I’ve had on some of my expeditions often leave me feeling isolated from my home life. It’s hard for me to say if these sacrifices were worth it but I definitely can’t envision myself anywhere else in life.
My performance is heavily influenced by my attitude.
I just really love being outside. I drag my kids on hikes and bike rides. I go rock climbing and swimming. I spend a lot of time on the road giving talks about my adventures with the hope of inspiring others to take a few more risks in life and to connect with the outdoors.
My strategies for overcoming pressure and stress include focused and rhythmic breathing, staying present, preparedness and visualization.