Khala Patar, south ridge of Pumori, above Everest Base Camp, looking across the Khumbu Icefall to Everest and Nuptse. “You can’t see Lhotse at all walking in, but from this point you get a glimpse of the top of the Lhotse Face. It was the first time we could see there’s really snow, and that we might be able to ski off the summit. At this point, our stoke is really high. But this is also the first time you see the icefall and I have no idea how we’re going to get through that. So we’re like, ‘Oh boy, we gotta get to work.’” —Jim Morrison


of September 30, 2018, with the sun shining and the wind just beginning to rise, Hilaree Nelson, 45, and Jim Morrison, 43, dropped their packs and skis and sat down in the deep, sugary snow atop the 27,940-foot summit of Lhotse, the fourth highest mountain on the planet. It had been 12 hours and 4,140 vertical feet of climbing since they’d left Camp 3—12 hours of slow, cold, focused, hypoxic suffering; kicking and slipping in breakable crust; crawling on all fours; wallowing

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