Soaring Spirits is proud to be honoring the courageous effort that building resiliency requires by presenting the first annual Jim Morrison Resiliency Award at the Hope Takes Flight Gala.

This award is named in honor of Jim Morrison, a humble, kind man whose life has taken incredibly tragic turns. His resilience has been tested by the mountains he has climbed, and by the depth of the losses he has endured. Jim has survived the death of his partner Hilaree in 2022, and the loss of his wife and two children in 2011. Jim carries his loved ones with him while striving to complete the adventures they began together.

The Jim Morrison Resiliency Award will honor a widowed person who courageously rebuilds their lives while honoring and remembering the people whose love they carry in their hearts.

Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison is a big mountain adventure skier who with his partner, Hilaree Nelson, became the first people to ski from the 27,940-foot summit of Lhotse, the fourth-highest mountain in the world. Hilaree and Jim were life and climbing partners whose adventures included dozens of first descents from atop major peaks around the world including being the first Americans to complete a ski descent of India’s 21,165-foot Papsura Peak.

While skiing from the Himalayan summit in Manslu with Jim in September of 2022, Hilaree was tragically killed in an avalanche. Her death thrust Jim into widowhood a second time after having experienced the death of his wife, Katie, and two young children, Wyatt and Hannah, in a plane crash in 2011.

Based in Tahoe City, California, Morrison has spent his entire life skiing and climbing in the Sierra Nevada. He and his brother, John, also an accomplished mountain athlete, grew up in Walnut Creek, three hours from Squaw Valley, ski racing and chasing the likes of Scot Schmidt every weekend through high school. Jim started spending ski seasons in Squaw in 1990, eventually settling there permanently. Known for his big heart and big engine, Jim quietly excels in most feats he attempts, whether it’s an Ironman triathlon or climbing El Capitan in Yosemite all while running his own custom home construction business in Tahoe.