Ranger Dies on Mt. Rainier During Rescue

Ranger Dies on Mt. Rainier During Rescue

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Ranger Dies on Mt. Rainier During Rescue

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Mount Rainier National Park, Washington. North side of Mount Rainier, viewed from Grand Park (foreground). From left to right: Little Tahoma Peak, Emmons Glacier, Steamboat Prow, Winthrop Glacier, Willis Wall, and Carbon Glacier. On the skyline at center, the summit cone is on the left, Columbia Crest on the right. 1963. Photo: USGS

A ranger with the National Park Service died Thursday while assisting in a rescue on Mount Rainier.

An NPS press statement said that on Thursday afternoon Ranger Nick Hall, 34, was called to assist with the rescue of 4 climbers stuck at 13,700 feet on the northeast side of Mt. Rainier on Emmons Glacier after a successful summit.  While preparing the climbers for rescue by helicopter, Hall slipped and fell more than 3,500 feet.

Here’s some details of the tragic incident:

At approximately 1:45 p.m. this afternoon, Thrusday, June 21, 2012, a party of four climbers from Waco, Texas, fell at the 13,700 foot level of the Emmons Glacier as they were returning from a successful summit attempt on Mount Rainier. Two members of the party slid into a crevasse. A third member of the group was able to call for help using a cell phone. During the subsequent rescue, at 4:59 p.m., as the first of the climbers was being evacuated by helicopter, Mount Rainier climbing ranger Nick Hall fell, sliding more than 3,000 feet down the side of the mountain. He did not respond to attempts to contact him and was not moving. High winds and a rapidly lowering cloud ceiling made rescue efforts extremely difficult, but with the help of Chinook helicopters from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, three members of the original climbing party were lifted off the mountain by about 9:00 p.m. and taken to Madigan Hospital. The remaining member of the party is spending the night on the mountain with climbing rangers from Mount Rainier National Park, and rescue options will be reassessed in the morning. All four suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Nick Hall is a 4-year veteran of Mount Rainier National Park’s climbing program and a native of Patten, Maine. He was unmarried and has no children.

Unofficial’s condolences go out to Hall’s family and friends.

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