Park rangers are often unsung heroes, and that can certainly be said of Nick Hall, who died Thursday afternoon after 3,700 feet while helping to rescue stranded climbers on Mt. Rainier’s northeast flank.
Two female climbers from Waco, Texas, had fallen into a crevasse, according to a news release issued by Washington state’s Mt. Rainier National Park. They were with two male climbers and all four were making their descent on Emmons Glacier after a successful summit of the 14,411-foot Mt. Rainier.
One of the climbers used a cellphone to call for help.
The National Park Service issued a statement which noted that the tragic incident occurred while Hall was assisting three of the climbers in an airlift evacuation.
During the risky rescue effort, Hall slipped and fell more than 3700 feet.
“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,” the service stated. “Climbers reached Ranger Hall several hours after the incident began and found him to be deceased.”
Afterward, one climber remained on the mountain with rangers because high winds and a lowering cloud cover made it too dangerous to continue the helicopter operation. On Friday morning the service declared a joint operation was underway to rescue the fourth climber and recover Hall’s body.
Hall, 34, was a native of Patten, Maine, and a four-year veteran of Rainier’s mountain-rescue program.
His father told The Associated Press that his family was proud of Hall for the type of work he performed.
“We sincerely hope the loss of our son will draw appropriate attention to the hazards and safety requirements and commitment to be involved in the profession and sport he so loved,” Carter Hall said.
He added that the family was “grieving and celebrating” Nick Hall’s life.
– Above is image of Mt. Rainier’s northeast side. Bottom image shows Nick Hall (far left) with Mount Rainier Climbing Rangers during a training session in May.