Mount Rainier climbing ranger falls more than 3,000 feet to his death

Mount Rainier climbing ranger falls more than 3,000 feet to his death

POSTED: Friday, June 22, 2012 - 11:00am

UPDATED: Friday, June 22, 2012 - 11:04am

A Mount Rainier National Park climbing ranger fell more than 3,000 feet to his death Thursday while helping to rescue two climbers who had fallen into a crevasse on the mountain, the park service said.

Nick Hall, 34, fell from the 13,700-foot level to about 10,000 feet on Mount Rainier's northeast side as he was helping to prepare climbers for extrication by helicopter.

Fellow rescuers reached Hall several hours after the incident began and found him dead. Hall was a four-year veteran of Mount Rainier National Park's climbing program and was a native of Patten, Maine. He was unmarried and had no children.

Hall was part of a rescue team that responded to a call for help on the mountain Thursday afternoon.

At about 1:45 p.m. Thursday, a party of four climbers from Waco, Texas, fell at Emmons Glacier as they were returning from a successful summit of Mount Rainier. Two members of the party slid into a crevasse. One of the other members was able to call for help with a cell phone.

When rescuers got there, they were able to pull out the two climbers from the crevasse.

At about 4:50 p.m., as the first of the climbers were being evaculated by helicopter, Hall fell, sliding more than 3,000 feet down the side of the mountain, the park service said.

Two of the original climbing party were lifted off of the mountain by 9 p.m. and were taken to nearby Madigan Hospital. The weather worsened, however, and the copter could not return. The other two members of the party were spending Thursday night on the mountain with climbing rangers and would be brought down Friday.

All four suffered non-life-threatening injuries, the park service said.


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