Mount Rainier ranger falls 3,000 feet to his death
Mount Rainier ranger, Nick Hall, 33, expected to be going to just another day of work at Mount Rainer National Park on Thursday. However, when helping rescue a climbing party, the hero slid more that 3,000 feet to his death. Nick Hall died as he courageously helped evacuate climbers from a crevasse by helicopter near the summit of the 14,411-foot mountain.
The climbers had reached the summit and were roped together on their way down when two feel into the crevasse on Emmons Glacier.
“The two women on the end went into the crevasse, but the two men were able to stop the group, and that prevented anyone from falling to the bottom of the crevasse,” park spokesman, Kevin Bacher said.
Out of the four climbers, three of them were rescued by the Chinook helicopter on Thursday. Worsening weather with 40 mph winds prevented the helicopter from rescuing the fourth person. Four rangers stayed overnight with the fourth climber, whom will be walking down later today. A helicopter airlifted the three climbers that were rescued to Madigan Army Medical Center at the military base near Tacoma. According to Jay Ebbeson, they were hospitalized and are in fair condition as of today.
Bacher confirmed that six rangers went to recover Hall’s body Friday. However, that unfortunate task could take several days if the helicopter cannot fly. According to the National Weather Service, it was raining at Longmire and was snowing above 10,000 feet, the level where Nick Hall landed.
“The ideal situation will be the weather would clear up enough for the helicopter to take everyone off the mountain,” Bacher said. “Our goal for the day is to have everyone off the mountain by the end of the day.”
Four-year veteran of the park’s climbing program, Nick Hall, originally from Patten, Maine, was not married and did not have any children. Before falling at about 5 p.m. Nick Hall helped put three of the Texas climbers into the helicopter. Until the families are notified, the names of the climbers will remain unnamed.
“We don’t want what happened to Nick to happen again,” Bacher said. “Safety also was stressed at the Friday morning briefing for rangers. There’s no urgency today; nobody’s life is at risk today. Let’s take it slow and make sure nobody else is hurt.”