(NOTE: Originally posted June 22, 2012. Re-posted here for archival purposes)

From the National Park Service:

Mount Rainier National Park Climbing Ranger Dies During Rescue AttemptDate: June 21, 2012

A climbing ranger at Mount Rainier National Park has died during a rescue attempt on the Emmons Glacier Thursday afternoon. Ranger Nick Hall, 34, fell from the 13,700 foot level to about 10,000 feet on the mountain’s northeast side as he was helping to prepare other climbers for extrication by helicopter.

At approximately 1:45 p.m. Thursday, 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, according to the National Park Service.

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.

Nick Hall was a four-year veteran of Mount Rainier National Park’s climbing program and a native of Patten, Maine. He was unmarried and has no children. The names of the original four climbers will be released once all four families have been notified. Rescue and recovery efforts will resume in Friday morning. Sunrise, which had been scheduled to open for the season tomorrow morning, will remain closed while the incident is underway. We hope to reopen later in the day. (6.22.12)

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