A climbing ranger at Mount Rainier National Park died Thursday while helping to evacuate a party of four climbers who had slipped while descending the Emmons Glacier Thursday afternoon - two of them slipping into a crevasse, a park spokesman reports.
Nick Hall, 34, was helping to prepare the climbers at about 5 p.m. to be lifted out of the area by helicopter at 13,700 feet when he fell and slid to about 10,000 feet on the northeast side of the mountain, said spokesman Kevin Bacher in a 11:05 p.m. recorded message for the media.
According to an Associated Press story on The Seattle Times Friday, efforts to recover Hall's body may take several days due to inclement weather.
He was part of a team that first responded at about 1:45 p.m. Thursday to a report that four climbers were injured and two had slid into a crevasse. A third climber had a cell phone and was able to call for help.
Three climbers were rescued at about 9 p.m. Thursday thanks to Chinook helicopters from Joint Base Lewis McChord but due to high winds and a quickly lowering cloud ceiling, according to Bacher, two rescuers would spend the night on the mountain with the remaining climber and reassess in the morning. She was the least injured of the four and they hope she will be able to walk out on her own accord when the effort resumes Friday.
None of the four appeared to have sustained life-threatening injuries, he said. The three who were rescued were taken to Madigan. They are from Waco, Texas and their names will be released once their families have been notified.
Hall, who was not married and had no children, was a four-year veteran of the Mount Rainier National Park climbing program, said Bacher, and was originally from Patten, Maine. His death is the second of a park ranger this year. In January, in a tragic fatal shooting by a gunman on New Year's Day.
Meanwhile, Sunrise Road, , "will remain closed while the incident is underway," Bacher said. "We hope to reopen later in the day."