Park rangers staged a daring helicopter rescue of four climbers on Mt. Ranier on Thursday, but averted one tragedy only to have a second mishap claim one of their own.
The four climbers had been returning from the mountain’s summit when two of them reportedly fell into a deep crevasse. While they were all rescued safely, during the operation a 34-year-old ranger from Maine who’d worked for the park’s climbing program for four years fell to his death, according to the National Park Service.
Ranger Nick Hall was killed on Thursday after he fell more than 3,000 feet into a crevasse on Mt. Ranier’s Emmons Glacier as he was attempting a rescue of climbers, the Park Service said. A press release stated that Hall fell as he was helping the climbers be evacuated by helicopter rescue:
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. 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.
Three members of the climbing group were airlifted out (one stayed on the mountain with rangers) and were being treated at a medical facility for non-life threatening injuries according to park spokesperson Kevin Bacher. Ranger Nick Hall “has been part of the team that’s been up there on the mountain keeping people safe and bringing people out for a long time. He’s a valued member of our team,” Bacher said to Washington’s King 5 News.