Snowy and cloudy conditions have continued to hamper efforts to remove the body of a Mount Rainier National Park climbing ranger who died while working to rescue four climbers, though a small window of opportunity was expected Sunday.
Nick Hall, 33, was killed Thursday when he tumbled roughly a half-mile down the Emmons Glacier on the mountain's eastern flanks. He was working to help four climbers board a helicopter after helping rescue two of their team who fallen into a crevasse.
All four climbers were successfully rescued and transported to a hospital. Injuries sustained by some members of the climbing party remain serious.
Since Thursday the mountain has been socked in by several days of inclement weather that has slowed efforts to recover Ranger Hall’s remains. Heavy cloud cover, in conjunction with several feet of new snow, has made attempts to reach his location extremely difficult, park officials said Sunday.
"Additional amounts of snow are forecast today as well; however the park is expecting a small weather window that may be utilized to reach Hall’s body," said park spokesman Rick Jones in a release. "Access to the Sunrise Road continues to be restricted as it provides the safest access for an aerial recovery of Hall’s remains."
Mount Rainier rangers, local search and rescue team members, a Chinook helicopter with crew from Joint Base Lewis McChord, and an MD500 helicopter from Northwest Helicopters out of Olympia, Washington, continue to assist in the attempted recovery of Hall’s remains and to assure the safety of other climbers on the mountain.
Ranger Hall's family has asked that donations in honor of Nick Hall, in lieu of flowers, be made through the following accounts:
Nick Hall Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 431
Patten, ME 04765
Please make checks payable to Nick Hall Memorial Fund
Donations to this fund will support search and rescue in Maine and assist the Hall Family with travel expenses.
You also can contribute to the park's search and rescue fund at:
MORA Search and Rescue Fund
55210 238th Ave E
Ashford, WA 98304
Please make checks payable to DOI-NPS and note that the donation is in honor of Nick Hall.
Cards and condolences may also be sent to the above addresses.