A climbing ranger at Mount Rainier National Park fell to his death yesterday as he tried to rescue four climbers who had gotten stuck in a crevasse.
According to the National Parks Traveler, Mike Hall, 34, had rescued two of the four climbers, escorting them safely into the helicopter for evacuation, when he tumbled 3,700 feet down the flanks of the mountain.
The climbers, from Waco, Texas, had already gotten to the summit of Mount Ranier and were on their way down when they fell into the crevasse on the Emmons Glacier, at an elevation of 13,700 feet. This occurred at about 2 P.M, and one of the climbers was able to call for help on a mobile phone.
Climbing Ranger Hall was among the initial rescue team that arrived at the scene. According to NPT, the rescue was made difficult because of high winds and a “rapidly lowering cloud ceiling.” Chinook helicopters were dispatched from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a nearby military base. As the first climbers were being evacuated by helicopter, Hall fell from the mountain, sliding down to the 10,000-foot level.
Three of the climbers were escorted from the mountain by 9 p.m. Thursday night and taken to Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington. The fourth climber spent the night on Mount Rainier with climbing rangers, and would be able to make the rest of the descent, with the help of the rangers, today.
None of the climbers had life-threatening injuries.
The climbing rangers reached Ranger Hall several hours after he fell and found that he had died. He had been a climbing ranger with Mount Rainier National Park for four years and was originally from Patten, Maine. Hall was a former Marine sergeant and had also worked as an avalanche forecaster at Yellowstone, according to MSNBC. Hall was unmarried and did not have any children.
This is the second time a Ranger has died at Mount Rainier National Park this year. On New Year’s Day, Margaret Anderson, a law enforcement ranger, was shot dead when she stopped a motorcyclist suspected for a shooting in Seattle.