Weather prevents crew from retrieving ranger's body on Mount Rainier



Posted on June 23, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 8:23 AM

MOUNT RAINIER, Wash. -- Bad weather on Saturday prevented authorities from bringing a ranger's body off Mount Rainier.

On Friday, the recovery team tried, but couldn't reach Nick Hall's body because of blizzard-like conditions on the mountain.

Hall, 34, was killed on Thursday during a rescue effort to save four Texas climbers who ran into trouble on Emmons Glacier.

Rangers said Hall fell from the 13,700 foot level to about 10,000 feet on the mountain's northeast side while helping the injured climbers evacuate the mountain by helicopter.

The final climber descended the mountain with Mount Rainier National Park rangers and was whisked away by car Friday evening. Three other climbers were plucked off the mountain by helicopter Thursday after the group fell and two of them ended up in a crevasse.

At least one, perhaps two, of the climbers rescued on Mount Rainier on Thursday are from Dallas, News 8 has learned. Ross VanDyke, 32, is an experienced climber, his family told News 8. He climbed Oregon's Mount Hood in 2009 and attempted Mount Rainier last year before a blizzard turned them back.

Ranger Nick Hall, a native of Patten, Maine, was a four-year veteran of Mount Rainier National Park's climbing program.

Before that, he lived in Leavenworth and was a ski patrol member at Stevens Pass.

Those who knew him say he lived a quiet life, and loved helping others.

"I know for a fact this is the way Nick would want to go when he's doing what he loved the most - 'cause he truly loved the outdoors very much,” said former landlord Gary Simmons.

Mount Rainier posted a picture of the Climbing Ranger Team on their Flickr page Friday. Nick Hall is pictured at the far left.