Recovery Efforts Await Improved Safety Conditions
Contact: Information Officer, 360-569-6701
Recovery efforts for Climbing Ranger Nick Hall await improved safety conditions. After a number of days of poor weather conditions and several feet of new snow on the upper elevations of Mount Rainier, today the park received its first day of a forecasted 36-hour window of good weather for a recovery effort. Today, high avalanche danger on the mountain resulted in unsafe conditions that precluded efforts to recover Climbing Ranger Nick Hall.
'We want to recover Nick as soon as it is safe to do so," said Superintendent Randy King. "Conditions must be stable before it is safe to put recovery teams on the mountain."
Efforts today focused on overflights to assess conditions from the air, evaluation of mountain conditions and snowpack at Camp Schurman (elevation 9,510 feet) and finalizing a plan for a recovery attempt on Thursday providing that conditions are favorable and safe.
Nick Hall died on Mount Rainier on Thursday, June 21, 2012 after he fell approximately 2,500 feet down the Emmons Glacier while assisting on an upper mountain rescue.
The memorial service for Nick Hall will be held on Friday June 29, 2012 at the Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park. Nick's family, friends, colleagues and co-workers will be attending. The Visitor Center will be closed to accommodate the service. The park is currently working to offer alternative methods to view the service.
The Hall family has asked that donations in honor of Nick Hall be made in lieu of flowers. Donations that support search and rescue in Maine and assist the Hall family with expenses related to the tragedy may be made through the following accounts:
The National Park Foundation - http://www.nationalparks.org/nickhall
Nick Hall Memorial Fund
Donations to the fund that supports Mount Rainier National Park's search and rescue program in honor of Nick Hall may be made to:
MORA Search and Rescue Fund
Cards and condolences may also be sent to the above addresses.
Mount Rainier National Park is being assisted throughout this incident by Mountain Rescue Units from Tacoma, WA and Everett, WA, a Chinook helicopter with crew from Joint Base Lewis McChord, a MD500 helicopter from Northwest Helicopters out of Olympia, WA, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Pierce County Sheriff's Office, and The Soup Ladies. Additionally, gracious support has also been received by businesses and other partners in many of the gateway communities.
Did You Know?
The Paradise meadows were once home to a golf course, rope tows for skiers, an auto campground, and rows of tent cabins. All of these activities damaged the meadows, as does walking off-trail. Management practices have changed over the years, and we now protect and restore our precious subalpine meadows.