Last climber safely rescued from Mt. Rainier

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on June 21, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 8:04 AM

MOUNT RAINIER, Wash. -- The last of the four injured climbers on Mt Rainier walked safely down the mountain Friday evening.

The operation to rescue the four climbers Thursday turned deadly when a park ranger fell to his death.  The National Park Service identified the ranger as Nick Hall, 34, from Maine.

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.

One of climbers was forced to spend the night there with rescue crews following the accident. She successfully walked down the mountain Friday evening.

The accident that killed Hall happened just before 2 p.m. Thursday.  In all, four climbers, two women and two men, were scaling down the mountain along the Emmons Glacier route when the two women slipped and fell into a crevasse.

One of the climbers in the group had a working cell phone and called park rangers. Rrescue crews located the climbing group and began to rescue the women out of the crevasse.

All four climbers were injured, but none of their injuries were life-threatening.

It was reportedly while harnessing one of the injured climbers to a Chinook helicopter that Hall slid to his death.

The helicopter was able to evacuated three of the climbers to safety, but inclement weather and the accident that killed Hall halted the rescue operation. Rescue personnel spent the night with the one remaining climber on the mountain.

The four climbers are from Waco, Texas and successfully summited the mountain before the incident. Their names will be released once all four families have been notified.

Ranger Nick Hall is a 4-year veteran of Mount Rainier National Park's climbing program and a native of Patten, Maine.

"Nick...has been part of the team that's been up there on the mountian keeping people safe and bringing people out for a long time. He's a valued member of our team," said Ranger Bacher.

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

The snow level on Mount Rainier is expected to hover around the 10,000 foot level Friday with chances of both showers and a possible thunderstorm. Click here for Jim Guy's Mount Rainier forecast.

KING 5's Jim Forman and Liza Javier contributed to this report.

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