By King 5 News and msnbc.com staff
A park ranger fell about 3,700 feet to his death on Mount Rainier in Washington state Thursday during an operation to rescue four climbers, NBC station King 5 reported. The National Park Service identified the ranger as Nick Hall, 34, from Maine.
A statement issued by the park said Hall fell from about 13,700 feet to 10,000 feet on Rainier’s northeast side at 4:49 p.m. PT (7:49 p.m. ET) as he was helping two of the climbers evacuate the mountain by helicopter.
“He [Hall] did not respond to attempts to contact him and was not moving. High winds and a rapidly lowering cloud ceiling made rescue efforts extremely difficult, but with the help of Chinook helicopters from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, two of the original climbing party were lifted off the mountain by about 9 p.m. and taken to Madigan Hospital,” the statement said.
“The other two members of the party are spending the night on the mountain with climbing rangers from Mount Rainier National Park … All four suffered non-life threatening injuries,” it added.
“Climbers reached Ranger Hall several hours after the incident began and found him to be deceased,” the statement said.
The four climbers, from Waco, Texas, had been walking on the Emmons Glacier Route on their way down from the summit, when two of them slipped and fell into a crevasse at about 1:45 p.m. PT, Kevin Bacher, of Mount Rainier National Park, said.
One of the hikers had a working cell phone and was able to notify park rangers. Rescue crews on foot located the climbers and lifted the two men out of the crevasse, then began the process of transferring to the helicopter.
The statement said rescue and recovery efforts would resume Friday morning.
Law enforcement authorities hold a news conference to discuss the recovery of the body of the suspect involved in the shooting death of Mount Rainier National Park Ranger Margaret Anderson.
Hall was a four-year veteran of Mount Rainier National Park’s climbing program and a native of Patten, Maine.
On January 1, park ranger Margaret Anderson was shot dead as she tried to stop Benjamin Colton Barnes, a fleeing suspect, near the Longmire Ranger Station in Mount Rainier National Park.
Anderson is remembered on the National Park’s Officer Down Memorial Page.
msnbc.com staff contributed to this report