More than 250 family, friends, coworkers and members of the climbing community gathered this morning to bid farewell to Nick Hall, the Mount Rainier climbing ranger who died June 21 during a rescue of four climbers who had fallen into a crevasse.
In a ceremony that blended a military-style formality with the informal remembrances from a brother and a friend, Hall was remembered for his passion for the outdoors, his quiet intensity and his remarkable climbing and rescue skills.
National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, also a former Mount Rainier National Park superintendent, described Hall as a hero, like those the Service honors at the Flight 93 and Pearl Harbor memorials.
In talking about Hall and Margaret Anderson, a Mount Rainier law enforcement ranger shot and killed on Jan. 1, Jarvis said, “We make the commitment to never let America forget, never let them forget the sacrifices they made.”
Carter Hall, the father of the 33-year-old ranger, said the past week has been experience he had never contemplated.
“Nick, my son, you have done your parents and your hometown proud.Your friendships are deep, your friendships are true,” he said.
Hall reflected so many of the characteristics needed to be a good ranger, said Chuck Young, the parks’ chief ranger.
“His legacy will live on in the rangers that follow his footsteps,” Young said.
The service inside the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center was held amidst thick clouds that blanketed the mountain through the early afternoon. Because of the conditions, expected to last through the weekend, attempts to recover Hall’s body have been suspended until Monday.