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Nick Hall: No recovery before July 4, “no pressure” as family wants “safe as possible” mission

Post by Craig Hill / The News Tribune on July 2, 2012 at 8:54 am with No Comments »
July 2, 2012 8:54 am

The body of Mount Rainier climbing ranger Nick Hall won’t be recovered until after the Fourth of July, a National Park spokeswoman said this morning.

Weather windows early this week appear to be too small to safely get a crew of climbing rangers to Hall’s body via helicopter, said Kathy Steichen, Olympic National Park’s chief of interpretation serving as a Rainier spokeswoman during this incident.

“Nick Hall’s family totally understands and wants this to be as safe as possible,” Steichen said. “There is no pressure (to do the recovery sooner).”

Steichen says the first promising weather window for recovering Hall will be late Thursday or Friday.

Nick Hall died June 21 when he fell while helping rescue four injured climbers from Texas. Two of the climbers had fallen into a crevasse high on the Emmons Glacier.

Climbing rangers have prepared Hall’s body to be lifted off the mountain but poor weather and high risk of avalanche have kept them from retrieving Hall.

A memorial service was held June 29 at Paradise’s Jackson Visitor Center.

National Park Service employees from West Coast parks have scrambled to Rainier to help in the wake of the incident. Officials are meeting with Rainier superintendant Randy King this morning to determine a plan for transitioning back to normal staffing.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing, Steichen said, “and it is not my understanding that the recovering of Nick Hall’s body is crucial to the investigation.”


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