Outdoors

Rainier climbing rangers lax on safety in rescues, report shows

This undated photo provided by the National Park Service shows climbing ranger Nick Hall on Mount Rainier. Hall died while helping rescue other climbers. (Associated Press)
This undated photo provided by the National Park Service shows climbing ranger Nick Hall on Mount Rainier. Hall died while helping rescue other climbers. (Associated Press)

MOUNTAINEERING — The National Park Service says a climbing ranger who fell to his death during a rescue operation at Mount Rainier National Park last year was not roped for safety or equipped with an ice ax at the time of the accident.

Nick Hall, 33, was a four-year climbing ranger at the park. He fell roughly 2,400 feet while helping to rescue four injured climbers from Texas on June 21, 2012.

A review into the accident reported by the Associated Press today found a pervasive pattern of rangers being comfortable being unroped on the mountain and that they had become desensitized to the risks.

Park Superintendent Randy King says the park is establishing more stringent protocols for those who work on the mountain and improving training for its rangers.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

By Rich Landers richl@spokesman.com (509) 459-5508


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