UPDATED — Bad weather continues to hamper recovery of ranger’s body

  • Sunday, June 24, 2012 6:44pm
  • News
Nick Hall National Park Service via The Associated Press

Nick Hall National Park Service via The Associated Press

By The Associated Press

SEATTLE — A crew of climbing Mount Rainier National Park rangers is ready to recover the body of a colleague who died Thursday while rescuing four injured climbers near the mountain’s peak.

Also on Sunday, helicopters were on standby, waiting for a safe window in the forecast to fly. Weather on the mountain has hampered recovery efforts.

“It’s very frustrating. We’d like to make this happen for the employees and the family,” park spokesman Rick Jones said.

Nick Hall died Thursday after helping four climbers from Texas who fell near the 14,411-foot mountain’s peak.

The climbers had reached the summit and were on their way down, roped together, when two women fell into a crevasse on Emmons Glacier at the 13,700-foot level. Two men were able to stop the group, and one called for help by cellphone.

Hall had helped put three climbers into the helicopter when he fell 2,600 feet. The final climber, Stacy Wren, descended the mountain with rangers Friday.

For now, Hall’s colleagues must wait at Camp Schurman until the weather clears.

“It’s a big enough mountain that when it interacts with the atmosphere, the weather there can be radically different than the flatlands just miles away,” Jones said.

Monday’s forecast looks similar to Sunday’s. Jones said they’re more optimistic for a recovery effort to happen on Tuesday or Wednesday.

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