Nick Hall (File)
ASHFORD, Wash. (June 29, 2012)--Mount Rainier National Park held a memorial service Friday for Ranger Nick Hall, 33, whose body remains on the mountain more than a week after he fell to his death during the rescue of four climbers from Waco.
During the service, Chaplain Mike Neil prayed for a break in the weather so the fallen ranger’s body could be recovered and “bring this to an end.”
Neil said Hall was "taken on the first day of summer in a manner that the people on this mountain understand."
Halls’ father Carter and brother Aaron spoke during the service.
“Your friendships are deep, your friendships are true, I have shared tears on your friends’ shoulders,” Carter Hall said.
Aaron Hall recalled climbing a little mountain with his brother when they were 5 or 6.
“I remember Nick’s fingers digging in to the moss and rocks,” he said.
“The loss of a brother is pretty tough, he was my only brother,” he said.
The private service for family and friends was held at the Jackson Visitor Center at the Paradise ranger station on the south side of the Mountain below Emmons Glacier where Hall fell 2,500 feet to his death on June 21 during the rescue operation.
Park Service spokeswoman Nancy Stimson says fog and snow Friday prevented a helicopter crew from recovering the body.
Hall, who was originally from Patten Maine, served as a climbing ranger four years in the park for four years.
He was unmarried and had no children.
In lieu of flowers, his family asked that donations be made to support search and rescue in Maine and to assist with expenses.
Donations in honor of Nick Hall may be sent to:
Nick Hall Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 431
Patten, ME 04765
Donations may also be made through the National Park Foundation.
Donations to a fund supporting Mount Rainier’s Search and Rescue Program may be made to:
MORA Search and Rescue Fund
(checks payable to DOI-NPS)
55210 238th Ave E
Ashford, WA 98304
Cards and condolences may also be sent to those addresses, the National Park Service said.
Waco lawyer Stuart Smith, 52, an accomplished climber whose resume includes a trip to the summit of Mount Everest, his niece Noelle Smith, Ross VanDyke, 32, a Baylor University admissions counselor, and Stacy Wren, 22, were descending from the summit of the mountain on June 21 when the two women fell into a crevasse.
Hall fell during the rescue after helping load a litter into the helicopter that plucked Smith, his niece and VanDyke off the mountain and flew them to Madigan Army Medical Center, from which they were released on Thursday.
He was dead when other rangers reached him several hours later.
Wren, who was not injured, remained with rangers on the mountain overnight and then walked down the peak the next day.
She has since returned home.
Her father, Waco attorney Jim Wren, told News 10 Thursday that the family owes a huge debt to Hall and the other rangers involved in the rescue.
"We owe an incredible, unspeakable debt of gratitude to Nick Hall...and to those rangers. I want to say even though the words don't do it justice...I want to say thank you. Thank you and I am eternally grateful,” he said.