Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Solstice and Remembrances

The longest day of the year has just passed and summer is now officially happening. This change of season has been marked by many of the Rainier employees (climbing rangers included) staying busy long past daylight hours responding to lost and injured visitors. Fortunately one of the week's rescues ended well, and unfortunately one did not. We can't overemphasize enough how important it is to make good plans, be prepared for unforeseen events (injuries), and to let someone know your plans including any possible alternate plans you might have. Even with precautions experienced backcountry users take, accidents still occur, but stack the deck as much as you can in your favor.

Nick Hall
This past weekend also marked the second anniversary of the loss of our friend and co-worker Nick Hall. Nick was killed in a rescue on the Emmons Glacier on June 21st, 2012. His quiet, calm, fun-loving demeanor and his superb confidence and skill as a climbing ranger will continue to be missed daily. We wish you were here to work the long days with us, slog through the snow for miles then finally get a few good tool swings tools into alpine ice. Wish you were here to sit on the front porch at high camp drinking coffee and listening to good tunes, complain about the bureaucratic hoops we jump through, make plans for where to climb on off days, and then finally sit back and marvel at the beauty of the place we get to work and how incredibly privileged we are to have this job of "Climbing Ranger". Wake up and do it all over again. Will miss you always brother.

It's prime climbing season. Routes are in great shape. Get after it.