PATTEN and MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK - Nicholas Edward Hall, 33, died June 21, 2012, during a valiant and icy rescue effort of four stranded climbers near the summit of Mount Rainier in Washington state. Nick was an experienced climbing ranger consistently participating in numerous rescue operations on the mountain and its associated Emmons Glacier. Nick was a graduate of Katahdin High School, Stacyville, where he went on to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps serving six years as an avionics technician in the Carolinas, California and Japan, reaching the rank of sergeant. He then went on to complete a bachelor's degree focusing on outdoor recreation and business at Western State College, Gunnison, Colo. His great passion for the outdoors and mountainous areas drew him to the Rockies, where he studied and honed his alpine skills coinciding with his adventurous spirit. Upon his graduation from college Nick immediately and fully dedicated himself to a mountaineering culture, working first in the roles of ski patrol/emergency medical technician at North Star near Reno, Nev., and later Stevens Pass in Washington state. Nick also worked for The Bureau of Land Management in remote areas of Utah spending numerous days on the Colorado River often leading his brother and friends over the large rapids of this river. Finally, he went on to become an avalanche forecaster for Yellowstone National Park as well as being a climbing ranger at Mount Rainier National Park in the summer seasons where he spent his final days. Nick's enthusiasm for the outdoors and mountaineering was matched by few, often spending in excess of 100 days each year on skis and countless days on the rocky pitches of North America's most revered mountains and canyons with his many climbing companions. He has left this world much too soon and his family is overwhelmed from his loss. However, they are comforted in knowing he died doing the work he loved while performing heroic, selfless efforts in order to rescue people in need. He displayed integrity and personal courage beyond all expectation. Nick is missed by countless friends who shared many days with him in his adventurous pursuits. He had been an avid hunter enjoying various excursions in Washington as well as annual trips to Maine near Shin Pond with his father, brother and cousin Dave. During his time in the Marines near San Diego he could be found on the beaches of Oceanside or in the Baja of Mexico spending each free moment surfing. His, now notorious, dog named Grommet was a loved pal for many of his adventures who scaled 14,000 foot peaks and often accompanied Nick to some of the most beautiful and remote areas our nation has to offer. Nick was predeceased by his fraternal great-grandfather, Andrew Dahlen; grandfather, Wendall Hall; and maternal grandmother, Mary Rush. He is survived by his parents, Carter and Mary Hall of Patten; brother, Aaron Hall; sister-in-law, Sherry Hall; as well as nieces, Avery and Alyse Hall who reside in St. Louis. Nick is also survived by an abundant number of relatives including his grandfather, "Poppa," Edward Rush; grandmother, "Nana," Karen Hall; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins who all enjoy strong family ties. Services both in Maine and Washington will be announced at a later date. Two funds have been established in Nick Hall's honor in order to foster the pursuit of outdoor recreation; donations may be made, in lieu of flowers, to The Nick Hall Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 431, Patten, ME 04765 - please make checks out to: The Nick Hall Memorial Fund; or Mount Rainier National Park Rescue and Recovery Fund: Mount Rainier National Park, 55201 238 Ave. East, Ashford, WA 98304 - please make checks out to: DOI-NPS/Nick Hall.
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Published in BDN Maine on June 25, 2012