(JTA) — Eitan Green, a Solomon Schechter day school alumnus from Needham, Mass., was among six hikers killed on Mount Rainier.
Green, an experienced mountain guide for Alpine Ascents International who had made more than 40 ascents up Mount Rainier, was ascending the north face of the mountain with one other guide and four climbers when the group went missing last week. The last communication from the hikers came Wednesday night; a search began when they failed to return Friday as planned.
Rescue crews found camping and hiking gear in snow, ice and rock debris more than 3,000 feet below the group’s last known position and picked up signals from the hikers’ avalanche beacons, Reuters reported. The six are believed to have fallen more than 3,000 feet to their deaths or been buried by an avalanche.
Officials said there was no way the group could have survived, making it the deadliest accident on the mountain since 11 people were killed on Rainier in 1981. More than 400 people have died on Mount Rainier since 1897.
Park officials said the bodies of the six may take weeks to recover — if they are ever found.
Green, the son of Jeffrey and Beth Green of Somerville, Mass., attended the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston in Newton through the eighth grade. A graduate of Colby College in Maine, Green has been a guide since 2009 at the Seattle-based Alpine Ascents – the same company that lost five sherpas in an accident several weeks ago on Mount Everest.
Green climbed, trekked and guided in Alaska, Argentina, India, Nepal and Europe, according to his bio page on Alpine Ascents. He summited Mont Blanc and Patagonia’s Aguja Stanhardt.
“It is his goal to help climbers find the right balance of fun and challenge in devising and fulfilling their ambitions in the mountains,” the Web page says.
Writing on Green’s Facebook page, Luc Tremblay recalled sharing cheese and matzah with Green on one climb up Mount Rainier.
Seth Levine, a cousin of Green, wrote, “I will remember you as that funny little toddler with the big smile who I somehow helped fall off the sofa when you were three and who wanted to do it again, as the lanky kid who I introduced to the Back to the Future movies which we watched back-to-back-to-back during a family ski trip, as a young man who talked my ear off about cheese making and butchering and as the worldly and charming man who you’d become in photos and stories. Our time together was too short but you will be with me always.”
A service for Green will be held on Thursday afternoon at Levine Chapels in Brookline, Mass. In lieu of flowers, his family asked that donations be made to The Mountain School in Vershire, Vt.