One of the climbers lost and presumed dead after an avalanche on Washington’s Mount Rainier last week is a Needham native and an honors graduate of Colby College, the Maine liberal arts school and others confirmed Monday.
Eitan Green — a 28-year-old who had been working as an ice, rock, and mountain climbing guide since college — was one of two guides leading four other climbers on a five-day expedition of the towering peak north of Seattle, said the college and Green’s employer, Alpine Ascents International.
“Eitan, a member of the class of 2009, was an outstanding student and an engaged member of the campus community during his time” at Colby, the school’s dean of students, James S. Terhune, wrote in an e-mail to the Colby community. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Eitan and his family, friends, and classmates.”
On Monday, Green’s family directed questions to Alpine Ascents and the National Park Service.
“He was a phenomenal guide in terms of his quality of guiding and his skill level,” said Gordon Janow, director of programs at the trekking company, which employs about 40 guides.
The group, led by Green and a more senior guide, was last heard from Wednesday evening, preparing to camp at a location 12,800 feet up on a technically difficult route along Rainier’s north face. The National Park Service said Saturday that searchers found climbing gear and picked up signals from avalanche beacons that indicated a fall of at least 3,300 feet, though the park service declined to identify the climbers.
“This accident represents a horrific loss for our guide partners and the families and loved ones of every one of the climbers lost on the mountain,” Randy King, superintendent of Mount Rainier National Park, said in a statement.