WATERVILLE — A former Colby College student who was among six people reported missing while attempting to scale Mount Rainier and presumed dead will be remembered as an engaged and active student, according to college officials.
Eitan Green, a 2009 graduate of the college and an anthropology major, was one of two mountain guides for Seattle-based Alpine Ascents International, who were among the group reported missing Thursday. The climbers are believed to have fallen thousands of feet from the Washington state mountain’s Liberty Ridge, in what would be the most deadly accident on the mountain since 11 people were killed by an avalanche in 1981.
“We all knew him very well. He was an honors student and an absolutely beloved student,” said Catherine Besteman, a professor of anthropology and the incoming chair of the department. She said she taught Green in three classes while he was a student.
“He was very engaged and active. He was somebody who was very much alive. He was engaged in both the world of ideas and with his peer community,” said Besteman. “He was a delight to have in the classroom because he really cared about learning and he cared about interacting with his peers and developing his knowledge.”
Originally from Needham, Mass., Green was a member of the college’s mountaineering club, said Stephen Collins, a spokesman for the college. He graduated magna cum laude, said Collins. His honors thesis was an analysis of the global climbing community.
“It was an interest of his while he was a student here for sure,” said Collins.
Green lived in Seattle and worked as a mountain guide for Alpine Ascents, which leads excursions including climbs on some of the world’s tallest mountains, since 2009, according to the website for the group. A short biography says that he climbed and trekked all over the world, including in India, Nepal, Alaska and Argentina.
“Eitan is based in Seattle where he runs stairs and rock climbs to train for the next adventure. 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 biography says.
A statement regarding the accident says that Green and fellow guide Matthew Hegeman were highly skilled guides who were passionate about the mountains.
“Eitan, quick with a smile and exuberant, had that infectious nature of guides who love their work and time in the mountains. His talent as a strong leader and critical thinker in the wilderness was unsurpassed,” it says.
A June 5 memorial service will be held at Levine Chapels in Brookline, Mass.
Rachel Ohm — 612-2368 | [email protected]