32-Year-Old Buffalo Grove Native Falls to Her Death While Hiking at MT. Rainier National Park in Washington

Published 09/20/2023, 12:53 PM EDT

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A bright and adventurous soul, 32-year-old Rachel Heiss inspired everyone she met with her exciting personality. Although she left a lasting impression on the people around her, her life was tragically cut short by a dangerous accident.

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While embarking on a hiking adventure near Mount Rainier in Washington State, she suffered a deadly fall. The incident that took place on September 9 had left the entire Washington State mourning and in shock. 

Heiss and her passion for life ends in a tragedy

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Rachel grew up in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, and always embraced life with curiosity and enthusiasm. Later on, she majored in integrated marketing communications and international communications at the Ithaca College, New York. She even participated in the Model UN where her interest in global affairs started blooming. Being a part of the Buffalo Grove Recreation Association, she escalated her passion for sports. 

Seattle became her second home where she developed a deep connection with nature and loved spending time outdoors. Hiking, camping, snowshoeing, and other outdoor sports became integral parts of her life.

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Confirmed by the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office, Heiss encountered a hiking accident at Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington. As reported by Lake & McHenry County Scanner, her family said in the obituary, “Rachel was incredibly accomplished in her field, collecting many awards and admiration along the way.” 

Honoring Rachel’s professional excellence and personal warmth

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Heiss’ short-lived career was adorned with several professional awards that revealed her dedication and exceptional talent. However, as highlighted by her dear ones, she will always be remembered for her ever-present smile and warmth toward others. Her amiable nature created a lasting memory in every location she lived and called home.

An ardent supporter of NHL’s Seattle Karen, she also had an affinity for collecting baseball hats. While excelling in her profession as the senior communications manager at Nestle, in her personal life her most endearing quality included her unwavering loyalty towards her friends.

In an attempt to honor her memory and the values she held dear, her memorial contributions may be made to organizations close to her heart, such as Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Seattle Humane, the National Park Foundation among others.  

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It is disheartening for all her dear ones to witness Heiss’ journey on Earth, shorter than anyone could have hoped. However, her legacy of kindness and adventure will continue to forever live in the hearts of everyone who knew her. 

WATCH THIS STORY | Unveiling 5 of the Most Extraordinary Hiking Records Shattered on Global Trails

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Written by:

Soheli Tarafdar

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Soheli Tarafdar is a fresh Sports Viral Moments writer at EssentiallySports. With a postgraduate degree from Calcutta University, her academic foundation has been a cornerstone in her journey as a writer. Specializing in literature during her studies, she embarked on a writing career that initially led her to explore academic content creation.
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Edited by:

Aishwary Gaonkar

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