One of the six climbers who likely fell thousands of feet to their deaths while attempting to scale 14,410-foot Mount Rainier in Washington was a graduate of Colby College in Waterville, officials said Monday.

Eitan Green was identified as one of two guides by Seattle-based Alpine Ascents International. The company’s website said Green loved his time in the mountains and was a strong leader and quick to smile.

Colby spokesman Stephen Collins said Green, a Massachusetts native, graduated from Colby with a major in anthropology in 2009. He was a member of the college’s mountaineering club.

The climbers were last heard from at 6 p.m. Wednesday, when the guides checked in with Alpine Ascents International by satellite phone. The group failed to return Friday.

They are presumed dead in one of the worst alpine accidents on Mount Rainier since 1981, when 11 people were struck and killed by a massive ice fall.

At least two other men with Maine connections have died on the mountain. In May 2004, Peter Cooley of Cape Elizabeth died after a fall on Mount Rainer while climbing with fellow Cape Elizabeth resident Scott Richards, who survived.

In June 2012, Mount Rainier National Park Ranger Nick Hall, a native of Patten, fell to his death during a rescue operation.

His body wasn’t recovered until two weeks later.

It may be weeks or months – if ever – before rescuers can get on the ground to search for the six climbers who were reported missing last week.

“The mountain is so inaccessible and can be inhospitable. We can’t always retrieve everybody who is lost there, unfortunately,” said Patti Wold, a spokeswoman with Mount Rainier National Park.

It’s unclear whether the climbers were moving or camping at the time of the accident, Wold said this weekend. Searchers located camping and climbing gear and detected signals from avalanche beacons buried in the snow at the top of the Carbon Glacier, at 9,500 feet elevation.

At Colby on Monday, officials said Green will be remembered as an engaged and active student.

“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 chairwoman of the department. She said she taught Green in three classes.

“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, Massachusetts, Green graduated magna cum laude from Colby, said Collins. Green’s 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. According to a short biography of him on the Alpine Ascents website, he had 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,” the biography says. “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 Associated Press and Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Rachel Ohm contributed to this report.