LONGMIRE, Wash. - After spending two nights stranded on Mount Rainier after becoming lost during a storm, two snowboarders have been found by rescuers.
Derek Tyndall and Thomas Dale didn't appear to have frostbite or other injuries when rescuers reached them around 11 a.m., Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman Lee Snook said.
After reaching the pair Tuesday, rescuers gave Tyndall, 21, and Dale, 20, warm liquids and assessed them to determine if they could walk back down the mountain on their own. They arrived in Paradise by mid-afternoon, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News in Longmire reported.
The two called 911 at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday to report that they had become lost in white-out winter snow conditions while descending from Camp Muir. They had winter gear, smart phones, and a compass, but no overnight gear, park officials said.
In Longmire Tuesday morning as a new search was set to begin, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Dubois said family members of the missing snowboarders gathered at a ranger station, "waiting and praying for some good news today."
Family members received the good news they were waiting for shortly before 11 a.m. Some hugged and while others showed relieved smiles.
“Having them stick together, even that they stayed together, during the blizzards and two nights in a row – it’s amazing. They did good,” said Derek Tyndall’s father, Rod Tyndall.
Dubois said when rescuers reached the two men, they were moving around and appeared to be OK. They are being warmed up and were given food and warm drinks before making the long trek, which may take a few hours, down the mountain.
Video from Chopper 7 showed two groups moving down the mountain -- one with six people and the other with seven.
The two checked in by cell phone Monday morning and reported that they had made a snow cave for the night. The weather overnight was severe, with high winds and 20 inches of fresh snow at Paradise.
Rescuers almost reached the pair that night -- they were within a half-mile, and heard yelling -- but had to pull back because conditions were too dangerous.
On Tuesday, the park deployed a stronger search response over a greater area of the park, with volunteers from Tacoma, Olympic, and Seattle mountain rescue teams as well as four dog teams from the Washington Search and Rescue Task Force, Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman Fawn Bauer said.
Team members were faced with "swimming" through snow 2 to 4 feet deep to break a trail.
The two men were found by one of the search groups in the Upper Stevens Creek drainage.
Dozens of people were involved in the search which was focused in the McClure Rock area at an elevation of about 7,500 feet on the lower Paradise Glacier.
Get maps and information on McClure Rock here.
Park officials warned visitors to be sure they're prepared when they come to the park.
"Last winter was a challenging one at Mount Rainier with numerous rescues and several fatalities," the park said in a news release. "The National Park Service urges people to enjoy the mountain safely. Carry extra gear and be prepared to spend the night out. Get a detailed and up-to-date weather forecast. Let family and friends know your plans and itinerary. Know your capabilities, and turn around before exceeding them."