Snowboarders forced to spend another night on Mount Rainier

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by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on November 13, 2012 at 7:37 AM

Two snowboarders who are stranded on Mount Rainier overnight in blizzard-like conditions were forced to spend another night on the mountain.

The search was called off Monday night and searchers planned to head out again on Tuesday morning.

Searchers believed they briefly spotted the two snowboarders a half-mile away late Monday afternoon, but it was a brief visual before the snow picked up and they lost sight of them.

The snowboarders, identified as Derek Tyndall of Sumner, 21, and Thomas Dale, 20, are thought to be between Paradise and Camp Muir at 7,500 feet. Both are described as experienced skiers who had planned hiking up Paradise for a day of snowboarding Sunday.

The men were caught off guard by a storm that rolled in with whiteout and blizzard conditions. They took shelter in a cave, but only brought equipment and supplies for a day trip.

Officials said the top of Mount Rainier received 20 inches of snow and rain overnight.

"We just want to find them as quickly as we can and get them out of there," said Kevin Bacher with Mount Rainier National Park.

The two called rangers on their cell phones around 7 a.m. Monday and were able to give authorities their location near McClure rock. They also called home to tell their families they were ok. 

"They'll make it. There's no doubt in my mind. They're strong," said Rod Tyndall, snowboarder's father. "The guys have gone longer. They had a little water and a little bit of food, is what they told rangers, and they're together. They're not separated, so I have no doubt in my mind that makes them stronger as a team to get through it."

About 28 rescue personnel from Tacoma and Olympic Mountain Search and Rescue, along with two search dogs from Kitsap County, were assisting in the rescue. Rescuers are hoping to get a break in the weather.

"Darkness comes early this time of the year," said Bacher, "so we only have a few hours of daylight really to get to them and find them and get them down before nightfall. Otherwise, they'll have to spend another night up there."

The temperature on the mountain was reportedly 19 degrees with gusts of wind up to 70 mph early Monday morning. 

KING 5's Teresa Yuan and Drew Mikkelsen contributed to this report.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Dale's name.

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