Two snowboarders who spent two nights stranded on Mount Rainier in blizzard-like conditions were able to snowshoe off the mountain Tuesday with the help of a search and rescue team.
Derek Tyndall, 21, and Thomas Dale, 20, were in good health and having a hearty meal with their families at 4 p.m. at the National Park Inn, park spokesman Kevin Bacher said.
A search team found the men about 11 a.m. in the Upper Stevens Creek drainage. After warming the snowboarders up, searchers put Tyndall and Dale on snowshoes and helped them through chest-deep snow back to Longmire.
The men lost their way Sunday while descending from Camp Muir in whiteout conditions. They dug a snow cave for shelter and used a cell phone to call 911 Monday morning.
Rangers were able to home in on their cell phone and sent 30 searchers toward McClure Rock around the 7,000-foot level of the states tallest mountain, where the cell phone gave a weak signal.
Some searchers got within a half mile of Tyndall and Dale on Monday afternoon but were unable to reach them because of avalanche dangers and rapidly approaching darkness. They were only able to signal to each other with their arms.
First thing Tuesday morning, six teams set out in the same direction, wading and at times swimming through snow to forge a trail.
Even on skies and snowshoes, the teams are just wading through snow out there, Bacher said. Its been really tough.
Weather improved slightly in the Paradise area Tuesday, though another 2 inches of powder fell. The night the men got stranded, a storm moved in and dropped 2 feet of snow with 70 miles per hour gusting winds and 19 degree temperatures.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653