Search Under Way For Missing Snowboarders At Mount Rainier National Park

A search was under way Monday for two snowboarders who became lost in a winter storm at Mount Rainier National Park while descending the mountain.

The two, Derek Tyndall and Thomas Dale, initially contacted park dispatch Sunday evening to report they had gotten disoriented in the storm while heading down from Camp Muir. Monday morning the two called again to say that they had managed to dig a snow cave and were cold but in good condition, park officials said.

They had winter gear, smart phones, and a compass, but no overnight gear.

Nearly 30 people headed onto the mountain to look for the two. National Park Service rescuers were being assisted by 18 members of Tacoma and Olympic Mountain Rescue and two search dogs from Kitsap County. Aerial resources were also being organized to deploy if weather conditions permit.

Weather on the mountain overnight was severe, with high winds and 20 inches of fresh snow at Paradise, the park reported. Conditions Monday were better, but with low visibility.

Based on landmarks the two 'boarders were able to describe in the fog, and information from their cell phones, searchers were focusing on an area around McClure Rock at around 7,500 feet elevation.