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    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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Missing Snowboarders Found

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Date: November 13, 2012
Contact: Fawn Bauer, Public Information Officer, 360-569-6701

At approximately 1100 hours this morning, searchers at Mount Rainier National Park found the two snowboarders who have been missing since Sunday, November 11th. Derek Tyndall, 21, and Thomas Dale, 20, had spent Sunday snowboarding in the area above Paradise at Mount Rainier National Park before they became lost in white-out winter snow conditions while descending from Camp Muir. 

Monday's search efforts focused on an area believed to be where the two snowboarders had spent Sunday evening. On late Monday afternoon searchers had a visual of what they believed were the missing snowboarders. Because of difficult terrain and low visibility, they were not able to make contact with these individuals before nightfall. 

Today 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.

Derek and Thomas were found by one of the search groups in the Upper Stevens Creek drainage. Currently Mr. Tyndall and Mr. Dale are being rewarmed, as an appropriate way to extricate them is being determined. 

Searchers utilized a combination of snowshoes and skis in the difficult conditions they found on the Mountain. Stefan Lofgren, the Incident Commander on this search said, "We are relieved to have found Derek and Thomas! The health and safety of not only our two lost subjects but all of our searchers had been and will continue to be our greatest concern today considering the high avalanche danger and the deep and laborious snow conditions."

Mount Rainier is a beautiful and alluring place to visit in the winter; however it is a dynamic and extreme environment that become hazardous if you are not prepared. When planning a trip to Mount Rainier's backcountry in the winter, consider these important tips:

  • Before you leave home check and heed local weather forecasts, realizing weather can change for the worse in a very short period of time.
  • Know your experience and ability to survive in an alpine environment and don't exceed.
  • Always carry survival gear with you, including the 10 essentials. Bring extra clothing and food in case you have to spend the night out.
  • Always leave word with someone on the specifics of where you're going and when you expect to be home. It is always safest to not travel alone.
  • While electronic locators and communication can be helpful, they cannot be always relied upon while in the Mount Rainier backcountry.
  • Remember you need to be responsible for your own safety.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

Mount Rainier reflects in a subalpine tarn in Klapatche Park.

Over 97% of Mount Rainier National Park was designated Wilderness by the Washington Wilderness Act of 1988. This act also designated Wilderness in Olympic and North Cascades National Parks. More...