Their cellphone battery had died from cold Sept. 11, but they were able to warm and revive it briefly the next day to send a message to Yang’s sister. They relayed information about their location and told her about the threat of hypothermia, but they never knew if the message had been sent.
As the day progressed, the sleet changed to rain and some of the snow and sleet melted off the summit, they wrote. They decided to attempt a descent to the valley, knowing the ranger station was in the vicinity. They threaded their way down amid a rushing flood of mud and rocks. They bushwhacked through rough terrain, ledges and thick vegetation.
“Even with the hard work, we were still shivering uncontrollably,” they wrote.
They set up camp for their second night of adverse conditions before moving at first light toward the ranger station and an emergency phone there. Park rangers on all-terrain vehicles came to their rescue Sept. 13, because all surrounding roads were closed due to flooding.
“It was only then that we learned about the destruction and devastation” of the flood damage to the national park and surrounding areas, they wrote.
The women, now home in York, offered thanks to all who helped in their rescue, including U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and the National Park Service.
“We will be reflecting on this experience for a long time to come,” they wrote.