A 22-year-old York native was rescued from New Hampshire's Mount Washington Sunday night, putting his father and canine search volunteer on the other side of a search and rescue.

Rick Snyder said his son Andrew - known as Aj - is recovering well after he and three other climbers were rescued amid below-zero temperatures and winds of 95 mph with zero visibility.

Snyder, of Manchester Township, said the group of four made it to the 6,288-foot summit of the mountain and was on the way down when they couldn't go any farther in rapidly deteriorating weather.

The group decided to stop and create a snow cave for shelter and signal for help using a GPS satellite messenger device, a SPOT Gen3 that was a Christmas gift to Aj from his family.

"It's the best $300 we've ever spent," Snyder said.

Rescue: Snyder volunteers with the Chesapeake Search Dogs, a nonprofit search dog organization that assists emergency personnel by searching for lost or missing persons. Snyder said it was "unsettling" to follow the search and rescue efforts for his son, knowing he had no control from several states away.

Seven organizations coordinated in the search efforts Sunday, including the Mountain Rescue Service, the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Harvard Mountaineering Club and the Mount Washington Observatory.

Snyder emphasized he wanted to acknowledge the groups' work, because he knows what it's like to be on a search team.


Adventurous spirit: Aj is a senior at Bloomsburg University and a Central York High School graduate. He was climbing with fellow members of Quest, an outdoor adventure and recreation program at the school. The group traveled to Washington state last year to climb Mount Rainier.

Quest had 15 members at Mount Washington for the climb. The group of four went ahead of the other members, which is why they were separated when weather conditions began to worsen.

This was Aj's third time climbing Mount Washington. Snyder said his son is an "extreme outdoorsman" and just got back from a kayaking trip in Costa Rica.

"This will not slow him down one bit," Snyder said.

The other three members of the group were Wayne Ebling, 59, of Cressona; Rhea Mitchell, 22, of Danville and Kelly Sloan, 33, of Bloomsburg.

Snyder said his son was not treated for any frostbite, and is planning to return to Bloomsburg for the start of the semester Tuesday morning.

- Reach Nikelle Snader at nsnader@yorkdispatch.com.