Houston area mother, daughter trapped on Mt. Saint Helens

Katy mother, daughter rescued after being trapped on active volcano

HOUSTON - For a night, there was little hope of survival in the minds of a Katy woman and her 18-year-old daughter.

Days ago, they were rescued on the steep trail of Mt. Saint Helens after being trapped overnight on a path of steep ice.

Nancy Allen and her daughter, Sarah, climbed 10 hours to the summit of Mt. Saint Helens, the 8,000-foot active volcano in Washington State. They took pictures and said they felt on top of the world.

It was in their descent that the mother and daughter met with an unforgiving obstacle of nature.

Nancy Allen said she slipped on sharp rocks and fell 15 feet into a pile of snow. She suffered minor injures, but picked herself up and continued her descent. Unfortunately, she said she and her daughter were walking in an icy patch. They had to move slowly, carefully, but Nancy was already suffering from hypothermia.

"I was becoming hypothermic and I did not want to tell my daughter that because she was already very worried," Nancy said.

As the ice got steeper and the night grew darker, Nancy realized they had to make a call for help. Sarah picked up Nancy's cell phone to make a rescue call. Suddenly, the phone slipped from Sarah's hands and fell down the ice. Luckily, they had a second phone, and a successful call was made to the local volcano rescue team.

Sarah and Nancy waited for hours. They screamed into the wind, hoping their rescuers would hear them, but the violent air seemed to trap their voices. For awhile, the mother felt as if they were going to die.

"The scariest part was knowing my little brother would probably grow up without a mom," Sarah said. 

Finally, they heard the sounds -- a rescuer was on his way. A man named Sergio arrived first.

"When the rescuers arrived and we saw Serge in the mountain, that was more beautiful than the summit itself," Nancy said.  "We heard him yelling over the cliff, and he said, 'I see y'all! I see y'all!'"

The rescuers tended to Nancy's injures and a helicopter took them both to safety.

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