Two teens hiking in the mountains of Southern California were rescued after being trapped for nearly a week in snowy conditions, authorities said.
The rescue came as Californians dug out of back-to-back snowstorms in the state’s mountain communities, which were hit by as much as 10 feet of snow, The Associated Press reported.
According to a news release from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office, Riley Ramirez, 17, of Cypress, California, and Cole White, 17, of Portland, Oregon, were rescued after getting lost on the Pacific Crest Trail near the San Gorgonio Mountain. The teens were caught during a winter storm after being dropped off on Feb. 26, the Desert Sun of Palm Springs reported.
A search and rescue was initiated after severe weather conditions caused authorities to lose communication with the hikers, according to the newspaper.
According to the sheriff’s office, the parents of Ramirez and White last heard from them on Feb. 28 via a tracking app.
Deputies received a call about the search on Friday, and a helicopter found the two teens on a remote section of the trail along Mission Creek, the Desert Sun reported.
According to the sheriff’s office, the teens were hindered by the weather as they faced 4- to 5-feet snow drifts and limited visibility.
“They’ve told us, ‘We were already convinced we were going to die,’” Ramirez told the AP.
According to San Bernardino County sheriff’s Sgt. John Scalise, the teens were slightly hypothermic and said they were lucky to be alive after huddling together for three nights to stay warm.
“They knew there was weather,” Scalise told the AP. “But I don’t think they expected the amount.”
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