17 year old boy lost in a snowstorm has been found after several days of search

17 year old boy lost in a snowstorm has been found after several days of search

Cesar Ramirez was not too worried when his 17-year-old son and his friend, Riley Ramirez and Cole White, set off for a 10-day trek in the Southern California mountains. They were avid hikers, well-equipped with food, a tent, and snowshoes, and had extensive training and aspirations to join the military. However, when the snow began to pound the mountains east of Los Angeles, Ramirez lost contact with them through a tracking app and called the San Bernardino County sheriff’s department.

The sheriff’s department dispatched a helicopter to the boys’ last known location, followed their foot tracks, and spotted and rescued them. By then, Ramirez’s son had lost his jacket to the wind, and their tent had broken. The crew flew the teens to the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Station, where they received medical attention, food, water, and a warm place until their parents arrived.

The dramatic rescue came as California struggled to dig out residents in mountain communities from as much as 10 feet of snow after back-to-back storms battered the state. Gov. Gavin Newsom declared states of emergency in 13 counties including San Bernardino County, where the massive snowfall closed roads, caused power outages, collapsed roofs, and trapped residents in their homes for days.

San Bernardino County sheriff’s Sgt. John Scalise said the boys were slightly hypothermic and lucky to be alive after huddling together for three nights to stay warm. He said they were well-prepared for the hike but not for the massive amounts of snow over the next several days.

In a separate rescue operation further north in Inyo County, a man was found waving inside his partly snow-covered vehicle. Another strong storm dumped more snow Saturday on Northern California mountain communities, and a winter storm warning was in effect through early Monday.

In Southern California’s San Bernardino Mountains, authorities have been working to clear roads and distribute food, water, and blankets to snow-battered residents. Yosemite National Park officials said the park would have to be closed indefinitely after some areas of the park got up to 15 feet of snow.

Katy Curtis, who lives in the San Bernardino mountain community of Crestline, hiked with snowshoes for five miles to get a can of gasoline to a family trapped in their house to fuel a generator. She said cars were completely buried, and snow was piled up to the roof of her home. “We’re just all so exhausted in every way,” she said.

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