'We Were Already Convinced We Were Going To Die': Teens Rescued After Days Stranded In Snowstorm

March 7, 2023

Two teenagers have been rescued after spending five days stranded in a California snowstorm.

good news stories
Credit: KATU / KTVL

Riley Ramirez, 17, and Cole White, 17, were planning to hike a section of the Pacific Crest Trail. They were dropped off near the trailhead in Whitewater, California on February 26.

But when the snow began pummeling the mountains, Riley's father, Cesar, lost contact with them through a tracking app.

The parents' last established contact with the teens was on February 28. They eventually contacted the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

"Due to the severe weather conditions experienced throughout the region and lost communication from the hikers, a search and rescue operation was initiated," the department said in a statement.

They dispatched a helicopter to the boys' last known location, followed their foot tracks, and rescued both Riley and Cole.

The teens were flown to the Morongo Basin Sheriff's Station where they got medical attention, food, and a warm place to wait for their parents.

Riley and Cole told officials how severe the weather conditions were and believed they would have not survived without help from the sheriff's department.

During the five days they were hiking, they encountered four to five feet of snow drifts, limiting visibility and making it difficult to stay on the trail.

Riley had lost his jacket to the wind, and their tent had broken, his father said.

"They told us, 'We were already convinced we were going to die'," he said.

Click Here For The Most Popular On Sunny Skyz