Teenage hiker stranded in California snowstorm rescued

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cesar Ramirez said he wasn’t too worried when his 17-year-old son and a friend headed out on a 10-day trek in the Southern California mountains. An avid hiker with plenty of food in his pack, tent and snowshoes, he was eager to undergo further training and join the military.

But when snow began pounding the mountains east of Los Angeles with his feet and Ramirez lost contact with them via a tracking app, he called the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. Helicopters were dispatched to their last known location, following their tracks, finding them, and rescuing them. rice field.

“They said, ‘We were sure we were going to die,'” said Ramirez of Cypress, Calif.

The dramatic rescue came as California struggled to evacuate residents of mountainous areas from three meters of snow after a string of storms. Governor Gavin Newsom said heavy snow had closed roads, causing power outages, collapsed roofs, trapped inhabitants Many days at their home.

San Bernardino County Sheriff sergeant.John Scalise The boys were a little hypothermic and said they were lucky to be alive after three nights of gathering together to stay warm. “They knew there would be weather. But I don’t think they expected that amount,” he said.

In another rescue operation further north in Inyo County, the California Highway Patrol identified a cell phone ping linked to him and dispatched a helicopter crew to a partially snow-covered area on Thursday. A man has been spotted waving in his car. Told. statement.

Another strong storm threw snow into northern California’s mountains on Saturday, with a winter storm warning in effect through early Monday, according to the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

In Southern California’s San Bernardino Mountains, officials are working to clear roads and distribute food, water and blankets to snow-stricken residents while the Red Cross sets up shelters at local high schools. There is a small chance of a shower in the area on Sunday, according to San Diego’s National Weather Service.

Authorities said some residents stay home for another week Because it is difficult to clear so much snow.

Katie Curtis, a resident of the San Bernardino Mountains community of Crestline, hiked eight kilometers in snowshoes to deliver a can of gasoline to her housebound family to fuel a generator. said.

“I’m healthy, so I thought I’d be able to walk, and I did. But it was probably the longest day of my life,” Curtis said, noting that someone in the family needed medical care. The car is completely buried and the roof of the house is covered with snow. Curtis said.

“We are so exhausted on all fronts,” she said.


Associated Press writer Kathleen Ronain in Sacramento contributed to this report.