The two 16-year-olds were lucky to survive their night in the wilderness without injury, police say

By Ashley Boucher
January 09, 2020 07:26 PM
Nelson Search and Rescue
Nelson Search and Rescue

Homework paid off in an unexpected way for two teenage snowboarders who found themselves stranded on a Canadian mountain overnight.

When a pair of 16-year-old males didn’t return after their day on the slopes of the Whitewater Ski Resort in Nelson, British Columbia, Nelson Search and Rescue deployed 10 members to find the boys at 6:30 p.m. on January 5, NSAR said in a press release.

Rescue teams searched for the boys, who remain unnamed, patrolling mountain roads with lights and sirens to alert the teens to their presence, but ultimately had to suspend the search as “conditions worsened,” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a press release.

The following morning, rescuers doubled down on their efforts, deploying ground teams as well as a helicopter. The boys were found around 8:45 a.m. in the Qua Valley, which lies south of the ski resort, and flown to safety.

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“The subjects were in good health but it was very fortunate that weather allowed for the use of a helicopter to locate the pair as they were heading down the valley and this could have been an extended search with current weather conditions,” the NSAR said in its press release.

The NSAR added that the area where the teens were discovered is one that regularly causes adventurers to become disoriented and accidentally head down the wrong side of the ridge, especially in poor weather.

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“It was heard to have been said that some homework found in a backpack aided in starting a fire in the night,” the NRS said of the teens’ creative solution to staying warm.

“The pair are very fortunate to escape without any injury or illness as a result of exposure to the elements,” RCMP Southeast District Media Relations Officer Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said in a statement. “We are told that the pair had the wherewithal to construct a shelter and build a fire for warmth, and more importantly stay put and wait for help.”

The boys are now back with their families, police said.