"Your buddies can make sure you get home safely," he said. "And dress warmly."
The parents of both boys — convinced they are still alive — may wish their sons had taken this advice.
Natalie Garza, who reported her son missing after not getting routine text, e-mail and phone messages from him in several days, is sure he is not a missing person.
"Nick was not going anywhere," she told the Addison County Independent. "If he would have left, I would have received a text. He just wouldn't have left without alerting us."
Barbiere's older brother Bob told The Denver Post that his family is offering $10,000 to anyone with information on his whereabouts.
But police in both states are betting the boys are right under their noses — hidden in the avalanche of snow that has blanketed their little towns.
"Mike's got to be in town," said Breckenridge's Green. "Given how informally he was dressed for these weather conditions and the alcohol in his system."
Added Middlebury's Chief Hanley, "I just hope [Garza] doesn't turn up in the spring."
Anyone with information on either of these missing youths should call Breckenridge, Colo., police at 970-453-2941 or Middlebury, VT., police at 802-388-3191.