The brother of a U.S. winter Olympian -- along with his three young children -- are safe this morning after 24 hours lost in the wilderness.
Jared Pikus, brother of skeleton athlete Noelle Pikus-Pace, is thankful to be home after spending the night lost in the Idaho wilderness. The group got lost Saturday after leaving a campsite to hike to a nearby lake.
The group couldn’t find its way back.
“I came to a point where I didn’t know where I was,” Pikus said later. “At that time, I had to think about the kids and survival.”
The area was so isolated that there was no cell phone service. The family had only a few bagels to eat and spent the night outdoors, sleeping huddled together under a raft.
While rescue crews combed the area, Pikus-Pace -- who lives in Utah -- pleaded for support on social media, sharing photos of her family cheering at the Sochi Olympics, when she won a silver medal.
This time, Pikus-Pace said, she felt helpless.
“You want to do something, and there is nothing you can do,” she said.
By Sunday afternoon, Pikus and his children found their way to a road, meeting people who brought them to rescue crews. Despite some mosquito bites and poison ivy rashes, they were otherwise OK, something that left Pikus-Pace relieved.
“We were left to imagine life without them and it was an awful feeling,” she wrote. “We are so incredibly blessed to have them back safe and sound!”