One of the two teenage boys rescued by helicopter Saturday from an 8,600-foot-high cliff in California’s Sierra Buttes said he “almost cried” when he realized he and his friend were in dire trouble.
“We thought we could walk across the ridge, when we got up there and saw the other side it was heartbreaking. We actually almost cried because, it’s gone,” Austin Deschler, 16, of Grass Valley, Calif., told local ABC affiliate KXTV-TV. “That’s when we realized, we’re in trouble.”
Austin and a 17-year-old friend, who was not identified, were camping with Austin’s family Father’s Day weekend when the two boys decided to go for a hike. They made their way up a steep ridge line but then discovered they had no way to get down.
“As we went up there we made decisions to get up, that made it so we couldn’t get back,” Austin told KXTV.
Fellow hikers on a nearby landing saw the stranded boys and called 911 around 5:45 p.m., according to KXTV.
The Deschlers have not responded to ABC News’ request for comment.
Officials from the California Highway Patrol and Sierra County Sheriff’s Department responded but the ridge line was too narrow for rescuers to reach them. Police sent a helicopter and a small plane instead that circled over the boys, using a camera to zoom in on their location and help rescuers see their exact position.
Rescuers lowered a harness down to the boys with instructions on how to install it and then dropped a hook to hoist each boy up individually, according to a spokesman with the California Highway Patrol.
Both boys escaped without injuries.
“Stay on the trail, definitely stay on the trail,” Austin told KXTV of the lesson he learned from the ordeal.