Searchers find snowboarders after night out

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By JOSHUA WOLFSON

For the third time in two weeks, people who had gone missing after skiing or snowboarding out of bounds were found safe.

Rescuers this morning combed the back country around Dodge Ridge Ski Area for four Central Valley teenagers who had been reported missing yesterday afternoon, and were spotted about 9:20 a.m. near Pinecrest Lake.

The boys were picked up about 10 a.m. after spending the night in a cabin near the lake, said Karrie Mathson, a Dodge Ridge spokeswoman.

"They were fine they were just very hungry," she said.

Mathson said none of the boys was injured, but details about how they became lost were not immediately available at press time.

The group of missing snowboarders included two boys from Escalon, ages 16 and 17, a 16-year-old Oakdale boy and Cody William Lane, 18, also of Oakdale.

The Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office would not release the names of the juveniles.

Members of the Dodge Ridge Ski Patrol began to search for the group about 4:45 p.m. using snowcats and snowmobiles, Mathson said.

They were joined in the effort at 6 p.m. by the Tuolumne County Search and Rescue team.

Searchers this morning had planned to use a helicopter to look for the boys.

With partly cloudy skies and relatively warm temperatures, conditions were good for a rescue, Mathson said before the boys were located.

Early this morning, she said she was confident the boys would be spotted and saved.

In neighboring Calaveras County, meanwhile, an 18-year-old Valley Springs snowboarder was found dead yesterday in the Mokelumne Wilderness, six days after he was last seen at the Bear Valley Ski Area.

Ryan Joseph Rush was found by a search-and-rescue team that had been airlifted to the region, according to the Alpine County Sheriff's Office.

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The Union Democrat
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