Snowboarders testing boundaries

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By MIKE MORRIS

A worried Martha Lane spent Sunday night trying to sleep in the passenger seat of her Chevrolet truck in Dodge Ridge's parking lot.

"I felt guilty turning on the (truck's) heat, because I knew they were out there in the cold," Lane said of her son, Cody, and his three snowboarding buddies, all of whom had been missing since late that afternoon.

As it turns out, Cody was more comfortable than his mom.

The 18-year-old Escalon resident sipped hot cocoa and ate shrimp-flavored noodles in a Pinecrest Lake cabin, while snuggled fireside in a sleeping bag.

"They were quite comfortable," Martha Lane said yesterday.

Cody and his three friends, all juniors at Escalon High School two are 16 and one is 17 were snowboarding Sunday at Dodge Ridge when, Cody said, the quartet found a good snowboarding trail after riding through some trees. He said he didn't see any signs, and didn't realize they were lost until late in the day.

Eventually, as it got darker and colder, the group found a cabin at Pinecrest Lake. The guys used a stick to remove loose boards across one of the cabin's windows before breaking the glass and crawling through.

"We all felt guilty, but we needed to stay somewhere," Cody said yesterday.

So they made a fire, took a frying pan and melted ice to make hot cocoa and the noodles. They slept in sleeping bags found inside the cabin.

Cody said the group heard a helicopter overhead in the morning so they quickly got dressed and were air-lifted back to the resort.

His mother, who said she shed tears of relief, was reunited with Cody about 10 a.m. yesterday.

Tuolumne County Sheriff's Sgt. Roger Dittberner said the incident is still under investigation, but the snowboarders could face charges for skiing out of bounds and breaking into the cabin.

"Anyone breaking into a cabin could say they needed a place to sleep," he said. "Anyone could have used that as an excuse ... It wasn't a do-or-die situation (Sunday) night."

Martha Lane said the kids will have to pay for damage to the cabin. Dittberner said they may also have to pay thousands to the county for rescue efforts, if the district attorney seeks restitution.

11521366
The Union Democrat
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