Two skiers who disappeared near Lake Tahoe during a winter storm were rescued Monday morning after they burrowed into snow caves and huddled together for warmth, authorities said.
The two men, described as expert skiers, were spotted by the crew of a Placer County Sheriff’s Department helicopter about seven miles from the Alpine Meadows ski resort, just west of Lake Tahoe.
Patrick Frost, 35, and Christopher Gerwig, 32, both of San Francisco, were picked up near Hell Hole Reservoir, department spokeswoman Kelly Hernandez said.
They were taken to Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, where spokeswoman Janice Davis said they had suffered “really minor, minor” frostbite.
“They just made snow caves and cuddled for warmth,” sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Ausnow said. “They said they kind of got their knowledge of building snow caves from the Discovery channel. They had a couple Power Bars they rationed out and ate. They melted snow in a plastic baggie one of them had in his pocket from a sandwich or something. That was it.”
The two men had only their ski equipment and jackets for the trip, Ausnow said.