Missing scouts rescued from Snoqualmie National Forest

Missing scouts rescued from Snoqualmie National Forest
ASHFORD, Wash. - A search plane spotted two missing 13-year-old Boy Scouts who disappeared Friday afternoon on an outing in the Snoqualmie National Forest, and rescuers later found them - tired but unhurt.

Now they're back at home - a little wiser than before - and their families are grateful that the ordeal had a happy outcome.

"The families are just extremely pleased that the boys were found and they're OK," said Gene Sieber of the Lewis County Sheriff's Office. "You know, we all get life lessons over things like this."

He said the two scouts were on an outing in the High Rock Lookout area with their troop when they disappeared.

According to searchers at the scene, the two were with a group of six scouts and two adults hiking in the area on Friday afternoon.

The adults allowed the two 13-year-old boys to take different route down from the lookout. At 6 p.m., the main group made it down to the trailhead, but there was no sign of the two boys who took the alternate route.

The remaining scouts and adults launched a search, then contacted authorities at about 11 p.m. after their search was unsuccessful.

Volunteers launched a more comprehensive search involving aircraft, search dogs and 35 ground searchers, and the boys were spotted at about 9:30 a.m. Saturday by a search plane.

Searchers said it turned out that the boys got lost on the winding trail - which was easy to do because the trail was covered in snow in places.

The boys spent the night in the snow wearing only sweatshirts and jeans.

Sieber said the pair did a few things right - they held together and made a temporary shelter - and they got lucky because it didn't rain.

But he said he wishes the boys had been better prepared when they separated from the main group.

"Take the necessary equipment with you - a whistle, the 10 essentials, we call it - food, water - you never know when a day trip is going to turn into an overnight stay in the woods," he said.