3 California hikers rescued after spending night on ledge

AP News
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Posted: Oct 13, 2015 6:41 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Three hikers rescued after spending a cold night on a rocky outcropping in the Sierra Nevada said they should have better prepared for the trek.

James Lerude and Kayly O'Connor said that they and Todd Syper Jr. got stuck on a ledge in the Desolation Wilderness as it got dark Friday, The Sacramento Bee (http://bit.ly/1hCvhWf ) reported Tuesday.

"I was freezing," Lerude told The Sacramento Bee. "We were not prepared at all."

They should have dressed more warmly and started earlier in the day, he said.

They said they had gone off trail and relied on nylon rope to climb down, getting burns on their hands. They called 911 when they got stranded.

Rescuers tried to hike to the trio, but they couldn't reach them safely in the dark. Around daylight Saturday, a helicopter lowered rescuers who helped the hikers to safety.

California Highway Patrol Officer David E. White said the trio was right to stay put because of the sheer drop.

"The winds were howling up there," said White, who spoke to the pilot of the helicopter. "When you see on the video how sheer the drop is, they did the right thing by not trying to move."

O'Connor joked that she would not want to be a reality TV survivor star.

"I thought that I wanted to be on 'Naked and Afraid.' But, after this, I think I have changed my mind," she said.

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Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com