A pair of 16-year-old snowboarders lost in the wintry Canadian wilderness kept warm until their rescue by building a fire – and using their homework as kindling.
The teens didn’t return from the slopes at Whitewater Ski Resort in Nelson, British Columbia, so a 10-member volunteer team of Nelson Search and Rescue set out to track them down before nightfall.
That didn’t happen.
The squad patrolled the roads overnight, flashing lights and sirens to attract the boys before weather worsened, but they were nowhere to be found, Nelson Search and Rescue said.
Search efforts resumed Monday morning with a helicopter scanning from the air. Finally, rescuers found the boys in a valley south of the resort.
The two were picked up in good health and flown to safety, the rescue group said.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesperson Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said it was “very fortunate” the two escaped without injury, since overnight temperatures in the area have dipped into the low teens.
So, how’d they manage to stay safe?
“We are told the pair had the wherewithal to construct a shelter and build a fire for warmth, and more importantly stay put and wait for help,” O’Donaghey said.
That fire was apparently fueled by burning homework one of the boys had brought in his backpack, according to Nelson Search and Rescue.
It was lucky they found the snowboarders when they did – the two were heading “down valley,” farther away from the resort. With the severe winter weather, it would’ve been increasingly difficult for rescuers to locate them.
After all, there’s only so much homework to burn through.