Snowbound Boys Safe

Five teen-age boys who spent the night lost on a northern Idaho ski resort that was raked by a snowstorm were safe Sunday after three found their way home and two were spotted by snowmobilers.

The rescuers on snowmobiles found the two teen-age brothers, who are from Canada, in good condition Sunday afternoon at Schweitzer Mountain ski resort.

Rescuers said kids, age 13 and 15, appeared to be fine.

"The younger boy possibly has frostbitten hands," one searcher said over two-way radio.

On Saturday, wind gusts of up to 50 mph combined with 18 inches of new snow to create extreme avalanche danger and snow drifts up to 10 feet high. Temperatures at the base of the resort dipped to 23 degrees overnight.

Three teen-age boys, all 15, and part of a separate skiing party from the Canadian brothers, trekked through waist-deep snow to get to safety Sunday morning.

They said they had been snowboarding and had not seen out-of-bound signs. They spent the night inside a snow cave they had built as refuge against an overnight storm and started walking downhill around dawn.

The three had been on an outing with a church group from Spokane, Wash., about 70 miles southwest of here, and said they followed train whistles to find the base of the mountain.

They eventually reached the home of Bill Finley, a member of the sheriff's search and rescue team who was home sick.

"They were soaked clear through and shaking," said Finley. "Their hands were pure white."

Bonner County sheriff's Cpl. Bob Howard said the three boys were suffering from frostbite and one was "pretty ill." They were taken to a hospital in Sandpoint for treatment.

The Schweitzer resort has more than 2,400 acres of ski runs and is located in the Selkirk Mountains. The peaks near the resort exceed 6,000 feet.

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