NEVADA COUNTY (CBS13) — What was supposed to be a fun few hours in the snow quickly took a dark turn in Nevada County on Sunday.
“We just didn’t quite have a grasp on the conditions,” said Michael Williams, one of four UTV riders who got stuck in a snowstorm near Washington in Nevada County overnight.READ MORE: Bishop Blesses Solar Panel's On Zero-Carbon Emission Church Building In Davis
Snowy conditions left Williams and Jonathan Sullivan stranded in the Sunday storm for nearly 24 hours. Along with two others, they spent the night huddled around a fire — wet and cold.
“We’re by no means expert survivalists,” Williams said.
Both were grateful to be sitting in the Placerville sunshine on Tuesday, remembering how they felt more than a day prior.
“I think everyone’s mind is going to head there at some point – thinking what if?” Sullivan said.
Questions flooding their mind like, what if nobody found them in time?
“The elements, the exposure – they’re deadly,” Williams said.READ MORE: Sacramento Police Investigate Deadly Skelton Way Shooting
Despite dangerous driving conditions and a massive 200 square-mile area, double the size of Sacramento, to search, rescuers set out around midnight Sunday to find the missing riders.
Photos posted by the Nevada County Search and Rescue team depict the moments they luckily came to their aid.
“Yeah we were extremely relieved to see that show up,” Sullivan said.
Among all the survival skills used, Williams said the most important one he utilized was his positivity.
“There’s a lot you can make yourself do if you sit there and tell yourself I’m going to make it through this, and I’m not going to be a victim out here,” Williams said.
Calm, cool and collected while stranded in a stone-cold snowy night.
Both Williams and Sullivan said they were lucky they let someone know what area they’d be in. That helped rescuers locate them slightly easier. They said they’re also glad they never left their original spot.MORE NEWS: Placer County Expands Vaccine Eligibility To 16 And Older As Thousands Of Appointments Remain Open
Next time, they say, they’ll be more prepared – but they’re taking a break from the snow for the time being.