At about 7:00 last night the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a cellular telephone call from a man who reported that he and a friend had become lost while snowboarding on Horse Mountain. Nicholas Roney, 26 of McKinleyville, and Andrea Castro, 24 of Arcata, reported that they were snowboarding when it got dark and they were unable to find their way back to their car. The last communication the Sheriff’s Office had with the pair was at 7:30 p.m. when the two were told to stay where they were and that the Sheriff’s Office was en route. The Sheriff’s Office initiated a search and rescue effort, sending two Special Services Deputies and six Sheriff’s Posse members to the site. At about 1:50 a.m. Thursday the Sheriff’s Office made a request through the state Office of Emergency Services calling for assistance from alpine search and rescue teams. Trinity and Marin Counties sent personnel with specialized training and equipment for winter conditions.
At first light this morning the California Highway Patrol launched a helicopter from Redding to assist in the search effort. At about 8:30 a.m. the helicopter crew spotted Nicholas and Andrea in the Cedar Creek Drainage, northwest of Horse Mountain. The search and rescue team from Marin County hiked in and escorted the snowboarders back to their car. Nicholas and Andrea were cold and hungry but were not injured.