Emergency 911 calls from the night two hikers called to report they "wandered off" a Southern California trail indicate the teens feared they may not "make it to the morning" as search teams were grounded because of weather conditions.
Audio: Excerpt From 911 Call
On the 911 call from March 31, Nicolas Cendoya, 19 reported that he and 18-year-old Kyndall Jack were lost in the Trabuco Canyon area of Cleveland National Forest in the Santa Ana Mountains.
The disptacher can be heard asking whether they remembered passing several reference points and explaining that search crews were limited to a ground search during that night because of fog.
"We wandered off the trail," Cendoya said. "I don't even know if we're going to make it to the morning because we have no water."
Their cell phone died after the call, during which they can be heard calling for help. They told the dispatcher they could not hear search crews, who also were calling out to them.
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The two, both inexperienced hikers, departed on what Jack told friends was an "adventure" — a day hike along popular Holy Jim Trail. During Sunday night's 911 call — before the two were separated — Cendoya told the dispatcher they were less than one mile from a trail. The dispatcher attempted to find out how far from the trailhead the two went off the trail.
"We went like a mile from my car," Cendoya said.
"You said you're at the top of a mountain?" the dispatcher asked.
"The very, very top," Cendoya answered.
Cendoya was found Wednesday night about 500 feet up a steep ridge off Trabuco Creek Road. Rescuers had to cut through brush to rescue him. He was released from the hospital Sunday.
Jack, rescued at mid-day Thursday, remained hospitalized Sunday. At an afternoon press conference outside the hospital, she said she felt lucky to be alive and thanked her rescuers.
She said she had no memory of the ordeal other than that she and Cendoya wanted to climb to the top of the canyon before nightfall.
"I thought I was in a big dream," she said. "We wanted to touch the clouds."
Both were severely dehydrated, disoriented and covered in scratches and bruises after a series of cold nights waiting for rescue.