SAN BERNADINO, CA (CNN/KGTV) -- It was an emotional reunion after three San Diego men were rescued following four days and three nights in near freezing temperatures. They were rescued Tuesday morning from a mountain in San Bernardino State Park.
It's a helicopter, but it's also a sound of hope for Niki Shankles-Burger. Her brother disappeared Saturday with two of his friends while hiking on Mount San Gorgonio, the tallest peak in southern California.
Ryan Shankles, David Yoder and Miguel de la Torre got lost after trying to avoid an icy slope. Shankles says, "It was so bad that we were afraid of sliding down like 200 yards."
Wearing only shorts, the nights got cold and the three resorted to male-bonding to stay warm and stay alive. Shankles says, "Oh, well, I don't like to use the word spooning. But especially with men but if we didn't we were not going to survive that's for sure."
They were training for a mission trip through their church. They say the spooning helped, but it was prayer that got them through four days and three nights on this mountain. And despite Niki's protests, Ryan says the three will continue training for their trip later this year.