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Dramatic Rescue in the Sierra Buttes

Two teens had to be rescued by helicopter atop the Sierra Buttes.

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It looked like something out of a movie, but yesterday’s daring and dangerous rescue in the Sierra Buttes just north of Downieville was all too real.

After several attempts, two dads can now celebrate a happy Father’s Day.

“I am realizing it was less than 24 hours ago that I was wondering if I would ever see him again,” said Richard Deschler, Austin Deschler’s father.

It started when 16-year-old Austin and his 17-year-old friend were stranded atop a cliff more than 10,000 ft above ground.

“We got to the top and realized there is a massive gap,” said Austin.

Deschler and his friend say they veered of the hiking trail to get some pictures. What they found instead was a dead end.

“I realized wow we are really high up and there is no way down,” said Austin.

The boys were able to use their cell phones to call for help. California Highway Patrol used the phone to track their exact location.

Battling heat and wind gusts more than 20 miles per hour, the CHP’s air division could not risk sending someone down to rescue the boys.

After several attempts, CHP lowered a harness from an airplane and the boys made it back safely.

“That was probably one of the more technically difficult rescues I’ve seen,” said officer John Nielson.

“It was terrifying at first to see there was nothing below me,” said Deschler.


Still from a video shot by CHP of the rescue.


Two teen boys were rescued from a steep cliff in Sierra Buttes on Saturday evening.

Just before 6 p.m., CHP Valley Division Air Operations got a call saying that two teen boys were stuck on a cliff top in Sierra Buttes.

The boys, one age 16, the other 17, were near a look out station when they climbed up a steep ridge line and got stuck on top of an 8,600 foot high cliff.

A CHP helicopter and airplane arrived to rescue the teens.  Unfortunately, due to winds over 20 mph and the small shelf that the teens were stuck on, it took several attempts to rescue them.

They were both plucked from the clifftop successfully and eventually reunited with their family at the helicopter landing zone.