Hikers lost in Calif. forest for a week found alive

(KGO/CNN) - A California couple is expected to be released from the hospital following an amazing rescue.

The pair, both in their 70s, went missing after going hiking in a dense California forest on Valentine’s Day.

Authorities believed the couple's chances of survival were so slim that they treated the search as a recovery mission.

Carol Kiparsky and Ian Irwin both suffered from hypothermia but were able to stay alive.

Following an intense search, rescue crews found them more than a week later.

"This is the best possible ending. My parents are shocked a little bit and that's minimalizing it," Jonas Irwin, the hikers’ son, said.

Authorities said Kiparsky had lost her shoes and neither had eaten in more than a week.

They said Irwin was in such great spirits, he was singing as rescuers approached him.

The massive search included up to 500 people, helicopters and K-9 units.

"I don't know who this guy is who found them. This high school student. Thank you. To the dog, good boy!" Jon Kiparsky, the hikers’ other son, said.

The couple was last seen Feb. 14 at a vacation rental home in a remote area north of San Francisco.

“They went out for Valentine’s Day to look at the sunset. It got dark. They took the wrong turn and they found themselves in trouble and they kept going,” Kiparsky said.

The couple’s sons revealed new details about how their parents managed to survive so long, saying their mother is an herbalist and their father is a bit of a survivalist.

"They know how to find things to eat. They were eating some part of a fern, I wouldn’t know. And they were drinking out of a puddle,” Irwin said.

On Thursday, officials changed their effort to a search and recovery mission, believing there was no way the couple could have survived.

Volunteers were searching through dense vegetation when heard their voices.

Authorities said both were wearing light hiking clothes as temperatures dropped into the 30s.

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