Judging from the posts on several forums regarding the attitude, experience, and hiking styles of the men involved, this hiker is different from the one in the Sierra. I have also hiked this same section of the PCT, albeit without the snow.
Yes, he knowing headed out into tough country and in-coming weather, confident he could make it through. He did, albeit taking far longer than he had planned and carried food for. He paid for this miscalculation by going the last 5 days without food. Try that while walking 90 miles through snow and buried trail in a roadless wilderness where you know you are the only one likely to be out there. You really have to know what you're doing and be able to keep your wits about you at all times.
The fact that he did make it unaided through the snow and some of the toughest terraine on the PCT testifies to the level of his outdoor skills and gear choices, and also validates his initial premise for continuing in the first place.
After she finishes hugging and kissing him, his mother may well break his little neck for scaring the dejeebers out of her that way. I suspect he won't be sitting down for several days. I'm sure SAR will have a few comments for him as well, although I'm sure they're pleased with the outcome too.