colorado-ski-lift

Slackliner makes incredible save to rescue unconscious friend hanging by his neck on ski lift

If you’ve ever ridden a chairlift while out on the slopes, some anxious thoughts surely have crossed your mind.

While sitting on a slippery seat while up in the air, there is plenty that could go wrong. For me, the biggest fear is always falling, but there are plenty of other things to be worried about.

For one skier, our fears became his reality. While skiing at Arapahoe Basin in Keystone, Colorado, a man was stuck on a chairlift as he was hanging from the chairlift by his neck. Luckily for this guy, one of his friends is a slackliner and pulled off a remarkable rescue.

As it was described to the Denver Post, the man who saved the day happened upon his friends while making a solo trip to the mountain. Thankfully, for the friends, he was there and his slacklining experience allowed him to get to the man stuck on the chairlift and get him out of the situation.

This moment will forever stick out for all involved — including the slacklining savior, who posted about his experience on Instagram:

Today I saved someone’s life. I think some strange forces were at work. I planned to ski by myself today. As fate had it though, some good friends ended up recognizing me despite my ski gear, and we joined forces for an epic pow day. Again, fate intervened. One of our crew got his backpack strap stuck in the chairlift as he tried to unload and the lift dragged him back down the hill. We were on the chair lift behind so we unloaded and ran down the hill to help him when we realized the worst possible thing had happened. The backpack had wrapped around his neck and he was unconscious, dangling 10 feet above the snow. Panic set in and we struggled in vain for about a minute to build a human pyramid to get to him but the powder was too deep and we toppled over. I yelled at the lift operator asking if the lift ran in reverse and he cried no. Ski patrol was on their way but not there yet. Panic was becoming terror as we realized we were about to watch our friend die in front of our helpless eyes. Then I had a eureka moment. I realized I could climb the lift tower above the chair and climb onto the cable and shimmy down to him. I knew my slackline experience prepared me perfectly for this so I burst into action. I climbed the tower and slid down to the the chair. It was second nature, just like being on a slackline only way colder and made of steel. I climbed down the chair and I first tried to break the strap by kicking it but I couldn’t. A newly arrived ski patrolman threw me a knife and I luckily caught it on the first try and cut the strap. Our friend fell like a doll into the snow. 8 or so ski patrolman then began CPR. Thankfully they were able to restore his breathing, ski him down to the base, and get him into an ambulance which rushed him to the hospital in Denver. I’d like to take this moment now to thank the #slacklife for the skills it has given me. It was incredibly fortunate I was there and able to act quickly. I’d also like to thank ski patrol for their strong work reviving our friend. I just got an update from the hospital and he’s doing quite well and will be released tomorrow! #thankful #lovelife #rightplacerighttime

A photo posted by Mickey Wilson (@mickeywilsonslacker) on

What a scary situation. And a what a heroic act. I can only hope that if something like this ever happens to me, someone like this will be there to save the day.

[FTW]

Ryan Williamson

About Ryan Williamson

Ryan is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri and has recently returned to his Minnesota roots. He previously has worked for the Columbia Missourian, KFAN radio in Minneapolis and BringMeTheNews.com. Feel free to email me at rwilliamson29 AT Gmail dot com.

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