An unidentified skier was riding a lift chair on a mountain in Colorado when, after attempting to dismount the unit, he became stuck on the rigging. His backpack had been hooked by the unit, causing him to go around the bull wheel and descend down the mountain at Arapahoe Basin. If the situation seemed dismal then, it soon became worse.
Once the ski operator turned off the lift, the backpack’s straps slipped up to the individual’s neck, strangling him until he fell unconscious. If it wasn’t for a daring tightrope walker who happened to be on the lift himself, the man would have died.
The video shows 28-year-old Mickey Wilson, a part-time ski instructor and pro slackliner, scaling the wire to reach the unconscious man. He did this because the human tower a few people were trying to construct below wasn’t working.
“I realized I could climb the lift tower above the chair and climb onto the cable and shimmy down to him,” recalls Mickey. “I knew my slackline experience prepared me perfectly for this so I burst into action. I climbed the tower and slid down to the chair.”
“It was second nature, just like being on a slackline only way colder and made of steel,” he added.
Once Wilson reached the man, it took a few attempts to dislodge the backpack’s straps. Only when the ski patrol tossed him a knife from the ground was he able to cut the straps loose, resulting in the man plummeting to the ground.
The compromised individual received CPR by the ski patrol until he began to breathe again. Then, he was transported to a nearby hospital. According to reports, he is required to wear a neck brace until fully healed but has been released from the hospital in good health.
“I’d like to take this moment now to thank the slack life 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,” says Mickey.