Ever since I cried on the bunny hill at age 10, I've avoided all things related to skiing. And after watching this harrowing video of a skier dangling off a ski lift by his neck, I think I might avoid going outside at all.
Mickey Wilson was riding a chair lift at Arapahoe Basin in Colorado on Wednesday morning when a friend in the lift in front of him tried to get off the lift but ended up getting caught in his backpack straps, the Denver Post reported.
“He was not only caught, he was literally being hung by his neck by his backpack,” said Wilson, who immediately sprung into action. He said that the first plan, forming a human pyramid to get the man down, didn't work. “That’s when I realized—it all kind of snapped together—that ‘I can climb this tower and get to him,'” he said.
So Wilson climbed up the tower, “slid approximately 30 feet across the lift’s cable" to where the man was dangling and was able to cut him free, the Denver Post reports, ultimately saving his life.
You can watch the whole terrifying rescue here:
If you haven't seen the video of the ski lift climb rescue from Wednesday, here it is. I will be talking about the incident with @goodmorningamerica tomorrow morning so tune in! 7-9am mountain standard time. #rightplacerighttime #thankful #slacklife #abasin #ski #skiing
A video posted by Mickey Wilson (@mickeywilsonslacker) on
“The only way I was able to get to him so fast was to climb the tower and shimmy down the line to him so fast,” Wilson said. The Denver Post reported that he
Wilson has detailed his account of the rescue in an Instagram post:
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
“Today I saved someone’s life,” he wrote in the caption. “I think some strange forces were at work.”
Is Wilson milking his hero moment? Absolutely. But hey, he saved a man's life. What did you do today?