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Slackliner Ski Lift Rescue: Man Saves Friend Dangling Unconscious

Image: Slackliner Ski Lift Rescue: Man Saves Friend Dangling Unconscious

(Maksym Gorpenyuk/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 06 Jan 2017 04:30 PM

A professional slackliner used his skills to rescue his friend from a ski lift after the fellow skier become entangled in his backpack cord and was dangling unconscious from the lift.

Slackliner Mickey Wilson, 28, posted on his Instagram page that “strange forces” were at work Wednesday when he went to Arapahoe Basin to ski alone and ended up finding his friends there. While skiing together in a group, one of his friends got his backpack strap caught around his neck and stuck in the ski lift chair, and was nearly strangled to death, the Denver Post reported.

The friends, including Wilson, who were riding on another chair, discovered the man missing and went to find him when they heard people yelling. Following the sound, they saw their friend dangling unconscious from the ski lift chair, Wilson wrote on Instagram.

Initially, the friends tried to make a human pyramid to get him down, but the deep powder caused them to sink and they couldn’t reach him, Wilson recounted.

Finally, Wilson realized his slackliner skills could come in handy to save rescue friend, who did not want to be identified. Wilson climbed up the tower to the lift and shimmied down to his friend. A ski patroller threw his knife up to Wilson, who cut the injured man down. The man fell softly into the snow below.

The man was taken by ambulance to the hospital after being revived with CPR and was released Thursday after treatment for a broken rib, ABC News reported.

Arapahoe Basin emphasized that skiiers should not wear their backpacks on their backs while riding the ski lift but praised Wilson for his quick thinking and skill, ABC said.

 

 

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

 

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A professional slackliner used his skills to rescue his friend from a ski lift after the fellow skier become entangled in his backpack cord and was dangling unconscious from the lift.
slackliner, ski, life, rescue
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2017-30-06
Friday, 06 Jan 2017 04:30 PM
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