Things recently took a horrifying turn at the Lenawee Mountain Lift in Colorado. Not only did a man get caught in the chairlift, his backpack was literally hanging him by the neck. He slipped into unconsciousness and was left completely helpless.
Mickey Wilson, a professional slackliner and ski instructor, happened to be sitting on the lift behind the victim. “It was one of the most scary things I’ve ever seen, honestly,” Mickey told The Denver Post. “Just seeing a person get the life sucked out of them — I kind of stopped thinking and just started acting.”
Mickey and his friends attempted to form a human pyramid in order to save the man, but the snow was too deep and slippery. The group kept falling back down, and time was running out. That’s when Mickey did the unthinkable, despite the fact that concerned bystanders were screaming at him to stop.
The hero described the harrowing rescue on Instagram: “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 chairlift 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.”
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