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Slackliner saves man who fell unconscious while dangling from Colorado chairlift

Colorado chair lift rescue

Mickey Wilson was skiing the Arapahoe Basin with friends Wednesday afternoon when a mutual friend's backpack got stuck on the lift as he was trying to get off.

"He was hanging by his neck," said Wilson. Wilson is a professional slackliner.

The man’s backpack strap got caught around his neck, cutting off his circulation almost instantly.

Hans Mueller who is a friend of the victim said he was also nearby when the incident happened.

"Since we were the chair behind him, as he’s getting pulled around, that’s right when we were dismounting. And then he goes airborne. He was off the ground being held up by his strap," Mueller said.

Cell phone video taken by a bystander shows the man dangling at least 15 feet in the air.

"I looked at the tower. I looked at the cable going down from the tower to him and I said, ‘I can climb up that tower,’ Wilson said.

Photos show Wilson climbing up a pole, across lines, and onto the chair.

“And I could scoot down and get to him and make this rescue go faster,” Wilson said.

Ski patrol was able to toss Wilson a knife and he used it to cut the skier loose.

"He fell about 10, 11 feet into the powder and he started breathing again,” Wilson said.

Incredibly- the man who was rescued is home from the hospital and managed to walk away with only a few broken ribs and a sore neck.


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