Man hanging unconscious by backpack on Arapahoe Basin chairlift is cut down by friend in harrowing rescue
SUMMIT COUNTY — A man who got tangled in an Arapahoe Basin chairlift Wednesday morning and was hanging unconscious from his neck was cut down by a professional slackliner who climbed up a lift tower, slid approximately 30 feet across the lift’s cable and cut him free with a knife tossed from ski patrollers.
The harrowing rescue was recounted to The Denver Post on Thursday by the rescuer and confirmed by the resort, which says it is reviewing the incident that occurred around 11 a.m. on the Lenawee Mountain Lift. Parts of the rescue were also captured on video and in still photos.
“It was one of the most scary things I’ve ever seen, honestly,” said Mickey Wilson, as he recounted the rescue of the dangling man. “Just seeing a person get the life sucked out of them. I kind of stopped thinking and just started acting.”
Arapahoe Basin says the man who was caught in the chair was taken by ambulance to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center and was then transferred to St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood. The ski area declined to provide information on the man’s condition. However, Wilson said he spoke to the man through FaceTime on Wednesday night and said that despite a neck brace he appeared to be OK.
The ski racer turned hotelier who was close to President Ford embodied the soul of Vail for nearly 60 years.