Just a few days after the New Year, 28-year-old Mickey Wilson decided to hit the slopes in Golden, Colorado for a solo ski day. He hadn’t expected to run into anyone, much be recognized by a group of friends, even as he was wearing all his ski gear.
But as luck would have it, some of Wilson’s friends were also at the same ski resort that day, so he decided to join them to enjoy the day together.
As Wilson and his friends were riding the ski lift back up the slopes though, their day of fun and relaxation took a sharp downward turn.
Wilson recalled, “Our other friend had to ride up front because there wasn’t enough space for him on our chair and when we got off the chair he wasn’t there. At first we didn’t know what to think of that and then we started to hear screams and yells. We went down to investigate and we saw our friend hanging lifelessly from the chair.”
The other man (who has requested that his identity remain anonymous) had slipped from the chairlift and was left hanging by the straps of his backpack about ten feet above the snow below.
“It was one of the most scary things I’ve ever seen, honestly. Just seeing a person get the life sucked out of them. I kind of stopped thinking and just started acting,” Wilson said.
Wilson and his friends immediately leapt off the chairlift. The operator shut down the lift and Wilson and his friends tried to create a human pyramid to save their friend – but the powder was too soft to climb high enough.
“That’s when I realized — it all kind of snapped together — that ‘I can climb this tower and get to him,’ ” Wilson remembered.
Wilson is a professional slackliner, and the only person present who would be able to climb the tower and across the rope to his friend. And he did exactly that.
He slid across the wire, just like he would have on a slackline, and got down to his friend. At that moment, ski patrol showed up with a knife and made “the most perfect toss to [him] from below from about 20 feet.” Wilson was able to catch the knife and cut his friend loose. “It was a wave of relief,” Wilson admitted.
Now, Wilson’s friend is thankfully recovering in the hospital with just a broken rib, and Wilson is forever grateful for whatever forces caused him to be there at that time to save his friend’s life.