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Meet life saving slackliner Mickey Wilson at the GoPro Mountain Games

June 5, 2017

For those of you who don't know Mickey Wilson, the hero slackliner with long ties to Summit County, you'll have your chance to meet him this year at the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail. 

Wilson made national fame earlier this year when he saved his friend who was strangled by a backpack hanging from a chairlift at Arapahoe Basin. Here's Mickey's words on what happened, as shared on his Facebook page:

"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 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. Eight or so ski patrolmen 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."

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