Man Who Saved Skier’s Life by Traversing Chairlift Cable and Cutting Him Free to be Awarded Carnegie Medal

SnowBrains |
Images of the rescue. Credit: Facebook (Mickey Wilson)

Mickey Wilson, a professional slackliner from Colorado, is set to receive the prestigious Carnegie Medal for his heroic actions in saving a skier’s life in 2017 at Arapahoe Basin’s Lenawee Mountain.

While uploading on a lift, the victim’s backpack became caught. He was swept around the bullwheel at the top and headed back down the mountain when the lift operator shut down the lift. The 30-year-old man was trapped and hanging by his neck, dangling about 10 feet off the ground.


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A post shared by Mickey Wilson (@trickymickeywilson)

Mickey Wilson happened to be in the chair right behind him and immediately recognized the gravity of the situation. Wilson sprung into action-hero mode after an attempt at building a human pyramid failed. He climbed the lift tower, slid 30 feet across the lift’s cable, and cut the victim free with a knife tossed up from a ski patroller.

“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.”

Mickey Wilson

The skier, Richard Rattenbury, was rushed to the hospital, treated for a broken rib, and fully recovered within weeks.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced this exciting news, recognizing Wilson’s bravery and selflessness. The Carnegie Medal is awarded to individuals who put themselves in extreme danger while rescuing or attempting to rescue others.   Wilson, known for his exceptional slacklining skills, had been skiing at A-Basin, where he worked as a part-time ski instructor. This recognition showcases Wilson’s bravery and quick thinking during a life-threatening situation.

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