An 18-year-old skier who got caught upside down on a Mammoth Mountain chairlift dangled some 20 feet above the ground for several minutes until she dropped into a net held by rescuers last Thursday afternoon, reports KTLA.
The incident occurred about 12:30 p.m. on chairlift No. 2, Stump Alley Express, out of the Mill area at the Mammoth Lakes resort. A group of four skiers were trying to get onto the chairlift to go up the mountain when something went wrong.
“We were getting ready to get on the chair when we looked back to sit down and the safety bar was down – but it should have been up. So it was blocking us from sitting down,” the skier, Anastasia Semenov, told KTLA, “And then my leg and my ski somehow got caught on the foot ledge. And then the machine – the lift – didn’t stop, so it just took me up with it.”
At least two others ended up in the pit below the lift, while the young woman was hoisted into the air upside down, dangling from her leg, a witness said.
Several lift operators rushed to grab netting and center themselves under Anastasia, who was some 20 feet up. She was caught by the net and didn’t hit the ground. One of the lift operators was taken to the hospital after sustaining a broken arm or wrist when he was hit by the skier’s falling ski.
Mammoth Mountain issued a brief statement to KTLA about the incident, saying: “Mammoth Mountain personnel and other guests quickly responded, using a catch net to safely rescue the skier. The skier was uninjured and returned to skiing that afternoon.”