MOAB, Utah (CBS4) – The slackliner who saved a man’s life on a chairlift at Arapahoe Basin got married over the weekend in his own slackline wedding.
In January, Mickey Wilson was out on a solo day at A-Basin when he saw a man dangling from his backpack on a chairlift.
Shortly after the incident, he posted about it to Instagram, saying “panic set in and we struggled in vain for about a minute to build a human pyramid to get him but the powder was too deep and we toppled over.”
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 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. 8 or so ski patrolman 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! #thankful #lovelife #rightplacerighttime
When it didn’t work, Wilson said he “had a eureka moment.”
“And I looked at the tower and I looked at the cable going down from the tower to him and I said, ‘I can climb up that tower,'” said Wilson. “And I can scoot down it and get to him and make this rescue go faster.”
Wilson made the incredible climb and walk, crediting his slackline training, as well as a miraculous catch as a ski patrolman threw him a knife to cut Richard free so ski patrol could administer CPR.
Because of Wilson’s actions, Richard survived.
This past weekend, now, Wilson married his girlfriend, Purple McMullen-Laird, in a ceremony near Canyonlands National Park in Utah, according to the Summit Daily.
More than 100 people gathered around the rim of the Fruit Bowl canyon to witness the couple and their officiant walk out on slacklines to a net 300 feet above the canyon floor.
Following the ceremony, the couple dropped 200 feet through a whole in the center of the net, which was constructed by Purple, and swing on a rope to begin their lives together.
The couple is now on their way to Hawaii for an all-expenses paid honeymoon, which was given to them as a gift by the Ellen Degeneres Show after the rescue.