Slackliner Saves Skier Hanging From Chairlift

Episode 6 | 11.21.22

Slackliner Saves Skier Hanging From Chairlift

Episode 6 | 11.21.22

Tell Me What Happened, an OnStar podcast

It was a skier’s dream — a perfect powder day to head to the mountain — when all of a sudden a man’s backpack got caught on a chairlift and he was stuck hanging 30 feet in the air. With no time to spare, a professional slackliner came to the rescue.

 

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Arapahoe Basin is a legendary ski resort in Colorado, and when it’s a powder day, skiers wake up at the crack of dawn to get up the hill for those fresh tracks. That’s exactly what Richard Dempsey did, except he only got a few runs in before everything changed. Richard is able to recount his story thanks to a slackliner named Mickey Wilson who risked his own life to save someone he met that morning.

 

We also speak to author and retired ski patroller Patti Burnett about what dangers to look out for while skiing at resorts and in the backcountry, as well as what to do if you find yourself or someone else in an emergency situation while enjoying the mountains in wintertime.

Download the full transcript of this episode to dive deeper into the story.

Who's in this episode?

Richard Dempsey

Richard is an exploration geologist for a gold mine, producing resource models. He is still an avid skier.

Mickey Wilson

Mickey is a Colorado native, with a master’s degree in physics from the Colorado School of Mines. He is a four-time highline and trickline world champion and enjoys all other forms of slacklining, as well as skiing, whitewater kayaking, skydiving, base jumping, climbing, mountain biking and skateboarding. He lives in Colorado with his son Rio and wife Sara, and currently works as a research technician at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden.

Patti Burnett

Patti was supervisor of the ski patrol at Copper Mountain in Colorado for 23 years. She started the ski patrol and search and rescue dog programs in Summit County. She is also a renowned avalanche dog handler and author of Avalanche! Hasty Search. Her work has led to nearly every Colorado ski area and search and rescue group implementing an avalanche dog program. After Patti left Copper Mountain to raise her daughters, she continued working her dogs in avalanche, air scent and water searches as a team leader with the Summit County Rescue Group, as well as helping to train other handlers throughout the U.S. and Europe. Patti is now retired.

Who's in this episode?

Richard Dempsey

Richard is an exploration geologist for a gold mine, producing resource models. He is still an avid skier.

Mickey Wilson

Mickey is a Colorado native, with a master’s degree in physics from the Colorado School of Mines. He is a four-time highline and trickline world champion and enjoys all other forms of slacklining, as well as skiing, whitewater kayaking, skydiving, base jumping, climbing, mountain biking and skateboarding. He lives in Colorado with his son Rio and wife Sara, and currently works as a research technician at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden.

Patti Burnett

Patti was supervisor of the ski patrol at Copper Mountain in Colorado for 23 years. She started the ski patrol and search and rescue dog programs in Summit County. She is also a renowned avalanche dog handler and author of Avalanche! Hasty Search. Her work has led to nearly every Colorado ski area and search and rescue group implementing an avalanche dog program. After Patti left Copper Mountain to raise her daughters, she continued working her dogs in avalanche, air scent and water searches as a team leader with the Summit County Rescue Group, as well as helping to train other handlers throughout the U.S. and Europe. Patti is now retired.

Calligraphy in Written in Snow

Winter Driving Worries

Tips for staying safe when driving in ice and snow.

Calligraphy in Written in Snow

Winter Driving Worries

Tips for staying safe when driving in ice and snow.

Inspired? You can be a good Samaritan too.

With OnStar, you’ve got help when you need it 24/7 — and you can help others 24/7 too. If you see someone who needs help — in a crash, stranded or having an emergency of any kind — push your red Emergency button. We’ll notify the appropriate First Responders. Looking out for each other. It’s one of the absolute best things about being human.

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