Slacklining, or the act of walking or balancing on a “flat webbing that is tensioned between two anchors” (think: walking a loose tightrope), is a difficult skill. Though it takes a lot of practice, the hobby can be quite useful… and not just to impress your friends.

In one case in Colorado this week, a slackliner named Mickey Wilson was able to use his skills to save his friend’s life. While enjoying a ski trip with his pals, one of them got caught in a nightmare scenario on the lift. Incredibly, the only thing that could save him was Mickey’s quick thinking and a little bit of slacklining!

“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.”

01-slackliner-saves-lifeInstagram / mickeywilsonslacker

“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.”

02-slackliner-saves-lifeInstagram / mickeywilsonslacker

“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.”

03-slackliner-saves-lifeInstagram / mickeywilsonslacker

“Our friend fell like a doll into the snow. Eight 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 just got an update from the hospital and he’s doing quite well and will be released tomorrow!”

04-slackliner-saves-lifeInstagram / mickeywilsonslacker

That was like a real-life action movie! Wow! Seeing his friend just dangling like that must have been torture. Congratulations to Mickey for putting his skills to use—and saving a life.

Share this unbelievable rescue with your friends below!