Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cheeks Ahoy on the Ski Slopes

(Click on picture to enlarge.)

Skier Suffers Exposure
Man left dangling upside down, pantsless after Vail lift mishap

JANUARY 6--In a bizarre incident that will surely lead to litigation (or an out-of-court settlement), a skier at Colorado's ritzy Vail resort was left dangling upside down and pantsless from a chairlift last Thursday morning. The January 1 mishap apparently occurred after the male skier, 48, and a child boarded a high-speed lift in Vail's Blue Sky Basin. It appears that the chairlift's fold-down seat was somehow not in the lowered position, which caused the man to partially fall through the resulting gap. His right ski got jammed in the ascending chairlift, and that kept him upended since his boot never dislodged from its binding. As seen in the photo above(which was snapped by a laughing female skier), the Skyline Express lift was stopped shortly after the pair's botched boarding resulted in the man dangling from the lift. The exposed skier was stuck for about 15 minutes before Vail personnel backed the lift up and successfully dislodged the unidentified man from the four-seat chair. In a statement released this afternoon, Vail Resorts, which operates the ski area, reported that the skier was not injured after being "suspended for approximately seven minutes." The press release did not explain how the mishap occurred, only that "the man was caught on the chair." In a statement released by the man later, he said, "I damn near froze my boys hanging up there. A few more minutes and I could have made my own vanilla soft serve." The photographer, who made the photo available to the local news media, said it would be a chihuahua's portion of soft serve if he did. "That dude was badly shortchanged by nature," she remarked.

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