'It all happened so fast': Child dangles from Whistler chairlift, lands safely

A frightening scene was caught on camera in Whistler, B.C. as an 11-year-old skier dangled from a chairlift while staff below scrambled to rescue him.

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Tristan Stead, 11, managed to walk away from the incident without any bumps or bruises after dangling from the Peak Express chairlift at Whistler Blackcomb ski resort for nearly six minutes.

On Monday, the experienced skier was on the chairlift with his aunt and uncle when he somehow managed to fall out of his seat.

At the time, the chair’s safety bar wasn’t down yet. “My head was in the way of the bar,” Tristan recalled.

As Tristan dangled more than six metres above the snow-covered ground, his aunt and uncle yelled at the operators to shut the chairlift down.

“It was scary because he was slipping through his clothes,” said Christopher Sakai, who filmed the rescue and uploaded it to YouTube.

Chairlift operators and bystanders rushed to pull a tarp beneath him. In the video, Tristan is seen letting go and dropping safely onto the tarp as people cheer.

Sakai said the boy was on his feet moments later.

“He just ran back and looked happy,” Sakai said. “It all happened so fast, and it was just great that he came out OK.”

Tristan’s mother Elizabeth said her family is thankful.

“I think we could have had a very different result and I feel fortunate that we did not, and very grateful to everybody involved,” she said.

With a report by CTV Vancouver’s Norma Reid



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