Terrifying moment teen snowboarder slams onto ground after dangling from ski lift

A 16-year-old girl in California was hospitalised after she fell from a chairlift at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in California as witnesses failed to catch the helpless teen.

The unidentified teen was taking the Stump Alley Express lift with three other riders on Saturday when the frightening ordeal was captured on camera, NY Post reports.

In the video, the snowboarder is seen hanging on for dear life from the still chair lift as around 10 members of the resort’s ski patrol stand below her, appearing to be holding a net to catch her when she is ready to release her grip.

Shockingly, the girl lets go and then plummets to the ground, completely missing the net.

A bone-chilling crashing sound echoed across the slopes when the teen collided with the ground below while onlookers gasped.

“The ski patrol failed this girl today, totally missing catching her with the net after convincing her everything was okay!!” the video’s caption read.

“Telling her just to jump already I heard the ski patrol say they’ve never done this before and was way under experienced for this situation!! Mammoth needs to do better!!”

A resort spokesperson told Los Angeles television station KTLA 5 News that the teen was “not completely seated” and started to slide off her chair as she ascended the slope.

“The other individuals on the chair grabbed hold of the guest and held her from falling as Lift Operators stopped the lift,” the resort spokesperson said.

The teen was quickly transported to Mammoth Hospital “for evaluation,” and her condition is unknown.

“Our thoughts are with the guest and her family,” the resort said.

Mammoth Mountain, California’s highest ski resort, has a base elevation of nearly 8000 feet and receives around 400 inches of snowfall per season.

The lift, constructed in 1997, is one of 25 serving the 3500-acre resort on the edge of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range.

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) found that 86 per cent of ski lift falls can be attributed to passenger behaviour and error — with only 4 per cent due to medical issues suffered while on the lift.

There have only been 30 fatalities related to ski lifts from 1973 to 2020, only eight of those deaths due to a medical issue, according to an NSAA study in 2021.

The remaining 22 fatalities were due to mechanical malfunctions, human error or an indeterminate cause.

Between 1973 and 2020, the industry as a whole provided more than 18.3 billion rides to guests, totalling 9.2 billion miles travelled in lifts — coming to only one fatality per 100 million miles travelled on lifts.

The teen’s injury comes only a few days after a snowboarder spent 15 hours trapped overnight in a ski gondola at a Lake Tahoe resort.

Two minutes into the descent, the gondola suddenly halted, leaving the rider stuck in midair as the sun set.

“I screamed desperately until I lost my voice,” the snowboarder recounted.

This article originally appeared on New York Post and was reproduced with permission

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