In a concerning incident at the Heavenly Mountain Resort, snowboarder Monica Laso endured a harrowing 15-hour ordeal, trapped overnight in the ski gondola.
The incident began on a skiing trip with friends when Laso took the gondola down from the mountain around 5 pm on Thursday. Merely two minutes into the descent, the gondola came to an abrupt halt, leaving her stranded mid-air as night fell.
Laso, who found herself without a phone or any source of light, recounted her attempts to seek help. “I screamed desperately until I lost my voice,” she told KCRA in Spanish. Throughout the freezing night, she kept herself warm by continuously rubbing her hands and feet together.
Her friends, unable to locate her, reported Laso missing to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. Meanwhile, the ski resort’s crews remained unaware of her predicament until the following morning, when the gondola resumed operation, and she disembarked at the bottom.
“I felt very frustrated,” Laso expressed, reflecting on the ordeal. She was promptly assessed and treated by South Lake Tahoe Fire and Rescue.
“The safety and wellbeing of our guests is our top priority at Heavenly Mountain Resort,” said Vail Resorts in a statement. “We are investigating this situation with the utmost seriousness.”