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A snowboarder stuck 15 hours overnight on a California ski gondola said she screamed for help to workers below who couldn’t hear her

A view of Heavenly gondola in South Lake Tahoe, California, United States on January 14, 2024.A view of Heavenly gondola in South Lake Tahoe, California, United States on January 14, 2024.

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu via Getty Images

  • A woman on a ski resort trip with her friends was stranded for 15 hours on a mountainside gondola.
  • Monica Laso said she spent the night in the cold after boarding the gondola at 4:58 p.m., per KCRA.
  • Laso said she tried to scream to workers below, but that they couldn’t hear her.

A snowboarder reported missing at a ski resort in California on Thursday was stranded on a gondola overnight in the cold.

Monica Laso was on a trip with friends when she boarded a gondola alone at 4:58 p.m. at the Heavenly Ski Resort, the Sacremento-based NBC affiliate KCRA reported.

Laso was tired and had asked a worker to show her the way to the gondola so she could descend the hill, she told the outlet. But two minutes after she boarded, the gondola stopped, she said.

“I didn’t have a phone, a light, or anything,” Laso told KCRA in Spanish.

She remained stuck on the gondola for 15 hours and was forced to spend the night in the cabin, per KCRA. Temperatures fell to around 24 degrees that night, per the National Weather Service.

Laso told KCRA that she tried getting the attention of workers she could see below, but they couldn’t hear her.

“I screamed desperately until I lost my voice,” Laso said, per the outlet.

The gondola started running again on Friday morning, after which resort crews found Laso.

Meanwhile, her friends had reported her missing to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, per KCRA.

Heavenly Ski Resort operates a gondola ride that is 2.4 miles long and runs daily, per its website.

“I’m very curious to hear the story,” Kim George, a spokesperson for South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue, told the Associated Press.

She said her department had “never responded to anything like that” in her 23-year tenure there, per the AP.

The fire rescue department arrived at 8.30 a.m. on Friday to treat Laso, and said she was responsive and declined to be sent to a hospital, the AP reported.

Heavenly Ski Resort said it is investigating the incident, per the outlet.

“The safety and wellbeing of our guests is our top priority at Heavenly Mountain Resort,” said Tom Fortune, the resort’s chief operating officer, per the outlet.

Vail Resorts, which owns Heavenly Ski Resort, did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent outside regular business hours by Business Insider.

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