On February 14, 2016, a teen snowboarder jumped 30 feet off a ski lift at Sugar Mountain Resort in North Carolina, to avoid freezing to death. He suffered frost bite and broken bones.
His family recently filed a lawsuit against the ski resort. According to court documents, the lift operator initiated daily closing protocol, including removing the safety gate from the lift, which would automatically stop the lift if a passenger or skier did not disembark at the top. Because of that, the young man went around the bullwheel and began going back down the mountain. When the lift was shut down for the evening, the chair came to a halt over a heavily wooded area, nearly 30 feet in the air, leaving the teen stranded.
Snow-making equipment and high winds drowned out his cries for help. After stranded for about two hours, and worried about surviving the night, the teen jumped, falling to the frozen ground below. He was knock unconscious when he fell, but eventually came to and crawled in pain until he reached help, according to the lawsuit.