Woman Loses Voice Screaming For Help On Gondola

Monica Laso, from Madrid, Spain, nearly died after being stranded overnight in subfreezing temperatures for 15 hours on a gondola at the Heavenly Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe.

She was on a snowboarding trip with her friends when she became too tired to take her last run down the hill, so she got onboard a gondola. It was just after 5 pm when the lift suddenly stopped.

No one heard her despite screaming as loudly as she could for help. She did not have a cell phone. Eventually, she lost her voice, screaming into the wilderness.

Laso’s friends called the El Dorado County sheriff’s office and reported her missing.

Laso spent the night warming her feet and hands by rubbing them together to fight off the cold as temperatures plummeted to -5°C., a temperature that could easily have caused death.

She was eventually rescued when the gondola started working again the following day. The incident has prompted an investigation, and the resort has stated they are taking the situation very seriously.

The South Lake Tahoe paramedics who were called to the scene evaluated Laso. She was responsive and alert and declined to be taken to the hospital.

According to the resort’s vice president, Tom Fortune, the resort stated that they are investigating this situation with the utmost seriousness and that the safety and well-being of their guests is their top priority.

He said there was a protocol breakdown that day. The resort’s management has acknowledged this breakdown and has taken responsibility for the incident. While the specific changes to safety protocols following this incident have not been detailed, Fortune stated that they have stringent protocols to make sure their chairlifts and gondolas are wholly unoccupied at day’s end and that he takes full responsibility to ensure the issue is addressed so that it never happens again.