A man was rescued by helicopter at Mt. Pisgah Monday afternoon after the tram he was testing became stuck.
According to the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office, the service worker was operating the tram leading up to the TV tower at the top of the mountain when it became stuck at around 2:30 p.m.
“He walked about 200 to 300 feet down to check on it, but the tram wouldn’t move up or down the mountain,” said Kyle Brookshire, 911 supervisor at the Sheriff’s Office.
“That side of the mountain is steep; you’re talking a 40-45 degree incline,” Brookshire added. Temperatures were dropping into the 20s, with 2 to 3 feet of snow on the ground at an elevation of 5,500 feet. The conditions prompted the man to call for help.
The Sheriff’s Office was first notified. Initially unsure whether a helicopter could reach him, the Sheriff’s Office called several area first-response teams.
Henderson County was one of several specialized alpine rescue teams that arrived to assist, according to Brookshire. Other ground agencies included the Buncombe, Mitchell and Avery alpine rescue teams; Haywood County Sheriff’s Office; Emergency management from Haywood County; Lake Logan Fire Department; Cruso Fire & Rescue; and Blue Ridge Parkway staff.
A crew with the N.C. Department of Transportation also offered aid, according to Brookshire, plowing the road leading to the mountain’s summit.
The North Carolina Helicopter and Aquatic Rescue Team, located in Salisbury, was deployed to the scene, with ground agencies continuing their efforts as a backup.
At approximately 9:30 p.m., the helicopter team successfully reached the man, flying him to Asheville Regional Airport. The remaining rescue teams left the mountain at about midnight.
The service worker was uninjured.