A spokesperson for Vail Mountain says lift operators immediately stopped the lift and got him down within seven minutes.
The ski patrol was called to the scene. Lift mechanics reversed the lift about 10 or 12 feet and rescued the man.
He was not injured. The man does not live in the Denver area.
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A spokeswoman for the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board says the agency considers the matter a loading incident, not a mechanical failure. If it was a mechanical problem, the agency would have gotten a report.
Vail Resorts is not required to report these types of incidents, just log them.
The Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board is part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies that oversees all public tramways in the state, including all chairlifts and gondolas.