February 2008 Archives
The Approach: The Approach to the Needles is fairly burly. Drive past Kernville and Johnsondale, California and up into the Sequoia National Forest, passing other climbing areas along the way (Dome Rock). There is a campground near the trailhead. The elevation is about 10,000 ft. and you have to hike 3 miles in to the Needles lookout. From here scramble down the backside talus slopes for about another mile or so.
Wow! This place is highline central! There are currently 3 lines at this formation, and they are all burly!
Approach: Cave Corridor is located at the Ryan Mountain trailhead in Joshua Tree National Park, CA. It is possible to scramble to the top of both sides of the formation, but be careful, the rock is a little grainy.
Mark Weiner on the 110 Footer, Slackline Brothers Inc. © 2006
The Rostrum fomation in Yosemite National Park is currently the largest highline court, with 4 different rigging options! Ranging from 20 to 110 feet long, there is a line for everybody!
Approach: From Yosemite Valley, drive out towards Wawona (Highway 41). Once you pass the tunnel shortly after leaving the valley, there will be a pullout to park at. From here hike towards the cliff and locate the Rostrum.
The Rigging: Beta coming soon...
Astro Domes line - 130 ft. long ~200 feet off the deck
First walk: Corbin Usinger in 11/05 (bolts courtesy Shawn Snyder)
The Approach: Gemini Bridges are located near Moab, Utah. To drive there, take the 191 northwest to the 313 west, then follow the jeep road back ast towards Gemini Bridges. There are currently 5 highlines here, but they are spread out, and we don't yet have the exact location details.
Corbin Usinger crushing the Gravity Gap, all photos courtesy Harlan Hayes
Red Rocks, NV
The Approach: There are 2 newly established highlines at the second pullout. The smaller line is about 35 feet long and 50 feet high. It is located at the Stone Wall (sport climbing area). The 100 footer is located just before the Stone Wall.
Andy Lewis appears in a Japanese T.V. show titled "Believe it or Not" demonstrating his skills in the revolutionary balance sport slackline.
Wes Ellis at the Spire
The Lost Arrow Spire in Yosemite- the holy grail of highlining. This is the most coveted "send" for any highliner out there. Its the highest highline in the US, and rigging is an epic! Man enough?
Approach: The Lost Arrow Spire is in Yosemite National Park in California. The Spire juts out from the top of the valley rim, between Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Point. The Spire can be approached from two directions. You can hike from the valley floor at Camp 4 and do the "Upper Falls Trail," which will take you to the spire in 4 miles and 3000 ft elevation gain. This hike is KILLER with a pack full of gear, camping supplies, and food! I recommend driving to Porcupine Flats up in Tuolumne Meadows, and hiking the relatively flat 7 mile trail to the spire (follow signs for Yosemite Point).
By Harlan Hayes
After releasing your slackline, do your hands suffer from rope burn? Perhaps, you become “uneasy” when the time comes to take down? Be worry free friends. There are precautions we can take to avoid such unnecessary concerns. In this picture we see a Slackline Bros. setup, ready to be un-tensioned. First, let us notice the end of rope is secured, with a knot, in the Slackline Bros. Break Arm. Second, observe how the carabiner is clipped onto the “break rope” with a sling. (note: anchor rock is padded with bicycle tires tubes) From here, the slackliner pulls the sling. This allows the rope to freely run through the carabiner, instead of your hands. have fun, send smooth, and always listen....
How can you set up a slackline where you are? If you already know how to set up a line but are having troubles finding good anchors, read on. Hopefully this guide will help you out. Obviously you'll need an anchor for each end of the line. Using a tree on each end is easiest. But if you only have one tree or none at all you'll have to do a little more work. Well, here are some examples of what you can use for anchors:
It is possible to set up a slackline anywhere you want. An important tool for setting up the perfect line anywhere is the A-frame. The A-frame is a simple wood construction that you can use to set the end of your line at the height and length you want. The line passes over the A-frame (and anchors to it) and goes to whatever anchor you may have. If you're having troubles finding anchors click here. Tools you'll need to build the A-frame include a circular saw (a jig/sabre saw will do), a drill, and a 1.5-inch hole saw/spade drill bit. you'll also need lumber, screws, and wood glue. **Be sure to use safety glasses when using power tools.** You'll also need a 3/8" high strength chain link of approximately 5000 pound working load. You can find this chain at Home Depot in most cities. Buy 1 foot of the chain and cut every other link with a hack saw to free the others. You can also use a high strength 2" rap ring with a breaking strength of no less than 50kN.
I find that if you are falling the best way to fall is jump out as far as you can so you end up swinging beneath the line. When you get used to this swing, you can ride it long enough to launch you into the air giving you the ability to catch the line without even a single pull up! Don't believe me? come highline with me.
If you are doing tricks leash placement is crucial so you don't take hard falls. getting caught in your leash can give you gnar gnar rashes, and bruising. If you are spinning a 180 or 360 to the left your lease will be....? on your left side.
If you are spinning right....? on your right side.
HOW TO STAY SAFE ON A HIGHLINE
- no falls = no pain and less potential risk.
however, my moto is if you aren't taking whippers you aren't trying hard enough, lol.
- When catching
the line... using your armpits may save you from a whipper, but holy crap its
so painful i do not think its even worth it.
The best way to catch the line is to grab it with both hands, and hook your feet as you fall. There is only one flaw to this strategy
- if you do
fall, and you try to catch the line, and miss... you end up plummeting
straight down... ouch. thats always is an ouch.
when you let your knees buckle, bend down only to miss the line, and fall straight down directly below the line; I think those can be the worst whippers. I have seen someone fall straight down with the line in between her legs (another huge NONO) and flip head over heels around 5 times. Think of an utterly out of control cart wheel. No fun.
- the last thing to avoid is NOT trying a highline because your scared of falling. Falling is scary, and you have to get used to it. You can't pick up a guitar and just start playing little wing, it doesn't work like that. You need to practice walking, and you need to practice falling. The worst thing you can do is NOT get out there and try.
But remember to be safe, and always double check your double checkings.