Feb 8

spire1.jpg

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).

Camping:
Rigging the Spire takes a while, and most people who do this highline
are committed for at least a week or so. This means you will have a
heavy pack with gear and food and everything, so I definately recommend
the Porcupine Flats approach. If you will be camping in the backcountry
you will need a wilderness permit and a bear can for your food. Both of
these are available down in Yosemite Valley at the Wilderness Center.
Backcountry permits are free, so please get them! Rangers will likely
stop by and ask to see your permit, because highlines draw crowds! Bear
cans are required for food, so if you don’t have one, rent it for
$5/day.

Rigging: First, you have to climb the
Spire. The climbing route is called the “Lost Arrow Spire Tip” and is
rated A2 (it goes clean though, C2). First, rappell 300 feet to the
notch, then climb 2 aid pitches to the Spire’s summit, and tyrolean
traverse back to the valley rim. Now that you have ropes in place you
can rig the slackline. Rappell about 60 feet from the tree on the
valley rim to a large flake with a bolt. The notch in the flake takes
smaller gear (nuts/hexes) well, and larger cams fit above the notch.
There is 1 “backup” bolt drilled by Dean Potter that you can also use.

spire2.jpg

Shawn Snyder at the flake

“The Spire” - 55 ft. long - 2890 feet above the valley floor

First walk: Scott Balcom on 7-13-85

For someone looking to be extra
hardcore, no one has yet climbed the Lost Arrow Chimney (the world’s
first “big wall”) and then traveled off the spire via slackline. Any
takers?

In the summer of 2003 the Spire saw a lot of highline action. Many
people sent that summer, and Shawn Snyder rigged a second Spire
highline! This line goes from the Spire to the “peanut gallery.” This
line makes a 90 degree angle with the classic line on the Spire. There
are 3 bolts down about 20 feet from the valley rim in a hidden notch to
rig with. BEWARE: one of these bolts has a broken
steel bolt hanger. This bolt was broken when the line got rigged the
second time, and is obviously unsafe! This line is big, intimidating,
and fully exposed. The classic line travels over the spire notch, which
makes it feel somewhat less exposed, but this line spans a gap over
nothing!

spire3.jpg

Shawn Snyder in the notch on the big line

spire4.jpgShawn Snyder getting low on the classic spire line

The long Spire line ~120 ft. long - 2890 feet above the valley floor

First walk: Shawn Snyder, summer 2003

 

 The possibility of serious injury or
death is inherent in any activity involving motion or height such as
climbing, surfing, skating and slacklining. The equipment and activity
discussed on this site are intended for use by properly trained,
qualified participants under supervised conditions willing to
personally assume all risks and responsibilities associated with
slacklining, for which Slackline Brothers, Inc. absolves itself of all
liability. Know that this information is mostly heresay, as we have not
visited each highline destination. Before highlining, know your
limitations and the limit of your equipment, and asses FOR YOURSELF the
conditions of the anchors. Your rig and your safety are your
responsibility, not ours! There is a good chance the information posted
here is erroneous, and existing anchors may not be safe. Keep your
equipment in good working condition. Test for loose fittings or fibers
and or damage before each use. Always use a leash, or tether when
highlining, and avoid falling whenever possible, especially when your
falling zone is not clear of obstructions! Serious injuries/death may
very well result from highlining. No one may reproduce any of the
material on this site without previous consent by Slackline Brothers
inc., and its authors.


4 comments so far...

  • sam Said on December 15th, 2008 at 10:56 am:

    you are 1 cool nutter
    i solute u :)

  • sam Said on December 15th, 2008 at 10:57 am:

    i wish i could do that stuff u must have some balls man:D

  • Scotty Said on December 16th, 2008 at 7:50 pm:

    Yeah this is one hell of a highline. Probably the most coveted in the world, and certainly one of the most aesthetic.

  • wingedspur01 Said on January 20th, 2009 at 2:49 pm:

    Some day..
    Great pics, great blog

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