Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Highlining and Longlining

San Luis Obispo Highline

Take a deep breath. Ignore the depths below. Try to stand up... fall... again and again.

Finally I stand, my leg is shaking like a sewing machine, control it, breathe. I steady for a moment. Take a small step, breathe, breathe, another small step, breathe, and Noooo!... I lose it and fall again.

The the other end of the line is 60 feet away and the ground directly below me is only 60 feet away, but we are on top of a mountain, the land slopes steeply downward for a thousand feet or more. It is airy up here.

I think that I have walked a line just like this only a few feet off the ground, hundreds of times. Why should this be any different. It's all mental. I am protected by a safety harness and line. Nothing will happen if I fall. But falling isn't fun. The adrenaline gathers all at once and whoooshh I'm plummetting towards the earth. And then the safety catches me, but the line isn't static, it stretches as I fall further, and bounce and spin and go upside down. I pull myself back up to the line, balancing to sit and breathe and wait for the calmness so I can try again.

Stop motion video of the master, Jerry Miszewski, surfing the highline

sorry, its kinda cheesy but I had to do it.

And Russ demonstrates how to take a fall.

Here are the pictures of my first try.


My only time taking steps. And then the fall again.

The Setup
 A lot goes into setting up a highline, for obvious reasons. You want to be safe. The equipment used is rated to super high strength. And everything is backed up, and backed up again.




Garfield Park Longline

The line is about 130 feet long and about 7 feet off the ground. When you are in the middle of the line there is several feet of sag in the line. The pictures below are of Russell Phetteplace walking the line and doing crazy yoga tricks.

Here are a few of me walking the line.

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