Thursday, April 24, 2008

Long Lines Take Time, and Skin

Last weekend we attempted to rig a 200' slackline, but things didn't go so well. I forgot to back up the tree anchors, and one of them ended up breaking while we were tightening, sending 40 pounds of rope and pulleys rocketing towards our heads. We were lucky enough to have the pulleys fly over our heads, but the rope ended up whipping us around a bit, and Mary got some bad rope burn:

With 3rd degree burns on her hand, and terribly painful full-torso burns on her abdomen, this ended up being a pretty bad accident. Fortunately, there was no internal damage, and Mary was slacklining just 5 minutes after the incident. I definitely learned some valuable rigging lessons, and will be changing the way I set up longer lines in the future. You tend to underestimate the forces involved in a longer line when you're only 5 feet above the ground. In my opinion, a long line is scarier and more dangerous than a highline. We'll be refining our methods and trying again in the future, but this incident won't be taken lightly. Accidents are always scary, but also put things into perspective.

In addition to the slacklining adventures, it has been becoming exceedingly warmer outside, and I have been going back to the dropzone. Skydiving is more fun when you don't have to wear 6 layers of clothing. Its back to jumping in shorts and a t-shirt, and now that I've finally learned to pack my chute, it's going to be a fun-filled summer of jumping out of planes, climbing mountains, and slacklining across beautiful cliffs. We have plans for a potential line up on the north side of Longs Peak, 13,200ft in elevation, 2000ft above the ground, and 95' long. I can't wait to go up and rig this epic walk!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow!!!! Poor Mary!!! Give her our sympathy. It looks like that hurts. Hope to see you soon. Love from both of us.