Sunday, June 1, 2008

Coors Gap

On Saturday Josh, Dylan, James and crew all cruised out to Golden to rig a new highline that Josh had bolted the previous week. It was in a nice location, right above the Coors Brewery. In fact, it was about 500 ft above the brewery, so the nice view was a little obstructed. It ended up being about 65' long and between 18 and 60 feet high on each end (though there was about 500' of exposure above the bottom of the valley.)

Being a new line, it took a little more time to rig, about 2.5 hours. With the new lines, you're never sure what exactly you need to rig the whole thing properly. Also, it was Josh's first time installing bolts, so we wanted to back them up with some natural protection as well (there was a discrepancy with the drill bit size and the applied torque and the angle of the bolt hanger). We finally got the line rigged and tightened, and I was the first to get on the line. It was a bit loose but I didn't have too much trouble. I walked it three times and then let Josh have a turn. Josh is an incredible slackliner, (he has been landing backflips on the line recently) but highlining is such a different mental game than that. Imagine every bit of your body and your mind and your consciousness telling you not to do something. It is telling you its not safe, and you're going to die, and nothing is right about this situation, and there are so many things that could go wrong, etc. etc. etc. Then you have to control that inundation of emotion and take a step on to that one inch wide piece of nylon. Everything inside your head needs to be flushed out, every thought subdued, every natural reaction overridden. A step, then another, breathe, step, breathe, step, breathe, step. This is the only thing that can go through your head. You focus so much your eyes hurt, and you tense so much that if you didn't stretch before hand you get massive cramps. Finally you start to near the other side and begin to relax, the breathing is more controlled. Then you get to the end and hop back onto solid ground. Enlightenment.

It was a really fun day. Josh is friends with some professional photographers, who were friends with some professional videographers. We were able to get some great footage and maybe we'll be able to start producing a video soon. They're interested in coming along on the next trip to Moab so that will be fun. I really enjoyed the line, and I'm excited that there is a new line really close to Boulder that we can go to anytime.

Also, I did a few stunts (drinking some energy drinks on the line) so hopefully I can start to get sponsored at this highlining business. Its about time that the companies started jumping on the slackline bandwagon. Hopefully that works out!

1 comment:

dust said...

this looks amazing! The way you described highlining is a lot like how i felt before the instructor jumped out of the plane when going skydiving--that my mind was telling me it was the craziest idea and that I needed to sit back down and fly the plane to the ground immediately..

Now doing it myself on saturday, im sure convincing my mind that jumping into the air at 12500 ft is a good idea is going to be a really difficult thought to swallow!

deep breaths, right?