Would you suspend 2,500 feet above the ground to take in the best view of Yosemite Falls? Probably not, but from that height you can see the full length of the waterfall as it crashes to the rocks below. Luckily, you don’t have to and can just check out this insane video circling the internet instead. After making the steep and rocky 3.5-mile hike up Yosemite’s oldest trail to Upper Falls, the highest waterfall in Yosemite Park, this adventure seeker walks across a flat webbing suspended 2,500 feet. The line is anchored to cliff rocks on either sides of the waterfall. He makes it across the distance in four minutes, barefoot and captures the whole thing on video. The exhilarating views in this clip are both breathtaking and terrifying. The angle of the camera points in the one direction you should never look when suspended at an incredible height, down. As a viewer though, you can appreciate the view as it displays the flow of the waterfall and the depth of the cliffs.
Beginning in a seated position, he glides himself along the rope to a safe starting point and without anything to balance against or aid him, he stands up. In this moment, it is evident that a strong core and legs are crucial to remaining balanced on the 1 – 2 in. narrow webbing. Balancing on the tensioned rope seems like a challenge in itself but walking across it, slacklining gives leg day a whole new meaning.
Each line is anchored and consists of two lines, a main line and a back-up line. This thrill-seeker was harnessed and tethered to the slackline. Even tethered, falling off the slackline at that height could easily flat line the faint of heart and about two minutes into the video, we see just what falling looks like. The slackline athlete, perhaps facing a just of wind, slips off the line but recovers nicely by grabbing onto the webbing and wrapping his legs around it in a sloth-like manor. Un-phased by the tumble, he continues across the rope. The video ends with a second slip followed by the guy sliding himself the final few feet to successfully dismount the line, crossing the entire distance.
Yosemite Park, in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, is a popular slacklining destination due to Adam Grosowsky and Jeff Ellington, two Yosemite rock climbers, who invented the sport in the early 1980’s. Slacklining differs from tightrope walking usually seen in a circus by the line materials used and the tension applied. Slacklines have a bit of bounce to them.
Slacklining takes great strength both physically and mentally. Just overcoming fear alone takes mental strength not to mention the intense concentration and eye-foot coordination. Through continued practice slacklining enhances your brain function. Some may even consider slacklining as a form of moving meditation due to deliberate breathing and a clear and focused mind with some yogis incorporating slacklines into their yoga routines. As if balancing in tree pose wasn’t hard enough on the ground. This venture was an extreme version of slacklining called Highlining in which the springy band of rope is suspended at great heights. Highlining is considered the pinnacle of the sport. To raise the stakes, a leash-less version of slacklining referred to as “free-solo” although rare is not unheard of.
Talk about an adrenaline rush! This isn’t a view seen by many. For many adventure seekers, this man has just set some serious slackline goals. For many others, you can live vicariously through his video from the safety of your couch. Better yet, set up a fan with a little mist and it’s as if you are practically there. Feel free to spend the next few hours googling “Extreme Highlining” for more spectacular views.