My curiosity was awakened in October 2014 During the Boven Mountain Festival when I saw a High Line set up over the gully on the way down to Baboon Buttress. Looking at this rather extreme expression of ones inner craziness, I was rather determined to try this. I could not get the sight out of my mind. I have to try this! Not having the opportunity to see anyone do it, nor try it for myself, my curiosity had to be fed somehow.
After the festival I saw a few pictures of people attempting the high line and a vide clip consisting mostly of people only being able to stand up and then falling. The next level of extreme sport was staring me in the face. I knew High Lining would take a lot of time and effort to master and did not immediately take it up, but I could not get this out of my mind – something has to be done.
A month later while driving home from Church I passed a gentleman selling ratchets and 10 meter strapping by a robot on the side of the road for R100. I spontaneously bought one, set it up at home as a slack line, and the addiction began. I picked it up quickly walking the 10 meter strapping in less than 2 weeks.
After buying longer and longer lines, walking 20 meter, 30 meter and working up to a 40 meter line, I attempted the Boven High Line for the first time on the 14th February 2015. The best I did was stand up, take 2 steps and fall. It was way harder than expected! Terrifying! Incomparably more scary than climbing falls and so much exposure!
Determination set in…
During the course of 2015 I attempted the high line almost every time I went to Boven slow and steady progress was being made. I was managing to take more and more steps before falling and slowly desensitising my nerves to the adrenaline rush. Goal Set: I will walk this highland from start to finish by the end of December.
During my December holiday there was an excitement in me that kept buzzing beneath the surface. I just couldn’t shake it , I sent Beast (32) (my hardest send to date) and then managed to walk the high line falling right at the end on the last 2 meters
AAAHHH…. SOOO CLOSE YET SO FAR!!!!!!!!!
I knew I would complete it soon, I just needed to get back to Boven!
Over January I practiced slacklining at least once a week every week. I also managed to rig a 35 meter long, 10 meter high High Line between two big Blue Gum trees at a park near my home which I did weekly for 3 weeks prior to returning to Boven. This was a great help from a training perspective to get the head space for the High Line.
High Line Training at the Dam:
[vimeo width=”730″ height=”420″]http://vimeo.com/154686798[/vimeo]
Last weekend was the strangest Boven trip of my life – making a trip to Waterfall Boven with no climbing projects in mind, all I could think about was completing that High Line.
Saturday morning was windy and I struggled to walk the line, the same on Sunday morning. I then climbed so badly as well just to top it all off. After a very chilled day at Hallucinogen Wall, climbing easy routes and feeling rather despondent I was planning on just taking the line down and heading home. It was getting pretty late and the weather was looking rainy and grim. But how could I de-rig the line with out giving it one last go?
So I decided to give the line one last attempt before taking it down. Despite the dark clouds and thunder in the distance, there was not much wind, the air was cool and the valley quiet and still.
I shuffled a few meters out on the line, stood up, remained calm, and walked across, smoothly and controlled, sat down again on the other side. Goad achieved! Done! I then walked it a second time and almost a third before taking it down and heading home after achieving what has been a week short of a years project.
This year has been off to a superb start with many major sporting goals achieved over the pas 2 months:
– Sent Beast (32) at Waterfall Boven, my hardest send to date.
– Ran 10 km race in 35:56 minutes, by far my fastest time ever.
– Walked the Waterval Boven High Line.
Next project: Send Short Circuit (31) in Oudtshoorn 😀