“Hey, Shelby do you want to-“
And this is exactly how I get myself into shenanigans. I mean what is there to lose? Regardless of what happens in the end, it was an experience. I know when to draw the line at dangerous situations or when it’s just plain “not okay”, yet I’m open to trying almost anything.
Last January I started slacklining, and this fall I started highlining. I truly love everything about both of them that could probably write an entire blog post about them, but I’ll save that for later.
I was invited to help rig and play on a high line recently. I was instructed to bring warm clothes, snow boots, and snacks (late January in Colorado is just a little cold). That morning I woke up at 6am, set my gloves on my bed and mumbled in my tired hungover voice “don’t forget those, that would be dumb”.
We get all the way to the trailhead and realize we are now one person short. Trying to reassign jobs (rigging a highline is a lot of work), I quietly interject and offer up my uneducated help.
“Do you know how to ascend?”
“Yeah, I did once.”
“Do you have gloves?”
“Yeah, they’re right he-………nope!” (I had forgotten my gloves)
I should have known I was in for it by the looks they all exchanged.
There I am, scrambling down into a canyon in knee deep powder snow, and carefully crossing a frozen river to get to the base of a neighboring cliff. Then I spent the next 2 hours or so ascending a fixed rope up this snow-covered monster without gloves. Needless to say, my hands are still healing from cracked knuckles and the multiple blisters that ripped open during the ascent.
Reaching the top felt like a victory! I helped and learned more about setting anchors than I could have hoped for.
“So uh how long is this line going to be anyway?”
“Oh 110 meters give or take”
You see, I’ve only ever been able to take a couple of steps on a 50-meter line. So you know, let’s just double that, no big deal!
After a grand total of 4 and a half hours of rigging the line was up, and so was I! I may have been shivering, starving, bloodied hands and utterly exhausted, but that didn’t stop me from getting out on that line!
Feeling completely euphoric, it’s no wonder they call this line Ethereal. I’m still new to the slacklining world, so big projects like this definitely give me a run for my money. I had very little expectations of success when it came to this monster of a line, but I surprised myself with a couple completed standing attempts!
Running off of stoke, a frozen granola bar and puppy cuddles from Stanley the dog, we started to pack everything up. I picked up my backpack…. only to find my gloves in the side pocket. I laughed all the way home driving down the canyon putting the world’s most magical sunset and day behind us.