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Friday, December 17, 2010

US TRIP II - The next adventure!

So begins another epic adventure from the somewhereelseland crew; myself, Jordan and Janek. We decided to do another US trip this winter, bigger and better and longer then last years adventure. So, after scrounging enough money together for plane tickets, we all started planning an itinerary.

I flew to Texas first, before the boys arrived, and spent some time waterlining with Tar Zen and Caroline, and began planning a Slackline party, potluck and fundraiser for our group and our trip. We had hardly any money left after flying, and it seemed like a great way to promote the sport and our lifestyle as well as raise some money to make our plans reality. So, Sonora Lee allowed us to do it at her beautiful property, and it was a great success! I even went to the lengths of printing out some flyers (which were extremely expensive, stupid kinkos!) and passed them out. My friend Leigh Wise had her band, Aciable play music at our party. It was perfect--a beautiful ensemble of intstruments around the fire that night, with lovely Afro-reggae fusion flowing into the night air.

Many people were interested in Slacklining, and had never heard of it before! Jordan put together our first section of movie from the US Trip, here:

films all made by Jordan Tybon

Once the guys arrived we had the party then spent a week communicating with sponsors and doing some great projects around Austin. We rigged the first highline in the city, over the Colorado River on the Lamar Pedestrian Bridge - 30ft long and 30ft high "Walk in the Park" Highline. We all sent, and Janek and I soloed the line.

It was also Tar Zens first highline, and he sent it without taking any whippers! There was some great graffiti on the train tracks behind the highline: Focus on one point and breathe.

We did a 600+ foot longline in Zilker park, which I walked OS FM. It was so extremely windy that it was a fight, but I even surprised myself with my walk. Janek and Jordan both almost onsighted, falling just 10 feet from the end where your face meets the tree branch. The Austin American Statesmen even put a blurb in the paper about it!

We also met some new Austin - slackliners, and hopefully revamped the scene while we were there.

Another great project was the 100ft "Bible Belt" highline, which was also a deep water solo line underneath the Mo-pac bridge. This line was perfect! We all walked it onsight FM in swami's and Janek and I soloed the line as well. Tar Zen also gave it a couple tries, and Caroline and Jeremy as well.

I sessioned it, first in a swami, then free solo, then with a harness to do some surfing and double drop knees.

Photo Jordan Tybon

So, the time in Austin was warm and wonderful. Finally after being there several weeks we departed for Moab, Utah for the GGBY III Highline Gathering.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lublin Urban Highline Festival 2010

The official Website:

photos by Vacaspurpuras

The year before.... in 2009 was the beginning of my highline addiction. I travelled with Janek to East Poland, near the border with Ukraine, for a highline festival. I had only tried two lines previously, had not sent, and therefore was eager for another go. We took the bouncing-old trains across the country through flat, agricultural landscape, filled with houses topped with unfinished balconies (something I saw frequently for some reason.) I was able to stay with Janek and Damian as one of the guests, and though the festival was small we were able to rig a tree highline 100ft(30m) long and a world record length line (at that time, long since outdone!) at 60m. I finally sent the tree highline after many tries, and tried a few times on the 60m, but for my third highline ever it was a bit too big a challenge. We also waterlined, and generally had a good time in Lublin.

photo Jordan Tybon

This year was much better planned, as they handed almost the whole event to Janek to plan. He had Jordan and I become his lackies at the event, helping rig and organize the event. We drove from Berlin with Jordans flatmate, Iskar, in a tiny car.

photo Jordan Tybon

This year it happened at the same time as the circus festival, so there were many jugglers and performers roaming the streets of the old town. As organizers we were able to stay in a hotel, while our friends who attended camped out in a park area nearby the city. It was great how many fellow highliners and slackliners showed up! We had friends from Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic and USA. Wojtek from attended to take astounding photos of the event. Jordan also was there taking his usual beautiful pictures. With the both of them, almost nothing went uncaptured.

We set up two lines in the main square, both extended from the Town Hall windows.

photo's by Jordan Tybon

As anchors we used giant plywood pieces propped against the windows, then slung so the force pulled against the walls. As backup we had the same rig but against the doorways behind the windows. Both lines were type 18 webbing with a dynamic rope backup. These lines were sessioned by experts and beginners constantly throughout the festival.

photo Jordan Tybon

The other highline was on the old church in the town, at least 500 years old, our line stretched from the bell tower to a smaller decorative tower. This was trickier to rig as we were dealing with such an old and fragile building.

photo Jordan Tybon

The Alpaca ropes work guys who were volunteering at the festival were quite protective and would not allow me to venture out of the smaller tower unless harnessed in, so rigging took much longer then expected. We finally had the line up, with Gibbon proline and dynamic rope backup. This was a most asthetic line!

photo Jordan Tybon
photo Jordan Tybon

So, for 4 days when there was "security" at the lines, there was a line of people waiting for tries. So many sends! And so many beautiful photos.

photo by Jordan Tybon

photo by vacaspurpuras

We also hosted two trickline competitions; a Mens and Womens. I had to scrounge up three girl to compete, finally being myself, Karoline and Magda--a newcomer to the sport who was already showing great skills!

photo by Jordan Tybon

I was a judge and host for the Mens competition, and it was a great international competition! We set up three lines; threaded tubular, Gibbon jibline and a slackline tools flat setup.

photo by Jordan Tybon

The system went that two boys would compete with a certain amount of time, each allowed to choose any line they liked. By the end of the round the had to have done at least one thing on each line. I judged with Jerry and Bernhard, and we finally agreed on Janek taking first place, Lukas in Second, Kwjet in third and so on.

photo by Vacaspurpuras

In the girls competition it was agreed to format each section in this way: All three girls in a jam session, for said amount of time, each section being solely on one of the three different types of slacklines.

photos by Jordan Tybon

In the end, I came first (winning 50m of Type 18!)

Magda came second, winning 30m of the new czech webbing Red Dragon, and Karoline recieved a jibline for third place.
photo Jordan Tybon

It was a fun competition, quite relaxed and more about having fun then winning. I felt much less pressure then in my first competition at the Out Door.

photo by Jordan Tybon (L) and Vacaspurpuras (R)

Jordan and Wojtek were there taking photos, and I was thoroughly satisfied to have my first ever proper tricklining photos!

photo by vacaspurpuras
One day was devoted to Longlining. The original plan was to have a monster longline contest, however due to lack of a good park for setting up such lines, the whole day ended up quite delayed. We finally found an old soccer field with rusty light post towers to set up the longlines.

photo by Jordan Tybon

I decided it was about time someone tried to walk a slackline in a cardboard box...

photo by vacaspurpuras

A 100m threaded tubular, a 90m vectran and 180m Slackpro heavy webbing later and we were in business!

photo by Jordan Tybon

It was a cloudy day but really fun just to chill and walk. The prize for the longline competition was a linegrip! Lucky winner :) I gave the 180m my best shot, however after making it three fourths of the way I fell. It was also an insanely windy day!

The rest of the festival was spent on good times, enjoying the historical city and whatever performances we could catch in our busy schedule.

photo by Jordan Tybon

Lublin is a beautiful example of an Old Polish city. We hope to have an even better and more successful Festival next year! Thank you to all the friends who came and made it what it was. Thank you to Jordan and Wojtek for the beautiful photography, and props to all the beginners who tried or walked their first highlines!

photo by Vacaspurpuras

Monday, December 6, 2010

Krakow, Poland Potato Power Highline

As Fall turned to Winter the weather changed rapidly in Poland. By October the leaves had already mostly fallen and the days were hovering around freezing temperatures. This did not stop us from traveling from Ostrov, CZ straight to Krakow to visit Wojtek, our friend who is making beautiful climbing/slacklining films through his production company, vacaspurpuras. We had planned to make a film with him previously, and once there decided to compile some tricklining and highlining footage.

Wojtek borrowed some very nice equipment to take the footage, and so we headed to a park in the center of the city to bounce around on some Gibbon lines and some threaded tubular. Of course Jordan and I were quite out of shape for tricklining, but we did our best (though I spent more time falling then anything.) It was a beautiful park, and the weather was chilly but by bouncing around all day we stayed quite warm.

The next day we headed to Bolechowicka Valley just outside the city to do a highline Janek had spotted some years ago, on the Bolechowicka Gate.

It was an amazing spot, and we quickly got to bolting.

The driller ran out of battery, and Janek and Jordan finished the last bolts by hand.

We rigged the 35 meter line up and one by one all sent it both ways in swami-belts. Janek took the first ascent and named the line Potato Power.

The weather treated us quite well, it was cold as heck but bearable.

The reason for the name came about because at the time we all had about 15 euros to our name to share between us for a whole week. As we rolled around the supermarket, we counted every price of each item we put in our basket. Finally we decided the cheapest thing that would feed us the whole week was a 5 kilogram bag of potatos; so each day consisted of three meals of french fries or mashed potatoes. So explains the name of the highline and the name of Wojteks movie, "Potato Power." He entered this film into a climbing film festival competition in Poland, and took second place!

Please take a look and enjoy :)

Thank you to Wojtek for the beautiful film!