October 19, 2017

Before walking across a highline hundreds of feet in the air, you have to first trust the line’s strength and know that it is properly rigged. Then, and only then can you calm down enough to focus entirely on the line. Since I started highlining in September, I have been learning about rigging while I learned about walking, gathering my confidence in the setup only from my experienced highline friends and mentors. I would pay close attention and ask questions whenever I could I figured that by now my experience was enough to rig a big Smith Rock highline without the oversight of any of my awesome rigging savvy friends. I didn’t do it by myself, not even close. I took two friends; Paul Clark, photographer and allprocess-around scrambler, and Hans Hooman, a whitewater raft guru and rock climber. With their help I put my knowledge to the test and we rigged an epic 130′ highline, “Where Swallows Fly”, and it only took us four hours. FOUR HOURS?! Yep. It was slow and methodical, but when it was done, I was sure enough about it to stand up and walk both ways on my first try.

Paul snapped some sick photos, check his gallery here. He took the ample opportunity to give it a gross name. http://blackandredphotography.com/ariswallows/index.html

Ari is a professional athlete, author and filmmaker living in Bend Oregon. He and his wife organize adventure travel trips around the globe.

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