October 19, 2017

I used to be a raft guide on the McKenzie River. If the trip went along as planned, we would pull off the highway and give our guests a moment to admire my favorite waterfall on the planet, Sahalie falls. She is a beautiful 92′ fall, crystal blue water cascading into a giant punchbowl. The entire river is lined with old-growth trees, moss on every inch of rock and countless types of beautiful mushrooms popping up through the soil. Guest’s minds were constantly blown. The flow over the waterfall is always huge. The class V rapids above the fall give the water great momentum and turns the fall into a projectile tongue, launching into space off the cliff. It is one of the most magical places on the planet. I’m lucky enough to have seen it a thousand times, never loosing admiration of its power. It was in 2011 that Brian Mosbaugh rigged a highline over the falls and created a short edit of the adventure. I saw it and instantly became hooked on the idea of walking over the fall. At the time, I wasn’t a highliner, not even close. But I still dreamt of being above the falls on a wobbly rope. A few years later, with new skills, friends and gear, I orchestrated a mission to rig and walk the Sahalie falls line. I had 9 of us driving west when rain and hail turned us around. Three days later, we tried again. The weather cooperated and I was able to turn a long-lived dream into memories that I will never forget. The photo above is a screen shot from Wes’s Wildlookout Red Scarlet of my friend Conner Bennett walking late in the afternoon. Below is the aerial video from Jared Leisek at XPro Heli. Keep dreaming my friends.

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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