Over the past 7 years I have been practicing Balance on a 1 inch wide slackline. Forever grateful for this amazing tool, I recognize the wisdom and passion it has brought in to my life. Beyond actual "balance", the slackline has taught me how to balance my life. Balance is an arrangement of happiness and passion for me.
From here I would like to add to expand on my concept of true BALANCE. and maybe just rant on about recent things going on in my life :)
I am happy. I am grateful. I feel ALIVE, I feel passion. Over the past couple months I havent spent much time on the line itself. I started out my summer slacklining in Argentina over a sports arena- and let me tell you, it was a trip of a lifetime. Once I returned stateside I prepped for the Breathe Festival. This consisted of many emails, packing trailers, lots of building and logistic planning. The event ended up a huge success. Things went really smoothly and we received tons of positive feedback. Everything about my BREATHE experience was truly incredible.
Breathe is always my favorite week of the year. It was unbelievable to see how many people really took initiative into the creation of this years' event.
I found LOVE.
While at Breathe I met one of the most amazing people I have ever laid eyes on. Words were not needed, our spirits connected. It was amazing to feel the powers of the universe at work. Breathe brought us together and I am forever grateful for that. Spending the past couple of months with Lorin has been the most transformational and happiest times of my life.
Balance is something you live, not practice.
Since July my time has been spent in Alaska, chilling out in my cozy colorado home, beach side in Key West Florida, studying in the classroom and shredding on my local bike trails.
Alaska was great because I left the highline gear at home and just focused on backpacking through the wilderness with my best friends. We saw amazing wildlife along with the tallest peak in North America.
School started back up and I am as busy as ever. Juggling full time academics can be a chore in of itself. Returning to school has been of the best decisions of my life. I go to school every day eager to learn more and push myself harder and harder.
I rediscovered my passion for mountain biking! I spent the past few weekends up in Winter Park cruising the downhill trails. Unfortunately I occurred a small fracture in my femur along with a torn quadricep, but I am healing quick and almost ready to get back after it.
Found the new hobby of pack rafting along with fly fishing! My wallet better hide now...
My day to days currently are consisting of tea drinking, physical therapy, early mornings, late nights working on school and business development, lots of pull ups, video chats with Lorin (she's in Patagonia working temporarily), throwing frisbees, casting lines and splurging on winter gear!
To sum everything up, I just wanted to take a few moments to recognize how grateful I am for everything that my life consists of. I feel BALANCE> and it is amazing.
Balance to me is...
Love. Slackline. Family. Music. Wilderness. Outdoors. School. Work. Friendship. Travel. Injuries. Happiness. Creativity. Sports. Yoga. Dreams. Pain. Passion.
5 Days of Training - Never Slacklined before; Final Goal, walk a highline!
I worked with Clint Carter to help him walk his first highline! Check it!!!!
This video says it all! Please check out the full write up @https://www.menshealth.com/guy-wisdom/adventurist-60-foot-high-line
A dream came to life this summer. We organized the first successful rig of the Maiden Highline in the Flatirons outside of Boulder, CO. This amazing tower highline has been on our list for the past few years. With inspiration from good friends Carl Marvin and Taylor Van Allen, we committed to an early morning IN/OUT mission. This had to be a one day project because we cant leave a fixed line overnight in the flatirons. Coming in at about 100 meters long we rigged the mainline on Slacklife BC's Skypilot webbing with Balance Community's Aero 1 webbing as the backup.
My buddy Carl Marvin is a para glider, climber, trail runner, aerospace engineer and certified BADASS. Carl had climbed the Maiden many times before presenting the project idea to me a few years ago. At the time, these lengths of highlines were very long! For a couple years, the conversation kept arising but it was hard to find a time that worked with the Raptor Closures.
Taylor Van Allen also had his eyes on the Maiden. Taylor, Evan, Brian, Tyler and Hayley even attempted the project in 2016 but came to find out that one of the formations was closed due to Raptor Nesting. Taylor and I have done many projects together in the past but somehow we both stumbled on to the topic of the Maiden Highline. Taylor was nice enough to entertain the idea of combining crews and go for the rig!
The final team was a mix of Boulder/Golden/Fort Collins slackers -
Taylor Van Allen
"How many friends do you have that you can literally say I trust you with my life?"
Highlining is a team effort. Knowledge of technical rigging, strong communication and the ability to make decisions is what makes a great highline team. This was the dream team!
The Rig went "all natural." This means that no permanent hardware was installed in order to rig the line. We were able to sling the rock using a large amount of static rope, amsteel and spansets. From our knowledge this was the first line to be established in the flatirons. Since then a few other lines have gone up from the local slackers in the front range.
We started the morning at Evan Andrew's house around 2 am. Arrived at the parking lot about 3 am and then we were off! We arrived to the maiden before sunrise and witnessed the magic of the clouds engulf the tower! The sunrise was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. The rig was flawless and the line was up shortly after sunrise!
As a team we decided to name the line "Maiden Colorado"
Whats Next -
Maybe we can organize the First to the Third Flatiron soon! But regardless, the Maiden has a special place in my heart!
November 2016 - Doug Main, Kyle Kerns and Dakota Collins rigged this beautiful highline in Indian Creek just outside of Monticello Utah. The "Mars" looking rock wall added some amazing walking visuals along with an amazing sense of exposure. The line was rigged on Slacklife BC lion webbing with Slack.FR's Moonwalk webbing as our backup. The Combination was perfect and created a stable and soft experience.
Day 1 we tagged the line and fed the webbing across just in time before a thunderstorm came in. The line was crossing across a sandstone alcove with the North and South Six Shooters as the audience.
Feeding over 950 feet of double up webbing is no easy task with a team of 2. (1 person on each side. ) Special thanks to Simon and Meg for coming to the rescue helping with this task!
Doug rigged the static side and pulled the webbing over by himself. We are able to have one person rig the static side on longer lines in combination with a Protraxion, Handheld Ascender and tagline thats thick enough to fit into the Protraxion. This allows for a capture progress system that can be manned by one person.
On the Tensioning side we fed out the webbing through a redirect systyem using 3 "Slacktivity Hangovers." This helped keep the webbing off the cliff while we fed it out of the haul bag.
The line was rigged and we begun the session! It's amazing to feel the space these kind of lines can allow for you to experience. The amazing sandstone backdrop made us feel far away from our colorado granite.
Our anchors consisted of 10mm static rope with whoopie sling bolt tie offs to the master point. We then extended out the placement of our weblocks over the cliffside to minimize abrasion with a 6 foot purple spanset. I prefer this method in moab because it reduces the concern for cliffside webbing damage.
Our walking session ended early due to nasty wind, but our trip continued to the valley floor splitter cracks! Indian Creek has so much potential for long and aesthetic highlines. I can't wait to get back out there and rig more!
Special thanks to :
Balancing Earth Slacklines
Kyle Kerns Photography Credit
November 18th is coming up soon! Im headed out to Moab with Doug Main and Kyle Kerns for a trip of highlines and crack climbing. Our goal for the trip is to rig a 300 meter(1000 feet) long new highline to project over the week. Our intention is to establish the line in the Indian Creek area but we will see if that works out.
I recently purchased a new webbing from Slacklife BC called Lion. I now have a 365 meter piece of it. It is a polyester dyneema hybrid weighing in at 35 grams per meter! This webbing is so legit, with the ease of single wrap in a weblock and soft edges, this webbing is a dream to walk. We recently rigged the Palace Tower line at 130 meters doubled up and it walked so stable with some awesome bounce. Im really looking forward to having it rigged up at 1000 feet long in the Moab sky.
Im not sure if Doug and I will spend much time at GGBY this year, last year it got a little crowded and we hope to spend our fall break walking lines as much as possible.
( "Big Melons" 190 feet long from 2014)
If you have not checked out the Slacklife BC Lion webbing yet, check it out here http://slacklifebc.com/products/webbing/lions-line-hightech-webbing/
Right now this is my favorite webbing- It is so lightweight, strong and soft. I believe Lion is the perfect balance between playful, stable and riggable. It holds well with use of the Line Grip, and holds great in my Alpine Weblocks and Purelocks. My only regret is not buying a bigger piece! The color is awesome!
Stay tuned for a follow up with our Moab trip! @dakotaslackline
A Lightweight, compact, efficient weblock
I have tried most weblocks on the market now. The Pure Lock is now one of my new favorites. Easy pre-tensioning and slick pin lock technology places this weblock amongst the best on the market!
I have been utilizing the "buckingham" tensioning method for recent highlines (Hangover + Linegrip). It's a great way to efficiently get lines snugged up without requiring much room in the pack. I used the purelock in combination with the new Lion webbing from Slacklife BC for my first testing of the product.
Initially concerned to use the purelock with a new hi-tech webbing, after a weekend of long highlining with the two products I can say that we didn't have 1 inch of webbing slippage at all! The webbing pre-tensioned so easily and held with absolutely no slipping on a hand tensioned 125meter line. (WOOOHOOOO!!!!) This is awesome news, rigging longer looser lines is notorious for webbing slippage now a days. The purelock centered the webbing and allowed for me to visually inspect to make sure no twists or issues were happening.
Benefits - A one stop shop! The shackle is built into the weblock device so it eliminates the need for additional hardware to attach to various anchors. In combination with the shackle and lock it still weighs in less than the Alpine Weblock 4.0 which is an exceptionally light, strong weblock. Both weblocks are rated to a 60kn breaking strength.
The sliding pin is an awesome feature that makes rigging with super easy. The clicking sound the lock makes once you feed the webbing through is such a satisfying sound!
Longlining with the Balancing Earth Type 18 CG4 and pure lock - Type 18 is my favorite webbing and in combination with the purelock I found the pretensioning to be excellent along with the way it sat connected to my pulleys! Straight forward - super functional out in the longline fields.
Cons - Although the pin is attached to the shackle permanently you still have to worry about dropping the actual weblock insert when inserting in to the master point. I would almost feel better if the product was equipped with some sort of a leash between both mechanisms to help relieve the stress of dropping the small web lock insert off the cliff. Price - I think most aluminum weblocks on the market are still steep on price. It would be great to see weblocks similar to the purelock selling for under $100.00
Conclusion - A slick design that is super light! This weblock will definitely be joining me on all of my alpine highline projects. The pre tensioning function is the most efficient out of any other weblock I have tried so far. You can find more information on the pure lock at http://pureslacklines.com/pages/purelock
I was not paid or given this product for free to conduct this review.
GALLERY from the 426' - Courtesty of SCOTT HARDESTY MEDIA
First Ascent of the "GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE" Highline in Joshua Tree
Gallery from "GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE" Courtesy of SCOTT HARDESTY MEDIA
Special support from MOUNTAINSMITH , VOLTAIC, BALANCING EARTH SLACKLINES, SCOTT HARDESTY MEDIA
Mountainsmith hooked us up with an incredible pack that fit all the slackline gear I needed it to. It was very abrasion resistant and held up to Joshua Tree's sharp granite amazingly. Tons of organization and the frame extremely secure for those heavy highline packs! http://mountainsmith.com/
Voltaic kept our cameras charging! Scott was able to charge his cameras completely off their mobile panel and battery cell setup. It's so cool using the sun to keep all of our technology fully powered!I was very impressed by how fast and efficient the whole set up was. http://www.voltaicsystems.com/
Balancing Earth Slacklines is just such an incredible company to work with. We are always very impressed with the gear they are putting out onto the market. The "RASTA LEASH" is the most burly, bomber, secure leash available. We have no worries when it comes down to this extremely safe leash setup. Great way to add some color and security to your highline rig! http://www.balancingearthslacklines.com/
Stay Tuned ... VIDEO COMING SOON!!!!
Check out what it looks like to be on the line above Yosemite valley!
Lost Arrow Spire & The Rostrum
Mission : Joshua Tree's Longest Highline
2 Years ago in Joshua Tree (At the time J Trees Longest Highline (240')
The spot Bouldering Gym- Boulder Colorado
Highballs and Highlines is a night known to slackliners all across the front range of Colorado. This weekend was awesome- huge thanks to all the amazing slackliners and friends! The spot bouldering gym works with Slackline Industries to bring a night of slacklines, raffles, giveaway, spacenets and climbing! My favorite part of the night was watching my good friend Michael Payton nailing the Frontflip Feet to Feet on climb spec tubular!!
Thug Mansion - Space Net with Float Line
The new 220meter long highline at the FRUIT BOWL
Atlantis ~170' & BONGZILLA ~180'
GGBY Highline Fest
The "Thug-Mansion" space net was epic. It was constructed of 2 nets with a "Float Line" between the 2 nets! Way to go for the rad idea Andy Lewis!
Indian Creek Crack Climbing
1617' Long Highline on Castleton Tower in Moab Utah!!!!!!
The line was so off level (maybe 85 feet?) not to mention the near 100 feet of sag- So walking near the anchors is pretty much like walking up a steep slope.
Aaron and I woke up the next morning and sat to a nice breakfast in Moab and then headed out to the fruitbowl. At Castleton Tower I reunited with a slackline friend Anthony Boulay. Along with Anthony was Julien Desforges from SlacklineMontreal. They told me they would be rigging up some lines at the fruit bowl so we joined them for the day. When we arrived at the bowl we met another highliner named Pete Thompson.
Together we rigged "Deans Line(140'ish) " and "Big-Melons"(190'). The 190 was rigged on Aero main and Tubular backup. Main line was barely tensioned. It was a very nice lightweight setup to walk across a great gap 500feet up. Check out the time lapse from the day below! We had a great day with Anthony, Julien and Pete but returned back home Sunday Night. Im home for the next 5 days but then returning out to Moab for GGBY and more desert shenanigans!!!!
Highline Shenanigans in Moab - Pre GGBY
Lessons I learned today - Patience is an extremely powerful tool to manifestation. You know you are in the right place at the right time when everything you want to happen starts happening.... Dreams do come true. DREAM BIG.
Teaser film from our recent trip to yosemite!
Recap on some of the highlines we rigged! - Below info on Lost Arrow Spire, Yosemite Falls 256'!!!!
Lost arrow and Yosemite Falls expedition
BETA; The classic spire line went up super quick! When I arrived to the spire I was a bit disappointed by the amount of bolts on top of the spire but understood the history of the fixed hardware put in.
Static side we used 4 bolts and on the flake side we used 2 #3 camalots and 2 #4 camalots in the crack. We backed up the entire rig with the static rappel line. The anchor looked really good and raged! Davis, Alejandro, and myself got the onsight full man. My second walk, I took off my clothes and walked the spire naked! Later that night I also tried walking the line under the full moon! Truly and incredible experience!
The nose side has 3 Bomber 50 kn glue in eye bolts that work great for the line. In order to reach the bolts we threw down a 100 meter piece of static rope down the granite cliffside. The tensioning side was 4 bolts out at the farthest point of the cliff. The rig was so exposed and beautiful! As soon as we rigged the line, alejandro gave it a crossing with a few falls. I was next and walked the entire 256' line ONSIGHT! Davis followed with a crossing with just a couple falls as well. We raged the line for 3 days!
"Yosemite Falls X2" 256' 2000 feet high!
taft point-camp 4 & friends
We decide to start the trip up at Taft point the next day. We had 4 riggers so we rigged up both lines (170' and 100'ish?) in the afternoon . Werigged both lines on type 18 main- dynamic Rope backup. Last time I visited Taft point I only rigged the smaller line and seshed it super hard. This time I was able to experience the exposure of the 170' and was very thrilled! I walked the line onsight(meaning my first attempt at the line I walked it completely without falling) with quite a bit of sag!
Our buddy Alejandro from Argentina who we met in camp 4, met us up at Taft point as well. We were lucky enough to drive the van which alluded for a short approach. Alejandro on the other hand had to hike from the valley floor all the way up! Maybe 7 miles uphill?? Quite a hike and a great Slackline friend!
The falls are flowing! They have been dry since July but Yosemite received some intense rain this past week and has a good amount of water coming down the couple thousand foot rock face :) Davis, Simone, Ron, and Alejandro left this morning to rig the line- I had to wait back in camp due to a shoulder/elbow injury I acquired. So today I'm healing, and to be honest I don't think there Is a better place on earth than Yosemite valley to spend for a rest day!
Camp 4 is popping off! Davis and I keep joking around about it being a shanti town of climbers and Highliners haha There's a devil raccoon that keeps stealing people's belonging and trash, then he runs into the forest or up high in the trees. One guy got in a tug o war fight with the coon over his backpack!! We are coincidentally camped right next to a group of European Highliners that plan to stay for a bit longer and sesh some lines with us! We plan on rigging the big falls line about 260' with them.
We also had a great opportunity hanging with friends Amie, Dane, and Kate. Too many laughs and bad jokes.
Big slack lines, more friends, and amazing star watching along the horizon :).
Here's s shot of the static side.
Great success but man do I hurt...
One year ago, I was fortunate enough to be hired out for the Monster Energy cup to perform on some slacklines with the Rocky Mountain Slackline crew. Well, Im going back this year! In fact were leaving for Las Vegas tomorrow! And after the event I have already decided that I am going to stay on the road and hit up yosemite for some highlines._
Packing all this gear it ridiculous - Heres a rough list on some fun gear were bringing for the month long adventure
Bringing a few thousand feet of combined different webbings, 18 crash pads, few highline rigs, a few trad racks and another combined thousand+ feet of ropes.
Plan to rig - All the classic lines yosemite has to offer -I definitely am super stoked on the taft point 170, the new long lost arrow spire line (170-190 foot range not sure) and the newly established falls 200 plus foot highline and of course some monsters :) Who know what can happen when you have a new 1110 foot piece of type 18 from BalancingEarth!!!!!
I'll keep you updated on our travels and of course post lots of pictures and video. Especially keep up on my instagram @dakotaslackline
Until then here's some eye candy from this past weekend Highlining in the
"Moose In the Meadow" 400+ Foot long highline Vedauwoo,WY
"Moose in the Meadow" - This is a 400+ foot long highline freshly sent in Vedauwoo. Vedauwoo is a magical area in southern Wyoming. Known for world class crack climbing, the area now has a world class quality highline established in the Blair area. The story behind the name is incredible- During the rigging, I was walking to one of the anchors and came just a few feet away from a Moose and her baby! Startled I slowly backed up and gave them space. Once the line was rigged, I finished the walk and starred in to the sunsetting meadow. There I saw the moose and her calf grazing in the meadow. This line was so incredible and the energy from nature was all around. This line made me feel very small and humble. While I was inching across this 400 foot long highline the moose was matching my steps far below... Credit out to Doug Main, Davis Dailey, Ron Doremus, Kaleb Collins, Simon Schaad, Sean Kirkpatrick,Bianca Anderson, Carl Marvin, Meg, Molly, Justin,
All Natural Rigging
Flat Irons Highline
Indian Creek Highline
Joshua Tree Longest Highline
Joshua Tree- Longest Highline
Peak To Peak Collective
Slackline Bounce Tricks