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!
Indian Creek Highline - 950 Feet long
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