It’s 8am; my alarm is screaming at me to get up.
A cup of maté and I am human again. I find a pleasant surprise in my email, class has been canceled today. Time to slackline.
Josh calls me as I’m packing a longline rig.
“Hey man, want to go rig a new 100 foot highline at Golden Bowl?”
There’s only one response to this question – hell yeah! Tuesday’s are for getting rad!
Mickey and I pack up for the day – food, water, harness, jackets. Toss empty (not for long, though) packs in the truck and hit 93, about an hour late. This is fairly typical, known as the ‘Boulder start’ or the complete opposite of an ‘alpine start’. A beautiful, blue-bird sky hangs over Eldo as we head south towards Golden.
Gear sorted, bags packed (light day – ~30lbs. I’d guess), stoke elevated. Time to highline. Tuesday’s are for getting rad.
Golden Bowl, established by Josh and Buck, has three lines, Golden Ticket (~180′), Golden Shower (~170′) and this new 100 footer. The new line has yet to be named as it is customary for the first person to send (walk the length without falling) the line, gets to name it. For example, I walked Golden Shower first and got the opportunity to piss off (lovingly, of course) Josh by naming a lineGolden Shower (Google it, if you’re unaware why this is funny) in his new area, while Scott (who came up with the name) took the high road and named the other one Golden Ticket after his FA (first ascent/ across).
We hike along the base of the cliffs in Golden, a pretty mellow walk along (or on top of) a concrete wall to get to the beginning of the approach. We walk casually to the start of the approach, until the turn-off at which point things take a turn for the class 4. Sketchy, loose scrambling ensues up this steep ravine to get to the bowl. I tighten the straps of my pack to make sure the load doesn’t shift and send me off into steep skree and start pounding away at this trail. A few tumbling rocks, a boulder-y face problem and some general sketchiness later, Josh, Mickey and I start the rig. This line, unlike the lines in Boulder Canyon, is bolted which makes the task of rigging slightly easier. The bolts are 5 1/2 to 7 inches deep and .5″ around (in other words, crazy strong), five bolts per side. Josh and I head up to the pulley side and start building a sliding x with some spansets (a sliding x is a self-equalizing anchor, meaning that you can load 3-5 bolts equally and if any part of the spanset breaks, the whole thing will re-equalize and catch; read – we won’t die if something fails). Mickey tackles the static side in a similar manner. It goes pretty smoothly, there was some blood shed attempting to ‘clean’ (move any rocks that could potentially fall) the area, but as always, the line requires a blood sacrifice (seriously, highlining gets bloody).
Rig accomplished, time to get rad. Josh gets the first walk on this line with a smooth full-man (walked both ways without falling) onsight (first time trying the line) FA which is no small feat. With this walk, A Little Slice of Golden (100′) is born. Though this line is by no means out of our collective comfort range (Josh and Mickey helped to write the book on steezy highlining), it’s still a highline and highlines are scary! I followed suite with a full-man onsight for the second. Mickey, never to be out-done, throws on a pair of shackles, or a piece of rope going from ankle to ankle under the line, as his only safety and cruises a solid FMOS. Three full-man walks and not a whip to be seen; Tuesday’s are for getting rad.
We played on the line for another couple hours. It’s amazing, super cruiser and a fair amount of exposure off to one side. I threw in my headphones, put on some music (I was feeling Citizen Cope that day) and got 3 solid walks in. I have to say, getting to spend the day doing something so ridiculously awesome with great friends beats sitting in class, even if you’re pretty scared.
The funny thing about the fear associated with highlining, for me at least, is that no matter how many lines I’ve done it, I’m never less scared to step out there. I’ve learned how to mitigate that fear, push it down, by breathing and focusing but I can always feel it there, nagging at me to break my concentration and succumb to it. It’s that little voice in your head that tells you ‘go back’ ‘what are you doing?’ ‘you can’t do this’. Here’s what I’ve learned though – the louder that voice is, the harder you need to push yourself and the reward will be well worth it. I’m not advocating jumping off a cliff because your brain tells you not to (unless you have a ‘chute, then 3,2,1 SEE YA!) but your ability usually exceeds your perception of your ability. Just breathe, trust yourself and take that step and the next and the next, whatever it is in life. The only time things go to shit (highlining or in life) is when you hesitate or panic and doubt yourself. Just keep moving forward and remember, Tuesday’s are for getting rad.
Thanks for reading my inaugural post. I can’t wait to share more of my experiences with you guys so check back for more postings. Big thanks to Belong Designs LLC for making this happen!
Now go outside and immerse yourself in your passion.
***Do you like the jacket that Seth Brown is wearing in the photo above?? If so, you'll love to hear that after a year of prototyping, we'll be releasing the first Belong Colorado Jacket (Both a Colorado Ski Jacket and a Colorado Snowboard Jacket) in mid to late August!! As the founders of a prominent Colorado Brand, we know you'll love the Colorado Clothing and the Colorado Jackets!
Still stoked on reading this? Check out why Belong backs these beliefs: http://belongdesigns.com/pages/ourstory