Dienstag, 18. September 2012

305m Longline onsight

Longlining is crazy. The webbing has the width of your thumb, is twice or maybe three times as thick as your T-shirt and when you stand in the middle, you can't see the anchors anymore - the line just disappears in each direction.
On the other hand, this is something like the purest form of slacklining for me. No height, no fear, no tricks, no long hikes. Nothing to distract you from the pure difficulty of walking.
The first time i tried 200m with Michi Aschaber it would have been world record. I was amazed by the feeling and was the only one to fight to the middle. When I tried 231 later on the first Days of Distance longlinemeeting (also world record distance), I fell 30m from the end. Then i stepped back from the game. I wasn't feeling comfortable with the safety margins and realized how close we were to the limit on our first longlines. We were lucky not to rip our webbing.
I told myself that I never wanted to step on a longline again unless the tension was a maximum of half of the breaking strength - one third, if possible.
It took some time until I found my comfort again. This year it all came together. I walked 210m on Vectran, then 208m on Polyester. This was a great experience, but there was still this 310m piece of Vectran that I bought together with Michi Aschaber. We wanted to cut it so each of us could use his piece. But for some reason we waited ...
It was clear that we had to try and rig this piece of webbing to its full length. The day came that I met with Lukas Irmler on Michis longlinespot. With Lukas' 9:1 pulley system we were able to rig it easily. When the line was set we found that we misjudged the terrain. It was clear that I would feel the grass in the middle. So we gave it a little more tension (22kN). Still I was expecting to touch the ground. So when I stepped on the line it was just to see what it felt like.

In fact, it felt good.
It turned out that I really touched the grass in the middle, but not the ground. As always, I was wearing shoes so it didn't distract me that much. Three times I was really close to falling but I calmed down again. I will never forget the last 50 meters. I thought about falling at the end and how it would frustrate me. But on the other hand I realized that this possiblitiy of failure was what made this so exciting. I came to the conclusion that I was exactly where I wanted to be and that I loved life. This amazing feeling carried me through the last steps until I touched the tree after about 20 minutes of walking.
I have to admit, I didn't even try the fullman. When I started slacklining and did my first 100m and my frist highlines, I didn't know such a thing. When I cross it, it's over. You can't make it any better. At least for me.

Lukas also crossed the line after me. Later I found out that I set a record that day (a somewhat stupid one, I have to admit): I was the first to do a backflip on a slackline on the line AND walk 300m. Okay, just forget about it. :)

Some facts about the line:
The webbing was Vectran, 48g/m, breaking strength of 67kN. The tension was 22kN, which means about 2,6m of sag for my bodyweight.

Thanks to Adidas, AustriAlpin and slackline.at for the support!!