Montag, 22. Dezember 2014

Season 2014

Time for a MASSIVE season recap!
Last year was a fantastic adventure and I didn't think that this year could be any better. I was mistaken.

The season started really slow for me. I was keeping out of the spotlight and found time to do some low tension experiments. Being an old school slackliner this was something really new for me that – after a while – got me really interested. I had the best teachers: the slackliners from Vienna – Peter Auer, Harry – and some crazy Germans that most of you probably know: Juli Mittermaier, Lukas Irmler, Friedi Kühne. On a trip to Croatia I had a hard but cool learning experience.

As I got comfortable with slack highlines I got fascinated by the idea of not having a tensioning system when I go highlining, also on longer lines. (This one is 60m.)

Some experiments under the radar. I knew there was something big to come …
The next really cool thing was that I finally got permission to rig the highline over our local football stadium in Graz, a project that had already tried years ago. 

The show that we had planned to do for the American Football European Championship was cancelled due to a massive thunderstorm but during training I sent the line.
Believe it or not: It was my longest highline. This got me excited to try some big stuff again. I had been close on a 100m highline before but had experienced a setback partly due to a lack of spots in my home area. 
When I finally found a good 100m spot in my home mountains it took me a day to make the send on a pretty loose setup.

One question kept puzzling me: Would it be possible to rig lines like this without a pulley, on a light vectran webbing? I wanted to find out so I went to that same spot again a few weeks later, without a tensioning system. After a while I could cross it with one catch every time. When I finally sent it, we could pull the webbing in by hand. 

I found out soon that this approach would come in handy for some of the next projects …

Then the travelling started. First stop was Catania where I was again invited to be a judge for Red Bull Airlines. Always a good time with the crazy trickliners!
The next travel was a big one: I got invited to Iran by Mohammad Reza Abee, a highliner from Arak city. He was organizing the highline part of an international climbing festival in Bisotun. So I packed my 100m setup and took off for Iran. At a huge bigwall I rigged a 92m highline, just as long as the stadium line, but much higher and much more beautiful. I rigged it without a pulley as I hadn't brought one to the festival. So I took full advantage of my new style. I had a hard time with wind on this line and it took me a while to send it. Great festival! Thanks to the organizers and big thanks to the local climbers and highliners. It was so much fun with you guys!

Great year, right? 
But the year really just began. The big project was coming up. So much planning, so many expectations. A serious amount of stress. But a location that made up for it. Just about a week after returning from Iran I took off to Africa to set up and walk a highline at Victoria Falls, one of the biggest and most beautiful waterfalls in the world. Another crazy project with Lukas Irmler. 
How do you rate such a singular experience? It stands out and doesn't fit in. When it's over it really feels like you just dreamt it. But what a dream that was! 
For the team It was a big success to get the perfect media coverage. Not only did we have appearences in almost every news show on the planet (not joking, CNN, BBC, SKY, everyone), but also the quality of the story was outstanding. I was proud to show my passion for slacklining to the world in such quality.

A good year, right?
One could almost forget that before I became a slackliner I have been a writer for many many years. Pretty unsuccessful but pretty motivated. This year I published a fine novel. In German, sorry folks!
Again, what a year.