Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Praha - Slackline Paradise

I received some news from 'czech brother' Kwjet about big longline and highline session in Prague. In this case word "BIG" was really suitable. In the plans were a 152 meters longline in 'Stromovka' Park and a 57 meters highline called "Wild Sarah". That was Kwjet's one year old highline project. This was so tempting that I didn't even think about the decision - I just went there. I decided to hitch-hike to Prague because I did not have enough money for transportation and living expenses on the trip. I took Faith to the bus to the airport (she went to London for a week) and then started hitch-hiking. It took a very short time to get to my destination (5 hours and 3 rides). I went by metro from "Cerny Most" to "Ferenc" station where I met with Kwjet. We spend the whole evening drinking beer and smoking joints with our czech friends (Smolda, Peeto and Klara). The night before I left I only slept about 2 hours so I became tired very quickly. When I got to Kwjet's apartment I fell asleep like a brick.
The next day Kwjet woke me
up really early and we went for some longline action. We set up 97 meters and 152 meters longlines.

Our set up for 152 meters longline :)

More friends arrived to longline (I don't remember all names). Kolouch and my polish friend Damian showed up when the lines was already hanging.
For the warm-up I on-sighted 97 meters line which had about 1,5 meters of sag. Before me Kwjet walked it in this style without any problem
of course. He must be some kind of longline-machine ;).
I tried 152 meters longline and I walked it OS & full-man. I was really happy. I pushed my longline limits again in the best style.

On the 152 meters longline in "Stromovka" Park

Damian Czermak also walked this line. He did it one way on his 2nd try and other OS. For the rest of the day I was playing on the lines, listening to some really good D&B sets, having fun. I walked 152 meters longline 4 times without falling and many, many times 97 meters line.

Damian on the 152 meters longline

After the longline session we moved to Kwjet's house to rest and eat a bit and then went for some Urban Ninja Highline action in the centre of Prague next to the National Theatre. We rigged 36 meters long highline 6 meters above the river, between the stone column of a fence and a tree on the other side. We didn't use any back-up, only webbing - "White Magic" attached to slackline-bananas (this webbing is 31kN strength). That was enough, and even if we would add back-up there you would fall into water anyway. It made this highline a little bit harder (you didn't want to take a whipper) and it was pretty dark. It was really hard on the way to the tree. You could hardly see the end of webbing. The other direction it was easier because there were some lamps on a street nearby. Kwjet went first. After a couple of catches he walked it full-man.

Kwjet going for the first ascent :) ...

Kwjet after perfect slackline/highline day - pure happiness! ;)

I went after Kwjet. Luckily I walked OS & full-man, but at one time I was really close to falling and catching the webbing.

Prague's Ninjas Gap - OS & full-man

After me was Damian. He walked it, and on the way back he even surfed the line a bit.

Damian "Daemon" Czermak - surfing on a line

This highline was walked by Petr "Peeto" Kucera and Kolouch as well. Congrats for everyone!
After beautiful end of this epic day we went to a bar, drank some beer, listened to rock music and went back to Kwjet's to sleep. We needed to rest a bit before D-Day - setting up and attempting the 57 meters long highline "Wild Sarah".

Photo gallery from the 1st day (longline session and urban highline action)

Video from the "Ninja Urban" Highline by Kolouch

Next day we went for the most important part of our trip to Prague - "Wild Sarah" Highline. It is located on the outskirts of the town. To get there from Kwjet's place we had to go by tram, metro and one more tram. The way there took almost one hour, but it was worth it. It's really rad that right in this city you have beautiful highline place with a lot of potential (Kwjet has one highline project there called "Mother-fucker" and it's about 80m long. There is space even for something longer!) .

Highline Paradise

Rigging was really nice. Both anchors were totally natural. We used 9m long 2 tons slings (with 7:1 factor) and clip to them webbing and 8mm diameter dynamic back-up rope. We used 3 tons orange webbing and leave pulleys system on a webbing. Everything was backed-up. After pulling and taping the line Kwjet went for the first ascent. The line looked really shaky, and Kwjet which is really good in highlining and looks normally really stable that time had big struggle on the line. I thought it's not a good sign ...

Kwjet attempting 57 meters long "Wild Sarah" Highline

I tried the "Wild Sarah" highline after him. I had some really good attempts. My best one was when I got somewhere to the middle and then took a big whipper. The line was too lose. I even didn't expect that I would fly so far away from the webbing! It just happened in a split of second. Damian also had some really good attempts.
After this we decided we needed to un-tape the line, release the pulleys system, remove slack from slackline-banana on the other side and then tight the webbing more. That was a lot of work, but it was good decision. I went again with a good mood and hopefully quite a clear mind. On my second try I was really close to the end however the leash fell out from my harness belt and I stepped on it a couple of times the fell at the end. On the third try after big fight I reached the second and.

Going for the first ascent ... :D
For me it was the best highline moment ever. I felt so pumped and happy. Kwjet tried it one more time and after some nervousness and shakiness at the begging he got in the zone and walked the rest of the line as if in a trance. It was great to watch him. Damian had some really good attempts, but it was getting dark, and all of us were quite tired.

Damian on the "Wild Sarah" Highline

I was talking with Kwjet about our ascent about half an hour without any breaks. We were so happy! That was really a special moment. We didn't have time and strength to walk it back but we'll return to finish. Damian and I had to go earlier to the railway station. We missed out train and stayed in Kwjet's apartment one more night. In the morning we went back to Poland and that was the end ... Thanks again for everyone who made all of this possible!

Pictures Gallery from the "Wild Sarah" Highline

Video from "Wild Sarah" by Kolouch :)

Peace & SlackOn!

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