Monday, May 6, 2013

US Trip 2013 - Take 7; Humboldt Madness

Last weekend Jordan, Jerry and I had a pleasure to visit Arcada during first 'Humboldt Highline/Longline Festival'. Humboldt is mainly known from the THC (trickline competition originally started by Andy Lewis, which is on now for quite few years). It must be said even though the highlines rigged during the festival are tree-highlines they are really epic and some of them pretty exposed. Red Woods is quite magical place. Massive sequoias covered with moss, green dells coated in ferns makes it really cool experience and perfect highline spot. I had no idea that sequoias have common root system so they are one of the biggest if not the biggest living organism on our planet (!)

Jerry rigging (photo by Jordan Tybon)
More of Jerry rigging (photo by Jordan Tybon)

I drove from Davis together with my friend Jerry and Jordan joined us few hours later after few last skydives in Lodi at the morning. The way to Arcada was truly beautiful and we definitely saw more then few 'highlineable' spots on the way. We arrived late afternoon and went to the forest to check some highlines and rig some more. Unfortunately the organizer of the event couldn't be there with us because of some important business so our three finished rigging 4 highlines, finishing the festival with six lines in total (not bad at all) ...

Rigging on the "Over The River" (photo by Jordan Tybon)
Jerry clipping second pulley system to the back-up webbing (photo by Jordan Tybon)

When we showed up on the spot one short line was rigged ("Stumpy" Highline) and few people were hanging out. I met some of them during our short trip to Yosemite but most of them I had a pleasure to meet for the first time. I don't think I need to say it again but ... highliners are awesome people!

Jerry sending the "Over The River" Highline (photo by Jordan Tybon)
Jerry on the 41m line (photo by Jordan Tybon)

Together with Jerry we rigged another fun highline (41m length on double Type-18 MKII) and cruised it after rigging. I got a nice relaxing freesoloco on the "Stumpy" and Jordan send it pretty much at night in a beltloop-swami (that was pretty scary to watch). After that we went to eat and crush to rage next day.

On of many free-solo sends on the "Stumpy" (photo by Jordan Tybon)

We spent most of the Saturday rigging next free-lines. We got 65m "Over The River", 23m "Through The Woods" and 50m "To The Grandfathers House We Go". Both 65m and 50m were rigged on double Type-18 MKII. BTW I love my new highline set-up which is green and dark blue Type-18 MKII taped together. It looks just beautiful.

Still we managed to squeeze in a few walks. After an ankle leash got to free-solo 23 meter line which was reasonably high and exposed as for a tree-highline. It was really nice experience. It is kind of weird that you can not step of the line, so as you walk towards the tree (which is your highest point) you need to gently grab it at the end and turn around to walk balk. Jordan sent the "To The Grandfathers House We Go" late afternoon and when I was walking it was almost completely dark but the line felt so good and with nice tunes it was no problem to send.

Freesoloco on the "Through The Woods" (photo by Jordan Tybon)

To set up "Over The River" and "To The Grandfathers House We Go" I had to climb these huge trees for even 25 meters up high. I used my 2 slings method which worked great, trailing the rope behind to rappel down and work freely on the highline anchor when I got to the right spot. I will describe this method in a future post on rodeolining here on my blog as well as in Slack Science.

Climbing huge sequoias was challenging but fun (photo by Jordan Tybon)
Switching to higher spanset (photo by Jordan Tybon)

On Sunday we could finally have all day designated for sending. Jerry raged hard trying some crazy korean butt-bounce combinations on the loose 65m highline, followed by bunch of rad and really long exposure turns presenting as usual amazing sense of balance and control on the lines.

Jerry and Chris performing double exposure turn (photo by Jordan Tybon)

Jordan and I started a day on the 41m line. I got an ankle leash send and Jordan followed in a swami. Jordan continued crushing in a swami and presented some amazing skills surf-walking the 50 meter line. It was impressive. Surprisingly, I got solid ankle sent on the 50 meter line. We had a also nice free-solo sesh on three short lines (all in range of 21-23m length). It was really positive experience which built our confidence. I did a bit of walking looking straight down, exposure turns, double knee drops and other stuff. Jordan got some nice free-solo walking with hands in his pockets. It was bunch of fun!

Jordan being super psyched after good free-solo session (photo by Jan Gałek)
Jordan free-soloing 'like a boss' (photo by Jan Gałek)
Session on the "Stumpy" Highline (photo by Jordan Tybon)
Jordan free-soloing the "Through The Woods" (photo by Jordan Tybon)

By the time we got to the biggest line we were already pretty tired. After re-tensioning the line I got on it and managed to send OS-FM. I was really happy that I don't have to fight to much. Jordan was really close to send both ways but you could see he's body was not there anymore. We both exhausted our day energy limit. With help from bunch of others de-rigging went pretty fast and I was really glad my 'escape method' worked well enough to retrieve both spansets and rope from high end highline anchors.

Sending the 65 meter OS-FM (photo by Jordan Tybon)
Jordan on the 65 meter looking good (photo by Jan Gałek)

To top out great day we went to restore our energy by eating delicious pizza and of course ice-cream. I wanted to say thanks to everyone who was there, people which let us stay at their homes and I'm hoping to see you soon in Humboldt or the other occasion!

P.S. Come to Lublin for the 5th edition of the legendary Urban Highline Festival ;)

Peace & SlackOn!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post. I am from California and went to school in Arcata. I live in Thailand now and this post made me miss Humboldt. Great pics and descriptive narrative. Thanks for the read.