|Climbing up to the top of the old rusty structure supporting unfinished bridge in Kiev/Ukraine|
The story begins at the last year Urban Highline Festival. I invited my friend and a great athlete Michael Kemeter to be a special guest. He came up with this job and proposed it to me and got me on team. Soon after the festival I was sitting on the plane to Kiev wondering what to expect. I have to say the whole thing was amazingly well organized. First day was pretty chill. Mich and I went through almost our entire ‘pocket money’ dining at our fancy hotel. Soon we had to ask for more. It was good to be spoiled slackliner for once. The same day we checked the highline spot. It was an unfinished bridge in a center of the city. I have no idea if they’re going to finalize the project any time soon but it sure didn’t look like.
|Location with both lines rigged|
Both lines finished to be 35 meters long, 40 meters above the bridge and around 70m to the water level. Next day we rigged the lines using Mich’s gear. It was quite interesting set-up. We used Aeon for the main line and dynamic rope for back up. It served its purpose pretty well especially because we had to race on these lines. Mich and I split the first ascents and so one line was named “Dawaj, Dawaj!” (Common, Common) and “Haraszo” (OK) …
|Getting psyched in one of the TV-vans ...|
|We were shocked how many TV-vans showed up at the morning ...|
We did some rehearsals and some extra shots like close ups of our faces trying to look serious, gears shots, walking with harness on and other not really interesting things. We also had to do a bit of tricks on the lines while it was raining. My conclusion was; Aeon is slippery but when it is wet can be deadly.
|Mich as a dark-character ;)|
Slowly we were getting ready for our race. The day was coming soon. Mich got the black uniform and I got the red. We did some practice runs with bunch of GoPro’s (to the point when it’s almost uncomfortable to walk). The rules were presented and explained to us. Each of us had to start sitting on the line on given signal, walk to the other side as soon as we could, get the key, charge back, open the big case and wave the flag - quite simple and ridiculous. The organizers wanted to have a fair race but also keep the drama. We had to record some extra falls and stuff then and after that the real deal. Watched by many Ukrainians which were betting on who’s going to win and shouting a lot (I guess they were paid to, I never saw people excited so much about highlining...) we started our race. Both of us were going quite fast. I got to the other side just a bit before Mich and as quickly as I could clipped the key to my harness. I guess Mich was a bit confused and I started my walk back a bit in front of him. We were running back to the other side and I could almost feel Mich’s breath on my back. I got first, quickly opened the case and waved the red flag. That was an easy money – sweet ;).
|Just before the race|
|Cameras ready ...|
We got to hang out a bit in Kiev, saw the Russian BASE-jumper hucking off the bridge and landing in the river and even climbed at the local bouldering gym – that was really awesome. It was pretty crazy to get paid in dollar bills in Ukraine. That was a great and funny trip and good times with my buddy – big thanks to Mich and the whole crew involved in a project!
|Hanging out with Mich ;)|
|Monkey Business as usual ... he, he|