San Francisco brothers set a California record with dizzying highline stunt

·2 min read
<span>Photograph: Scott Oller/Associated Press</span>
Photograph: Scott Oller/Associated Press

Two brothers from San Francisco say they have set a record for the longest highline ever walked in both Yosemite national park and California, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Earlier this month, they and a group of friends spent nearly a week stringing a single, 2,800ft (853-meter) line from Taft Point west across a series of gulleys that drop 1,600ft.

Related: Free solo … with a permit: will Yosemite’s new rules put a damper on climbing culture?

Moises and Daniel Monterrubio, brothers who are training to be rope-access technicians, had been thinking about traversing that void for a year.

“Every time we’d go out there, we’d think about that line,” said Moises Monterrubio, 26, to the Chronicle.

Highlining is essentially a version of slacklining (which has less tension than a tightrope) done at high altitude. It involves stringing a narrow strip of strong, nylon webbing between two anchor points and using it as a kind of balance beam. The highline is typically an inch wide and a few millimeters thick.

Walkers wear a waist-harness that links to a steel ring, meaning that if they fall they will still be attached but have to haul themselves back up on the line or crawl to an anchor point.

The sport in the past decade has flourished into a culture of athletes, gear brands and sponsorships.

The Chronicle reports that, over a period of six days, the Monterrubios enlisted friends and fellow highliners to set up their anchors, which spanned a set of granite boulders at Taft Point and an old, thick tree trunk at the other end.

“It was pretty intense and dangerous. But we made it happen,” Monterrubio said.

The group received permission from national park staffers in advance, he said.

The new line was almost three times as long at the previously longest line walked in Yosemite – a 954ft line extending from Taft Point to an anchor east.

The brothers walked the line at sunset on 10 June. Daniel, 23, walked first and fell three or four times but made it across, followed by Moises, who also fell twice but caught himself.

In the following days, friends took turns on the line, most of them falling as well.

Eventually, Moises walked the line in 37 minutes without a fall. Eugen Cepoi, a fellow highliner and Moises’s mentor, also made it across, the Chronicle reports.

“The most rewarding part was seeing all my friends at the anchor excited about just having it done,” Moises said. “I value that more than crossing.”

Yosemite is known for attracting extreme adventure seekers. Earlier this year, a pair of skiers descended the treacherous slope of Half Dome. The park recently introduced a permitting system for overnight rock climbs, amid ongoing concerns for climbing’s effects on the park’s unique landscape.

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