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Sedona, Arizona, United States
~Adventure Seeker ~ Animal Lover ~ Lifetime Learner ~ Battling Lyme ~ Contact: emily.sukiennik@me.com

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gobble Gobble Bitches Yeah 2



I had such a wonderful time on my week trip to Yosemite and Moab! We started out in Yosemite where we hiked up the Yosemite Falls trail to walk the long Spire line (115 feet I believe), but when we got up there, there were about 60 mph winds! It was unreal. So cold with the windo chill. We were all laughing hysterically as the line flew up and down in the wind. The only soul brave enough to try the line was Kornie, and he gave it about 3 respectable go's! He got about 10 steps or so and then said his toes were numb and he was confused about where he was. HA! Kinda funny if you think about it....standing in the middle of an abyss. Anyway! We wanted to wait for the weather to clear up but it wasn't looking good, so the next day we hiked back down in the snow to Camp 4 where we camped for the night. I passed out pretty early but I do remember lots of noise coming from the Polock's tent. :-P

The next day we decided to rig the Taft Point line, which is about 100 feet I think....but when we got to the Glacier Point Pass that would take us up there, it was closed!!!! SO BUMMED. I was psyched to try that line because it is right within my range of difficulty. Instead, we drove further down the road to a place called Mariposa Grove, where we set up a 150 ft. mid-line amongst the GIANT Sequoias. It was beautiful, and I walked it on my second try! It was great training for me because it was just high enough but the exposure was minimal. I felt really solid on it. I finally found a way to relax on the line; I've started repeating "in the moment, in the moment" with each step and it truly helps me realize the beauty of where I am and how capable my body is. Janek did a free solo of it, which was cool to watch. The SICK photo below is of Brian on the line, taken by Jordan Tybon (props!). OH! and this day....Brian and I were wrestling and my tooth collided with his head.....leaving my tooth loose! It still is, almost a week later. Uh oh....



The next day we set out on our 16 hour journey to Moab, UT where we would meet up with a bunch of highliners from across the US. The ride was extremely long, but the company was great. We even listened to Lord of the Rings on tape....which was, needless to say, hilariously entertaining. We arrived mid-day on the 23rd of Nov. and there were already 2 highlines rigged. One 40 footer and one 76. I started out on the 40 to warm up which I onsight full-babed (meaning- walked it on my first try, both directions). My first onsight full-babe! We had a campfire that night and laughed and laughed and laughed.

The next day I got on the 76 footer and walked it both directions...felt SUPER soild on it! Spent a lot of time on that line training my mind...back and forth. Then hopped on the 62 footer that Janek rigged, which felt kind of strange actually. Didn't feel so great on that line for some reason, maybe it was the tension (it was a bit tighter than the other ones). So....now I had walked three of 4 lines that were up, the next one being the 102 foot line. My personal best was set at about 90 feet and I really wanted to break that on the trip. The 102 footer was looming at me and I really started to freak out about it. For me, most of highlining is mental (and I think that's the case for most people). I know I can walk an 100 foot line. I've walked way longer than that close to the ground! So, clearly I was inhibiting myself mentally. I tried about 4 or 5 times and fell over and over again. I even got about half way across and fell, which was devestating!! I totally felt like I was in the zone. I decided to take a break, and that's when Jerry started to attempt the 177 foot line that had just gone up. (Below is a photo of 3 of the lines, the 62, the 76 and the 102....Janek, Kornie, and Damian)



I spent the rest of the day watching Jerry and others attempt the 177 foot line, which was honestly one of the most beautiful lines I have ever seen. I just sat in AWE of it....it was SO long, so exposed, so.....perfect. I was sure that Jerry would on-sight it, but he didn't. It's really crazy to some of the best slackliners be beaten! It reminds me that we are all human, and all struggle. Jerry gave it lots of go's, and then Mike Payton got on. He gave it about 2 or 3 tries, falling each of them. Then, on his 4th try he got into it....We all sat together on the ledge watching, gripping eachother with each step he took. Silence. He was still walking. His focus was apparent and he took his time like I've never seen before, catching his balance, breathing, fighting....and a full 10 minutes later....he reached the end. VICTORY!!!!! First Ascent of the Great Bong-gina (yes, we named it the Great Bong-gina). It was like watching a film!! I hope that everyone get's the chance to witness something of that nature at some point in their lives. I wanted to cry I was so happy for Mike (Photos coming soon).

Later that day, I got back on the 102. I was so worked up inside and was letting everything just take over my mind....So, I decided to just stay "in the moment", to focus on each movement, each sound, each feeling. I stood up and started to walk. I repeated my mantra over and over again, only straying from this phrase a few times. I focused on Jeremy's green jacket as he slept on the other side of the line. Breathe.....I was in the zone! Sometimes it takes a little while to get there, but I did. I was half-way; past the hard part. I just need to maintain focus and I had it. DONE! PURE Adrenaline and joy came over me. SO HAPPY. :-) PERSONAL RECORD = 102 feet.

Later that day, I witnessed Andy walk the 177 footer, and on my hike out, I turned around and there was Jerry.....sending the line. Such a great way to leave....

(More photos to come....Brian has the camera :-P )