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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Attack the Fishers

I can't begin to describe what I experienced this weekend. My roommate Quinn and I took a road trip from Golden, CO to Moab, Utah for the weekend which ended up being one of the most spectacular experiences either of us have ever had. A few weeks ago I got an invite to an event called "Attack the Fishers", where Rock Climbers, Highliners, and B.A.S.E Jumpers would get together to experience three radial sports happening at the same time in the Fisher Towers of Moab. As soon as I took a second to imagine what this would actually entail I knew I HAD to go. I figured out a way to get at least 3 days off of work to head out there. We arrived mid-day on Friday after about 6 hours of driving. Hayley Ashburn had already aid-soloed the King Fisher and fixed ropes so that B.A.S.E Jumpers could jug up the ropes and jump. She and Ryan Matson had also rigged the highline (called "Cowboy Style") and the next day Quinn Carrasco and Ryan Matson put up ropes on the Tower "Ancient Art", which I had the priviledge of leading while I was living in Moab. It's a classic and very well known route in the Fisher Towers, ending in a beautiful spire with a very curious shape :-P Basically, the Fishers were like a playground for adults. There was so much to do and so little time!

"Look at those things!"
Canyon Cain on the highline and Quinn Carrasco on top of Ancient Art. 

Quinn Carrasco after leading the last pitch of Ancient Art.....this photo blows me away.

The first day I arrived to see Hayley on top of the "Cobra", a free standing spire that just happens to look exactly like a Cobra, a project she's working on leading. It's pretty crumbly rock and there isn't much to grab so you really have to disperse your weight. Ryan (being the badass that he is) had put some ropes up so that we could all top-rope it. The route is really crumbly and it's difficult to trust the holds. It was a lot of fun though; a really cool structure to be on top of! After that, I jugged up the ropes to where the highline was. After about 200 feet of jugging ( my FAVORITE thing to do :-P ) I arrived at the top and was all alone. It was almost sunset and I couldn't believe I had the highline all to myself. It's very rare that you get to be alone with a highline; nobody on the cliff chatting, nobody spectating from the's special to be out there alone. I was able to walk it and enjoy every moment without any distractions. It was so beautiful up there, I didn't want it to end.

Me climbing the Cobra.

To the top!

Walking alone at sunset.....

So happy to be in such a special place.

The next day was the big day, we were going to attempt to link 3 sports. I woke up to Hayley yelling outside the tent, "Em! GET UP! It's time, we have to get up to the highline before the jumpers jump!". We started our hike out there and jugged up as quickly as we could. On my jug up about 4 jumpers passed by me!! It was pretty crazy how close they got, I could pretty much see the details of their faces. Once Hay and I got to the top, we had to start preparing for the "big stunt".  Hayley and I were to get on the highline together and synchronize a trick while Ryan stood on top of Ancient Art. We would wait for Laurent Flat (Lau) and Mario Richard to B.A.S.E jump off of the King Fisher, fly by the two of us highlining, high five Ryan on top of Ancient Art while Rich Alexander was to jump off of Ancient Art into another B.A.S.E jump. It was the most epic combination of sports I've ever experienced. Sitting on the line with Hayley in our "double trick" while also being able to see Lau fly by was otherworldly. It's pretty challenging to stay balanced with someone else on the line, but I couldn't help but look up as Lau was passing me by. I was tempted to just turn around and watch what was happening behind me! I didn't though so I missed all the action....but, I got to see it on video later and it's EPIC. We're trying to figure out what to do with the footage, but I'll make a post when it's available!

Epic. Photo by Nicholas Badovinac 
The money shot.  Photo by Richard Webb

Ryan Matson standing on top of Ancient Art, Laurent Frat flying by and Rich Alexander doing a gainer off of the tower.
I am so inspired to continue and work with extraordinary athletes in combining our sports. Practicing and becoming proficient at your sport is one thing, but adding the talents of others to your projects really takes it to another level. Thanks to all of the athletes that were involved in this project, it was so great to have this experience with you!