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Friday, February 15, 2013

Winter Fun

I've had a great month playing outside despite the cold weather here in Moab. I didn't think that I'd enjoy the winter all that much but it's been great! I forgot how nice it is to get outside and work hard in the cold rather than in the sweltering heat that is typically the case. I've been blessed with some fantastic winter gear from Oakley Women (BIG thank you) so I've been nice and warm. I've rigged more highlines recently than I have in a while and it feels great to be getting out there again. I rigged the classic "river line" that has become very popular over the past few years with my boyfriend Mark and a new friend Lauren. It's about 75 feet long if you rig it at it's shortest length (there are many options at this bridge, you can pretty much make the line as long as you want!). We all had a good time on the line, Mark gave it some great attempts and Lauren walked it both directions. One of my favorite things is to watch someone else get on a line, especially if they're fairly new at it and are challenging themselves. It's like watching a kid learn how to ride a bike for the first time. You see the struggle and frustration in their eyes but when they succeed, it's euphoric.

Mark and Lauren gearing up

Mark on one of his attempts, he's gonna walk this one soon I know it

Lauren on her walk! 

I also rigged a line called the "Birthday Gap" with Mark and our friend Larry. This line was perfect because Mark has been attempting lines for a while and this one is great for beginners. It's about 35 feet long and a really easy set-up. For months now Ive been putting Mark on longer lines (70 feet or so) because that's what I was rigging for myself. I feel bad now because he was really struggling with that length! When he got on the Birthday Gap he walked it on his 2nd or 3rd try!! It was so special to see him walk his first line. He finally got past the first stage of consistent failure and has broken through a mental blockage. He's ready for more now.

My walk of "The Birthday Gap"

Mark's walk!!!! 

Larry Harpe walking with his dog standing guard :) 

Cool effect and my favorite Oakley Women gear.

Us :)

I've been watching Mark jump a lot which has been really nice. I'll often hike up to the top with him and watch from up there or I'll just hang out at the bottom. It's nice to get different perspectives of the jumps. Recently I hung over the edge (carefully, of course) and he ran right past me and jumped off. It was one of my favorite views so far! Here are some pics of his recent jumps.

Mark getting ready to jump the "Tombstone", one of the most popular jumps. 

There he goes!

Mark jumping "Stuntman"

Another line I recently rigged was a brand new one. I rigged it on all camelots (eeeek) and it was approximately 140 feet long. It ended up being really difficult due to the webbing I used. I decided to use my "Type 18" webbing which tends to be heavy and has a lot more stretch to it. When a line is heavy it's more difficult to control especially at longer lengths. I wasn't able to walk it all the way across, I got just about halfway. Below are some pics, hopefully I'll get out there again soon and try again. Perhaps this time I'll drill some bolts for safety and piece of mind ;-) A big thanks to Sterling Rope for donating some ropes...I wouldn't be able to do these bigger projects without them!

Getting ready for some attempts


Also! We had some good friends come and visit, Mike Payton and Heather Falenski. It was so nice to see them, they truly are quality, genuine people. We pranced around the desert finding petroglyphs, watching Mark jump and we rigged a cool rope swing off of "Looking Glass Arch". I have only done one rope swing before so this was fun. There was a 3 pitch climb up to the top (super easy) where you set up the anchor, rappel down and then are able to swing. It's hard to explain the set-up completely because it's quite different than most other rope swings. Anyway, regardless it was really fun! It snowed on us while we were out there and it was gorgeous. Here are just a few pics :)