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Walking a Fine Line within the Sky: The Highliners of Moab

Water Sports

Walking a Fine Line within the Sky: The Highliners of Moab


Surrounding himself with honed athletes, Homer Manson and his group discover (and walk) the longest, hardest traces inside the place. I’m thankful for it, man; highlining offers me something to be obsessed with,” 25-year-vintage Homer Manson tells ASN from his home in Moab, Utah. “I love it even though it nevertheless scares the crap of me.”Manson and his tight community of friends spend day by day searching out the hardest spans to walk through tensioned one-inch webbing. At times, their strains are connected to the tops of slim wilderness spires hundreds of feet off the floor, which makes on-foot experiences like they’re tiptoeing throughout the sky.


Expert mountain climbing and a sturdy journey experience are required to Highline. His favorite lines are those stretched among hard-to-reach sandstone towers, including the 340-foot Doric Column in Onion Creek, placed 25 miles outdoors from the city. Once he’s in balance, wherein the sector falls away from underneath him, he’s centered on putting one foot in front of the alternative while tapping into his years of exercise to keep from falling. Though safety equipment is used – meaning a fall is little more than a jarring shock while his tether snaps tight on the road – it’s nevertheless horrifying. But overcoming fear is the simplest one of the reasons why he does it.

‘He’s part of a loving network by highlining, pretty in contrast to something he had developed up. To guide his lifestyle, he works on the town’s hot air balloon organization during the day, wherein he’s the crew chief, and at night, he serves drinks at a nearby brewery. But that is all so he can pay rent on his trailer (wherein he’s lived for the past six years) and purchase the device he uses to set up highlines.

Tools of the trade include hangovers, blocks, line grips, carabiners, and mountaineering hardware. These tools are designed to relax the webbing in the region and guard it against getting reduced over sharp edges. To add to the amusement, he often breaks out his pair of second-hand $3 Homer Simpson bedroom slippers (whole with large caricature-fashion eyeballs) and walks in those, for this reason including a piece of self-humor and growing the assignment. Though he likes to keep matters secure, he also pushes the boundaries.

I have soloed [walking without the safety of a rope connecting him to the line], and we rig some risky strains just for a laugh because we recognize we can,” he says. When we talked, he said he was nursing a hurt shoulder from a twist of fate a few days earlier while he tried a backflip on a line 3 feet off the ground. He ended up over-rotating, and after slamming onto the road along with his frame, he landed on his head and shoulder on the floor. Banging himself up is par for the path, a necessary step as he prepares for the top highlining season this spring.
If it weren’t for highlining, his life could have taken miles one-of-a-kind trajectory – he may have ended up strung out on pills or in prison.

Raised by way of his mother, who struggled with addiction; she took care of him and his six siblings (such as his dual). He turned into an age while the relatives’ circle left Moab to get away from his abusive father. Despite his mom’s struggle with tablets, he credits her with doing the first-class she ought to elevate all seven children by herself. After Moab, he ended up on the streets in Salt Lake City and the encompassing place. At age 15, now back in Moab, he got busted for stealing cars and ended up in Juvenile Hall. After he was given out, he wandered across the wasteland and commenced gambling on the sandstone cliffs. He additionally joined the local health club and commenced a day-by-day weightlifting ordinary.

One day, two friends advised him to leave the gym and join them outside slacklining. After giving a gaggle of excuses (e., G. He wasn’t flexible enough, did not have good balance, and many others.), his friends kept pushing, so he eventually went alongside. I didn’t recognize if I could healthy in or now not,” he tells ASN. “[After that day], I ultimately reached the point where I ought to stand up and stroll the road. Soon, I fell in love with highlining. I like how fear pushes you from in the back. Today, four years after beginning the sport, “lifestyles excellent,” he says. “Now I recognize several nice athletes globally. And they’re my pleasant buddies. I feel wonderfully blessed. I need to live with it, but I can.

His buddies, fellow members of the “slack existence” network, chase the seasons, using one destination to the subsequent. But being on the road isn’t for Manson. When we met with this iciness in Moab, it turned into too bloodless and wet to walk highlines – moisture weakens the porous sandstone – but he had no plans to go anywhere. He knew he just desired to stick in a single region and be affected, the person. It might soon be spring, and he’d be taking walks off the line again. I asked him why he does it on our current smartphone name. After a pause, he said, “It makes you feel special; it makes you sense robust. It enables you to rove your thoughts – to blow your perception of yourself out of the water. Like, ‘I can’t agree with I’m doing this.’ I’ve been on strains and thought this is so one-of-a-kind from how I was raised.

Erika Norman

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