Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Slacklining over Yosemite Falls: X Games on steroids?

The Great Blondin, a tightrope artist of the mid-1800s, walked across the Niagara River on a rope without a net and without a safety line. He subsequently crossed while riding a bike, walking on stilts and carrying a man on his back. Who'd volunteer for that?

Oddly, Jean Francois Gravelet even ate an omelet he cooked on a small stove while balanced on a rope half-way across the gorge just down from Niagara Falls.

Dean Potter doesn't stop to cook and eat an omelet while slacklining across Yosemite Falls, yet his feat is no less daring -- even if he uses a safety line. Potter is known for pushing the limits in extreme sports, but he isn't that crazy.

Gravelet used a long balancing pole to keep him upright on the narrow tightrope. Potter, an expert at slacklining, a modern-day version of tightrope walking, uses only his arms.

As the water rushes over the iconic falls of Yosemite National Park, Potter becomes one with the rope (at least eventually):

Why does he do it? His reasoning might be as crazy as the stunt.

"People just think I'm a lunatic or an adrenaline junkie and that's not really what's going on with me," the highliner says on the video. "The beauty is mostly what I'm concerned with; that's really why I'm up here trying to cross a line over Yosemite Falls."

Most reasonable tourists of Yosemite National Park are able to capture its beauty just fine with two feet firmly planted on terra firma, thank you very much.

Oh, and by the way, we take it back. Potter really is crazy (or was crazy). Check out his slacklining video from Yosemite Valley sans security rope. He also has plenty of BASE jumping and free climbing videos posted online. Just google that crazy guy named Potter -- Dean not Harry.

Thanks to GrindTV Outdoors for the tip!

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Other interesting posts on Outdoors 720:
Stunt artist Danny MacAskill does the impossible on a mountain bike
Nature: Horsetail Fall of Yosemite provides flaming pictures
Stunning video: See the scariest hiking trail in the world!
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1 comment:

  1. lol the video without the rope over Yosemite (but somehow has a safety rope shadow as he nears the end). Find some better video editing software Potter.


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