Once again, Malham was calling me. The cove’s force field, attracting me towards the gap.
In the first week of February I returned to the Dales with Sarah. We arrived on Friday night and first thing Saturday we rigged the line. To make it more difficult, we quadrupled the weight of the line. Essentially we were walking on three webbings and a rope. The mainline had minimal hand tension but the rest were just hanging below. The sag of the line was around 7m.
We spent the two full days sessioning the line. Luckily we were blessed with the sun so for most of the time that we spent at the line we weren’t worrying about the cold like previously. I even made my first highline walk of the year in shorts!
The weight of the line created very interesting dynamics. With low tension, the line had slow movements that weren’t very strong. I got the feeling that I created were shakes or sways, I could just ignore it and walk straight through it without worrying too much about re-establishing the stillness.
When we added more tension however, this line was another story! Typically in highlining we imagine that increasing the tension, also increases the ease of walking. With this heavy beast of a line, it was not the case. We pulled in about 1.5m of tension, now giving the line around 4-5m of sag and suddenly the movements were much more powerful. It seems like in this case, we had unlocked the key to making this line harder just by tensioning it.
We took some slow exposure photography at night with our silhouettes in front of the moon. It was really an incredible experience to be nightlining with so much visibility from the moonlight. There really is nothing like the feeling of walking on a highline of this length at night. Sometimes my movements were uncontrolled and wild and sometimes my mind matched the tune of the line and we would balance together as if one being. There is no doubt that this is a passage to my flow state.
The next time we go to Malham, we will rig a 120m nylon highline. Time to get practicing!
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