Outdoor Writer

The Inertia

When tight-line walking dare-devil Hayley Ashburn pushed the limits of slack-lining with her insane stunt on a 9,000-foot-tall mountain peak, my eyes were opened. Ashburn demonstrated more guts and skill than just about anyone else in her sport. She walked a high-line over 170 feet in length atop a snow-covered mountain peak that looks like it belongs in a Lord of the Rings movie. Not to mention, she was the very first person to have ever completed the walk in winter.

Ashburn gives a new meaning to the phrase ‘bad ass’. The peak she walked across is known as the Vajolet Towers. It is a series of six summits in Italy’s Dolomites. The top of the towers are at an elevation of 9,229 feet. I can’t decide what confuses me more – how she is able to talk herself into doing this, or how they managed to get that line up there.

A stunt like this can make anyone start to feel a bit of vertigo, even just watching the video. But Ashburn has made a name for herself by doing these kinds of things. She basically pushes the limits in everything she does: She holds a World Trickline Champion title, and she has also penned several books on slacklining – (yes, she literally wrote the book on the sport).

I don’t know about you, but it would take a lot to get me up that high, walking a path that thin (even though she inspires us in the video to overcome our fears). Whether Ashburn was on belay or not, balance, skill, and courage like that takes years of practice and dedication. Mad respect to hippies practicing on 3-foot-high slack-lines in the local park – especially if the end goal is something like this.


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