As rock climbers, we know what it means to exercise strong mental focus alongside our physical action. And for anyone who’s ever attempted to slackline, you know that it requires a very similar, and an arguably higher, level of attention to one’s balance and movement. And then there’s highlining—defying everything your insides are telling you to do, by stepping off a cliff and walking hundreds of feet above the air.
This weekend, epic slacklining wizards, Reinhard Kleindl and Lukas Irmler rigged up a 100-meter slackline at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe—the largest waterfall on the face of the Earth. Also known as “The Smoke that Thunders,” this 5,604 foot-wide and 355 foot-high waterfall doubles the height of Niagara Falls and boasts the largest sheet of falling water in the world.
The German and Austrian duo set up the massive highline from Victoria Falls using a giant slingshot and a fishing line before attempting to cross a line that they had trained for, for the past two years.
Despite the heavy, blinding downpour and wind emanating from the massive falls, Lukas and Reinhard each made their way across this magnificent highline, making them together the first ever to successfully complete this incredible slacklining feat.
Lukas said of his experience in walking this line:
Here you have a lot of spray, a lot of water in the air, floating beside you, splashing your face and it’s intimidating on the one side, but also distracting … you need to have a clear visual view of the environment, you need to be focused on the anchor point to the very end you want to walk to, and not getting distracted by a lot of water crashing by the side, which is very hard mentally.
Watch this slacklining pair, Reinhard Kleindl and Lukas Irmler, walk their way across Victoria Falls.