A group of people visited Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park near Penticton to slackline over the weekend. (Brett Johnson photo)

“You’re going for a walk where no one else can walk”: Vancouver man describes experience of highwiring over Skaha Bluffs

Over a dozen people came out to Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park to slackline last weekend

Vancouver-based slackliner Keenan Masterson was just one of over a dozen people who came out to do the sport in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park near Penticton over the weekend.

“It’s not an easy thing to do and that what makes it challenging. It’s fun to try things that are hard. Even if it is not fun in the moment—because you sweat, scream and cry and swear in the moment—but later when you are telling other people what you did on the weekend, you say, ‘I had a lot of fun.’”

READ MORE: Injuries, frostbite and death: B.C. man recounts Everest ascent

Masterson, who moved from Toronto to Vancouver four years ago, started slacklining with a friend who was a pro. He said when slacklining at great heights, like what they did at Skaha Bluffs over the weekend, the sport is called high wire. It is considered to be the pinnacle of the sport.

“Once you’ve gotten used to it and overcome some of the fear, it’s incredibly gratifying and also beautiful because you are in a place that very few people go. You’re going for a walk where no one else can walk. It’s a fun way to spend a weekend.”

View this post on Instagram

On this cool overcast morning, before the weather turned sour and we got rained on, I took an hour or so and put in the world to cross this line. I love this pursuit. Thank you to everyone who's ever listened to my excuses and waited patiently for me to drop them, there are a lot of you. Your words rang in my head every step of the way. Never felt so alive and so dead at the same time. Photo by the inspiring @mianoblet Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park, Penticton, BC. Lion webbing provided by @slacklifebc (It's amazing how easy it is to walk on this stuff) #slacklife #midline #highline #breathe #balance #slackline #britishcolumbia #penticton #canada #getoutside #explore #play #mischiefmanaged #meanwhileincanada

A post shared by Keenan Masterson (@jkmasterline) on

Skaha Bluffs is an appealing spot to high wire because several years ago, before slacklining became popular, it was the longest spot to do it in the country, he said.

While the group that set up the line—which involves ensuring that solid, redundant and equalized anchors are used to secure the line into position—was from Vancouver, people from Alberta and B.C. came to try it on Saturday and Sunday.

To rig a high wire, they use a mainline of webbing, backup webbing and climbing rope, which is called a leash, Masterson said.

READ MORE: Okanagan Forest Task Force clean-up over thirty-five-hundred pounds of garbage

One thing people doing the sport have trouble with is the fear of falling.

“The falling hurts and it is scary and it’s really difficult to get over those parts of it at first because it is so new.

“When you fall, you’re going to fall off the highwire to the leash and you’ll end up hanging about a metre below the line in a sitting position. You have to learn to move and climb your leash to get back up on the line.”

Some very skilled people attempt slacklining without a leash—but it is rare, he said.

For those who are interested in trying it out, Masterson said the best way is to practice.

READ MORE: Penticton parents on a quest to raise funds for new playground

People can practice on a slackline that is a couple of feet off the ground and then progress to the highwire that was observed by several Okanagan residents over the weekend, he said.

“It’s a lot of fun. If people think it looks interesting, they should give it a shot.”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Robin Grant
Reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or follow me on Twitter
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Just Posted

Road block was costly legal battle for Summerland

Resolving Garnet Valley dispute took six years

1955 Vees reign again at Classics hockey tourney in Penticton

The 1955 World Championship Vees took home the Moog Cup at minor hockey tournament

Coming Home: Penticton fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

World champion snowmobile racer seeks public’s help after dirt bikes were stolen in Penticton

The bikes, valued at $25,000 and $11,000, were stolen from the back of a locked truck on Sept. 12

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Athlete of the Week: William Buttar

Though he is little, William Buttar is fierce as he makes his introduction into the sporting world

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

Urban Agriculture: Food forestry rooted in thinking of the ecosystem

Columnist dives into Okanagan urban agriculture

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Most Read