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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, March 14, 2008

'Baselining' Over Hell Roaring Canyon

Extreme sports enthusiast Dean Potter is attempting to walk a tightrope over Hell Roaring Canyon (located just north of Canyonlands National Park).

The New York Times says the effort is an example of a new extreme sport called baselining - walking a tightrope at extreme heights.

The Times has this feature story about the attempt, with photos and a video clip.

So far, Potter has not been successful - parachuting to safety after losing his balance. But he intends to keep trying. Below are excerpts from the story.

This was something else entirely for Dean Potter, one of the world’s best climbers, barefoot in the dying sun last Friday, walking between ledges of a U-shaped rim above Hell Roaring Canyon, a 400-foot sheer sandstone wall on his right, a 900-foot drop to a dry riverbed on his left. No leash tethered him to the rope. Nothing attached him to earth but the grip of his size-14 feet and the confident belief that, if needed, his parachute would open quickly and cleanly and not slam him into the canyon wall.

"When there’s a death consequence, when you are doing things that if you mess up you die, I like the way it causes my senses to peak, "Potter said. "I can see more clearly. You can think much faster. You hear at a different level. Your foot contact on the line is accentuated. Your sense of balance is heightened. I don’t seem to feel that very often meditating."

Read the entire article.


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