Happiness Over Squamish
by Lani Gelera
Photo by Anthony Boulay
As if there weren’t enough to do all year round in our beautiful little mountain town by the sea, Squamish has more than earned the title of “Recreation Capital of Canada”. The iconic granite monolith, known as The Stawamus Chief, towering over the Howe Sound, is known for attracting weekend warrior hikers and world-class rock climbers alike, but now it’s become known for a new extreme sport. Courageous adventure seekers with a mindset to challenge themselves and overcome their fears have found happiness over Squamish, Highlining.
The growing local slackline community has claimed that The Chief, with its deep gullies, stunning sea to sky backdrop and countless steep rock faces and anchor points, is quickly becoming a worldwide well-known Highlining destination.
Highlining is essentially the sport of Slacklining, walking balanced on 1” flat webbing that is not completely taught and still somewhat “slack”. Slacklining over a body of water is called a Water Line. Slacklining up high over a canyon, gully, waterfall or between two structures is called Highlining. Highliners wear a standard climbing or seat harness, for safety, attached to the slackline with a metal ring. If you follow basic safety procedures, trust your equipment and riggers, then Highlining is as safe as any rock climbing adventure.
Free Solo is the sport of Highlining without a harness or protection and just like free solo rock climbing, not recommended for everyone. Spencer Seabrooke, Professional Athlete and co-founder of SlackLifeBC, set a world record by Free Soloing 64 meters across The Chief's North Gulley, in 2015. Free Solo is a very personal goal and achievement and Spencer doesn’t suggest just anyone aspire to these heights.
Spencer, along with a handful of other slackline professional athletes, make up the SlackLifeBC team. Together they motivate, inspire and encourage interested enthusiasts to get out on the line by first mastering the art of putting one foot in front of the other. There is a very meditative process involved in clearing your mind and controlling your breath while being consistently persistent in developing your core strength and stabilizing muscles. As a beginner, you can learn to Slackline two feet off the ground on a 2” webbing with minimal risk for potential injury and maximum reward and sense of accomplishment.
SlackLifeBC is the local leader in outdoor adventure gear and media, specializing in and building the sport of Slacklining. You can visit their website at www.SlackLifeBC.com or their Facebook Page @SlackLifeBC for videos, blogs, news within the community and an online store to buy everything you might need to #GetInvolved in the slackline world. Also check their site for upcoming events, gatherings and organized highlining adventure trips in 2019.
If you'd like to learn more about the world of walking the line, check out SlackLifeBC’s very own, brand new web series called The SlackLife Series. This fall is the perfect time to find your balance high up in the mountains and find your happiness over Squamish.