Sicily highline expedition 2017

The Highline expedition idea came to me two years ago after Redbull Airlines 2016, after which I stayed in Sicily to take part of the Climbing festival in San Vito Lo Capo and explore the Island. I was so amazed by the mountains and terrain near San Vito that I knew I will be back soon. The biggest trigger was Monte Monaco, a perfect location for rigging a crazy and exposed highline; and nobody had done it yet! So I told myself “That is going to be me and my team up there first!''

So, I made it back for this and many other slackline spots with my crew last year in April, 2017. It all started off on 28th March with the Slackvan from Munich towards Sicily. First I picked up Jobber Moltmaker, an incredible highliner from Netherlands. We travelled together to Belluno to meet with another teammate, Niko Cad, an oldschool highliner and professional climber. Niko, a.k.a. the Wizard, was the main key to be able to rig the Monte Monaco highline, because he knows how to tradclimb and rig highlines the best way.

On 3rd April we rigged our first highline of the expedition on Tofana in the Dolomites. This is an unforgettable line because of the really easy approach and easy rig with a spectacular view; a place that I have seen only in my dreams!

Next stop was Genova to host a slackline workshop in a local acrobatic academy “Synergika”, and pick up the next teammate Riccardo Rubattino, an amazing partner and the cameraman for this expedition.

We managed to get to Sicily on 4th April and stayed at Luca Rizzo's place. He is a professional paraglider and amazing guide for the mountain Etna as well as surrounding areas! The following day we went to Gole'del Stretta to rig our first highline in Sicily! It was 63m long and 30m high. Line felt like a moving snake during the first try! On the last day, during the last session I was able to ''fullman'', a.k.a. walk the full length of the line in both directions without a leash fall. This gave me a lot of motivation to walk more and more, because the line that felt impossible to walk at first was possible now! Because of that line was named ''It's ok''.

Riccardo said: ''When i stood up the first time.. it was amazing.. I could see the whole river underneath me.. and feel all the nature, feel the magical sensation. I asked myself .. is it real ? ''

Jobber :''Gole'del Stretta, it was really fun! Actually I think I had one of the most fun sessions of the whole trip on this line. I attached my speaker and blasted some nice Dutch music through the tiny Gorge. I danced, sang and surfed my ass off without a care in the world.''

Niko Cad: ''Perfect place for our first highline, with overhanging climbing wall for climbing and staying under there for few days! ''

We stayed at Gole'del Stretta for a few days and slept under the overhanging climbing wall. ''It really felt like home, having a big area for a fire place, cooking and a separate area for hammocks to sleep. During this expedition we slept mostly in hammocks.

On the 6th we headed towards San Vito Lo Capo and on the way picked up Matthias Brunner from the airport. In San Vito Lo Capo we talked with climbing house owner Daniele who has bolted a lot of climbing routes on Monte Monaco. He helped us find the easiest way to the top of Monte Monaco.

The Line ''A Vista'' (L: 45m, H:~80m, Exposure: to the sea) on top of Monte Monaco was rigged on 8th April. We called it ''A Vista'', which means ''onsight'' and also ''beautiful view''. The name suits this line perfectly because most of us walked the line without a leash fall, a.k.a. ''onsight'' . In addition, the view from up there is just unforgettable; on one side beautiful San Vito Lo Capo with endless turquoise Mediterranean Sea in the background and on the other side huge mountains and green landscapes. At the same time birds flying around you as if they would like to land on the line as well. Tauri : ''That is what I am living for ! ''

Matthias Brunner:'' Monte Monaco was my favorite line during this expedition. Pure beauty all around. It is impossible to not have a huge smile on your face standing on top of the spire looking out over San Vito.''

Jobber: ''By far the most epic line was A Vista. The exposure was amazing and the climb up there was so much fun.''

Niko Cad:'' The line A Vista was amazing! It is exactly my style, at first you have to trad climb and then you can rig the highline and be the first, who ever walked that!''

On the 10th we rigged two more lines on the west coast of San Vito Lo Capo, Trapani. A 25m trickhighline and a 118m highline. Here we had time for some relaxing sessions by the sea for a few days after achieving our biggest aim of this expedition – Monte Monaco, ''Avista''.

On the 16th we drove back to the east coast of Sicily, to Sunisland Wake park (near Syracusa), for the slackline workshop.

This place seems like paradise, with palm trees everywhere, an amazingly clear lake, incredible people and vibes.

We had a chance to rig a 100m waterline across the Wakepark lake. ''I have never seen such a beautiful reflection of sun and clouds on the lake'' says Tauri.

Niko Cad:'' We reached all the expectations and I am super happy! ''

Matthias Brunner:'' Yes, the expedition was successful! Monte Monaco blew my expectations and put a smile on my face that will last a long time. I am happy to have been a part of this trip with such an awesome crew. Coming from different countries, language barriers and cultural differences can sometimes cause issues, but it's okay. We managed to get along quite well. Furthermore I am stoked to have witnessed Niko's first 100+m highline send, something he has been working on for 10 years, Tauri and Jobber's first 100+m highline crossing and Riccardo's first highline send. Seeing this progression is very inspiring! ”

Riccardo Rubattino:''The best thing is the feeling with all us.. and always positive thinking. Unique feelings with unique people, cannot wait to repeat it.''

Tauri Vahesaar:'' I, as the main organiser of the expedition, felt that we reached all the aims and even much more! We, a team of people from all around Europe and from different cultures. Being able to stay 24/7 together with people you barely know is tough but we did it and pretty well! I got a lot of unforgettable memories and am already planning the next expedition for October 2017. ''

Jobber Moltmaker:''Yes the expedition was successful! I mean we've discovered a mostly undiscovered highline paradise, what more could you wish for. Maybe we didn't have the time to rig everything but I mean only more reason to come back right?"

Add a comment

Email again: