The Highline Meeting in Monte Piana is the highest slacklining festival in the world.
Every year, slackliners (people who walk along a slackline) come to the slopes of Monte Piana. Festival goers spend the night hanging hundreds of feet high in the Italian Alps.
The world’s highest slackline festival offers the perfect juxtaposition of completely terrifying and the most relaxing experience imaginable. For the average person this would be insanely daunting. However these guys are used to being at great heights with nothing keeping them alive but their slackline.
What exactly is slacklining?
Slacklining is the pursuit of walking across a line, where ‘slackers’ enter a meditative state by placing one foot in front the other. This is not to be confused with tightrope walking, as slacklining requires the line to be looser, to allow it to move from side to side or bounce. Slacklining or highlining can be done at any height. So if you are in a park just a few feet off the ground or at the world’s highest slackline festival, its all the same!
What is the idea behind the highest slackline festival?
In the festival’s first year, there were just three people slacklining. They had so much fun that they decided to share it. An idea was then born to have a shared experience, where slackers bring up their hammocks and line up to spend a couple of days together. As the slackers are only using a few lines, they can be seen to be in long lines relaxing, playing the guitar and even sleeping once they are up there. Slackers can also attend a yoga workshop or take a tandem paragliding flight once they are up there! They just have to make sure they bring enough supplies for the evening.
Monte Piana was chosen for the venue of the Highline Meeting not only because of its natural beauty, but because of its historical importance.
How did it all start?
Just eighty years ago, Monte Piana was home to bitter fighting, as the allies pushed their way up through Italy on their way to beating Nazi Germany. All that bloodshed and pain have now gone. Taking its place now is the sound of joy and laughter. Recently, they have embarked on marking this dark past, with special rainbow designs on their hammocks. This is a sign of peace and respect for what so many people sacrificed during the war.
The Highline Meeting has occurred since 2012, and since then there has been increasing numbers of slackers attending the festival. A couple of years ago there were 350 slackers from 20 different countries who attended. The dream of Alessandro d‘Emilia (Italy), and Armin Holzer, (South Tyrol) was to create an event which people from all over the world could attend and appreciate incredible scenery and this has now been realised. They are not stopping there however, as they dream of further spreading the message and values of this great sport so it can be universally enjoyed in the days to come.