Slackliners set on inspiring the next generation
Mickey Wilson, Heather Larsen and Vail local Davis Hermes to perform slackline tricks and give tips at the GoPro Mountain Games
Time to test your balance skills with the help of the pro athletes at the slackline demonstration area at the GoPro Mountain Games. This year, there won’t be slackline competitions, but this fan favorite sport will still bring the stoke with plenty of demonstration sessions over the Gore Creek at the I-Bridge. There will also be a large interactive area at Gear Town where people can try walking on a one-inch-wide piece of webbing and see how long they can stay there.
Slacklining pioneer Mickey Wilson will return to display his skills and his love of the sport. Joining Wilson will be pro slackliners Heather Larsen and Vail local Davis Hermes.
“We are probably three of the best slacklining instructors you could ask for,” Wilson said. “With this larger interactive area at the Solaris Plaza in Gear Town we’re going to invite the crowd to come try it and hopefully turn a lot of people on to the sport of slacklining, so we’re excited for that,” Wilson said.
Wilson will also be wearing a microphone and explaining what’s going on at the slackline demos at the I-Bridge.
“I’ll try to see if I can get Davis and Heather to laugh and fall off the line! It’s going to be a lot of fun … Slacklining is one of those cool sports that forces you to focus really hard in the moment, but then putting yourself over a river, that definitely puts you in a different kind of headspace.”
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Wilson has been a part of the GoPro Mountain Games for over a decade and is excited to get newcomers into the sport. One person who was introduced to slacklining after seeing it at the GoPro Mountain Games is Vail local Davis Hermes.
“I saw slacklining for the first time there and I got myself a line that day and made a commitment to myself that I would slackline every day for at least an hour,” Hermes said.
Hermes put time in before school, after school and during summers at the park he’d put in 8-to-10-hour days practicing. He started competing in the slackline events at the GoPro Mountain Games in 2013.
“I will admit that I wasn’t very good at it when I started, but even before I tried it, I just knew it was my calling,” Hermes said.
“It goes to show that anyone out there at the GoPro Mountain Games can show up, get excited about a new sport and learn how to do it from some pros and the sky is the limit as to where you can take these things from the Mountain Games. Davis a great slackliner now and I’ve loved watching him progress,” Wilson said.
Davis will be traveling to Switzerland for the Highline Freestyle World Championships later this summer but he’s seen some pretty cool vantage points in the U.S. from a slackline. One place in particular was between the two spires of Fisher Towers in Utah. The question he gets asked the most is ‘how did you get that slackline way up there?’
“The goal is to just get a piece of paracord across first and you can do that by either climbing, or with a drone, or throw a piece down from both sides and have someone at the bottom tie them together, you just have to get really creative with it,” Hermes said.
Wilson and Hermes are part of a tight-knit slacklining community that crosses borders.
“The slacklining community is a really special one and it will take you to some special places,” Wilson said.
“It’s still such a new and unique sport that takes a lot of dedication and you’re putting the time in alone, so I think it attracts a certain type of person and there’s a lot of mutual respect for other slackliners because we know how much work it takes,” Hermes said.
For a schedule and information about the slackline demonstrations at the I-Bridge, go to MountainGames.com.