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Extreme slackliners head to the Alps

Samuel Volery, a professional mountaineer from Switzerland, during the Highline Extreme event on Thursday Keystone

Europe’s best funambulists have started creeping along lines on the Moléson, a mountain in the scenic Gruyère region of canton Fribourg, as part of Highline Extreme 2016, a weekend of gravity-defying slacklining.

This content was published on September 8, 2016 - 17:32
swissinfo.ch and agencies, swissinfo.ch and agencies

The 25 athletes, from some ten countries, will attempt to set various world records during the event, which is being held for the third time.

A highline is an aerial version of a slackline, a sort of tightrope walking but along a suspended length of flat webbing and without a balancing pole – but with a harness. Another difference from tightrope walking is that the line has less tension, allowing it to stretch and bounce like a trampoline.

Balancing on the slackline is a training method for climbers to improve their sense of equilibrium.

On the 2,002-metre (6,568ft) Moléson, athletes will be able to choose from eight lines of different lengths, from 45 metres to 495 metres, stretched tens of metres above the ground between the cable car station and the rock face.

Brave amateurs will also have the chance to try out slacklining.

Keystone

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