Home > Events

The UBC Slackline Club Set Up Indoor Highline in Vancouver

A group of students rigged an indoor highline on campus last week with great success. 

By Drew Copeland

University of British Columbia (UBC) students were out in droves to check out the highline inside the Nest building on Friday. The enterprising UBC Slackline Club managed to navigate the school’s bureaucracy and turn the idea of an indoor highline on campus into a reality.

Krista Cawley testing the new highline. Photo Rebekah Duffy
Krista Cawley testing the new highline. Photo Rebekah Duffy

Krista Cawley, a member of the UBC Slackline Club and event organizer says that as soon as the building was finished in June 2015, members of the club were mulling over the highline potential for the new space.

“You see these two columns and the potential for a highline,” says Krista, gesturing to the concrete structural supports. “Naturally, as a slackliner, that’s what comes to mind.”

Braden Holt demonstrating control up high. Photo Drew Copeland
Braden Holt demonstrating control up high. Photo Drew Copeland

Krista and co-organizer, Adam Mertens, started putting things in motion with the institution at the beginning of February.

“We talked to the president of the student society and he was super keen to have it happen,” said Krista.

“In terms of arranging events, it’s hard to get approval for things that people don’t understand.  We were talking with building services and they had questions that seemed obvious to us, but weren’t to the them–like how we could stay safe by using a leash.”

Aidan Middleton focused and ready to start across. Photo Drew Copeland
Aidan Middleton focused and ready to start across. Photo Drew Copeland

Krista and Adam preserved and managed to host an outstanding event inside the space. They put up a couple of trick lines on the lower level for people to try out.  Krista sent the 15-metre highline across the second story on her last go of the day; the line was subsequently named Let Her Whip.

“It’s amazing that all these people are wanting to come in and see the highline,” said Krista referring to the larger than normal numbers of students inside the Nest, “especially when it’s so nice outside.”

Hiko Hachiya up up high indoors with a big crowd watching on. Photo Drew Copeland
Hiko Hachiya up high indoors at the Nest. Photo Drew Copeland

– Drew Copeland is a West Coast-based climber and writer. He is a regular contributor to Gripped.