Highline Eldorado Canyon



 On October 15, to celebrate the legend of Ivy Baldwin and raise money for Eldorado Canyon State Park trail building efforts, the Action Committee for Eldorado (ACE) and Slackline Industries have teamed up to recreate Baldwin’s historic high-wire crossing of Eldorado Canyon.

“We really wanted to make a splash and help out with some much-needed trail maintenance at this amazing park,” said Slackline Industries marketing and events director Jaime Pletcher. “Ivy Baldwin has such a vibrant legacy in the area, and we are honored that ACE asked us to revive his original high-wire by recreating the crossing with a highline.”

Baldwin crossed Eldorado Canyon from the Bastille to the Wind Tower more than 80 times, beginning in 1902 and finishing with his last successful walk on his 82nd birthday in 1948. Each time, Baldwin made the 600-foot walk on a “high wire,” a  taught half-inch steel cable that does not flex, and carried a 40-foot balance pole held horizontally.

In contrast, Slackline Industries athlete Taylor VanAllen will make Saturday’s crossing on a “highline” slackline: a 1-inch band of polyester webbing which is lightweight, stretches, and will sag up to 50 feet at the center of the 600-foot crossing.  The slackline will be loose under foot and reactive to wind –  in stark contrast to the stiff steel cable used for high-wire walking.

While VanAllen will be harnessed with a leash connected to the slackline, no balance pole will be used for the estimated 60-minute effort. Without the pole, VanAllen will have to manage the wind and weather conditions which could change with every step.

VanAllen’s goal is to send the line on his first attempt – completing the entire crossing without a single high-altitude error.

“We’ll see how my nerves are for this event,” said VanAllen. “I tend to worry a lot more prior to events than when it's actually time to walk. Highlines always provide a majestic environment for focus so usually that's enough to occupy my brain.”

The event will take place near the lower parking lot at Eldorado Canyon State Park from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on October 15. Food trucks and prize giveaways will be on offer for attendees. 

Tickets are $12 and can be purchased on site or online at celebrateeldo.brownpapertickets.com.

Organizers encourage attendees to carpool, walk, bike or park at the 93 and 170 lot and use the free shuttle, as parking will be limited.