As if we needed another reason to plan a trip to Italy—introducing the International Highline Meeting festival, a week-long event in early September where participants tackle the extreme – and vertigo-inducing – sport of slacklining.
Funded by Ticket to the Moon, the adventurous occasion places athletes on slacklines stretched across the Italian Alps in Monte Piana, where they spend most of their time willingly suspended hundreds of feet in the air on ropes that extend from six to 100 meters in length. Attendees at the yearly gathering refer to themselves as “slackers” due to the nature of the rope—slacklining separates itself from tightroping due to the structure and overall flexibility of the rope. Unlike tightropes, the rope used at the Dolomites-based festival boasts a slightly flattened shape and maintains slack, meaning it can move from side-to-side and even bounce.
While resting in air, on their colorful hammocks, campers are free to enjoy the beautiful Lake of Misurna right below, along with the dazzling 360-degree view of vast mountains nearby commune Auronzo di Cadore, small town Cortina d’Ampezzo, and nature reserve “Sextner Dolomiten” among other locations.
On the spectacular place’s context, the official website adds:
“Monte Piana is also a special site of memory and history of the tragic events of last century: the World War fought on the Dolomites.
During the first World War the ‘Monte Piana’ was right on the main front and over 15000 young soldiers died here. We discovered this mountain as a perfect place for highlining and wanted to stimulate this historic place in a different and new way. During the war soldiers of our age killed each other and sorrow, hate and fear dictated their daily life… The sound of granates [grenades] and guns introduced the winter, but we introduce the winter with happiness, teamwork and a big passion for the mountains. This meeting brings highliners and mountain passionate people from all over the world together.”
Although unconventional in most ways, the thrilling affair also features the normal trappings of a traditional event. A kitchen, lush bar, and musical sessions with artists are offered to guests, along with morning yoga workshops and tandem paragliding. To really unwind, an open-air cinema showcases outdoor-themed films.
So if you’re looking for a spike of adrenaline next September, you know where to find it (and us).