Written by Cheryll Glotfelty (@Rae_Raptor)
Why Highlife Perú?
When your favorite slackline and highline spots are getting shut down by the cops, what are you going to do? When Miraflores in Lima was closed to slacklining and La Molina outside of Lima began prohibiting highlining, Hugo Flores and his friends decided to talk with the authorities. What they found was that the authorities were willing to negotiate, but only with a recognized organization, not with a few random people. So Hugo and his friends got to work.
How did they form Highlife Perú?
The first step was to talk with their friends in a local rock-climbing association and see how that organization was formed. They needed to produce a document that described their sport and stated the mission of the organization; they needed to have bylaws (which they adapted from the rock-climbing club's bylaws); and they needed officers. The documents then had to be registered with the government headquarters in Lima. Money was required to pay a lawyer, travel to Lima, and pay registration costs. @Rae_Raptor hosted a GoFundMe campaign for them from the U.S. since GoFundMe's could not be initiated from Perú. Once the official documents were registered and approved, then Highlife Perú applied to the national government for slacklining to be recognized as a sport. When slacklining was officially recognized as a sport, Highlife Perú gained leverage to negotiate with local authorities, since Perúvian laws promote sports.
The mission of Highlife Perú
The Highlife Perú Slackline Association (HP) promotes the sport of slacklining in Perú. The mission of HP is to manage the responsible and safe sports practice of slacklining (in all its modalities) in Perú; to organize comprehensive educational programs for children and young people from local communities; and to promote environmental conservation.
Meet the founding officers of Highlife Perú!
Hugo Flores, president, from Trujillo in the north of Perú, is a highliner, rock climber, and sports enthusiast who travels around South America, working remotely as a team manager for his family's financial advising company. Pepe Rivas, vice president and public relations officer, a former motocross athlete, is a highliner and tour guide from Iquitos, Perú in the Amazon jungle. Annie Nole, secretary, originally from Lima, is a professional rollerskater, skate instructor, and event organizer, currently living in Lamay in the Sacred Valley, where she is working with the community to create an ecofriendly culture there. Johan Chan, member of the Board of Directors, originally from Caracas, Venezuela is an itinerant photographer and explorer currently adventuring in Europe.
Perú has amazing landscapes and three major ecosystems--mountains, jungle, and coast. All have fantastic slacklining potential.
Wow! Imagine highlining above 4000 meters! The newly established Ananiso Canyon highline park in the Andes Mountains is at 4350 meters of elevation! That's 14,272 feet, almost as high as Mount Whitney!! You are above tree level. The air is thin, the sun is intense, and the nights are cold. It's really wild, but it's not technically wilderness. Ananiso is the home of Quechua-speaking campesinos. As you are huffing and puffing to hike up to the highlines, you'll mingle with alpacas peacefully grazing along the trails, and you'll be greeted by friendly and super-fit locals who are living a traditional lifestyle. Once a year in June, the community celebrates its anniversary, and recently this celebration includes a highline gathering, as the local community welcomes outdoor adventurers.
Wooooooo! Ever wanted to waterline in the Amazon jungle? King Kong, a family-owned recreational park outside of Iquitos (the largest city in the world inaccessible by car), affords primo midlining, waterlining, and slacklining. King Kong features several swimming lakes lined by palm trees as well as delightful picnicking and camping options and a delicious cafe--try the grilled fish! It's a great chance to recreate with local Perúvian families enjoying themselves on their time off.
Oh yeah! Treat yourself to a getaway at a chic hostel in the resort oasis hamlet of Huacachina. The key draw of this area is the enormous sand dunes, where visitors--the size of ants against the towering dunes--can dune buggy and paraglide. Ambitious highliners may laboriously dig down to install deadman anchors in the sand and highline between dunes--it has been done. But more indolent slackers will enjoy the chill parkline options over sand along the oasis lake. There are delicious dining options here, and it's a good place to resupply for . . . the ultimate adventure at Canyon of the Lost People.
Canyon of the Lost People
Whew! Cañon de Los Perdidos is not for the wimpy. In the general region of the famous Nazca Lines near the southern coast of Perú, Canyon of the Lost People is desolate to say the least. Bring all of your supplies, because this place is highly remote, and it's even tricky to find, hence its name. There is no vegetation. None. As in No. Living. Thing. There are only magnificently sculpted ochre-colored, fossil-encrusted layers of sediment from ancient marine deposits. Bring some shovels and a lot of feed sacks, because setting up highlines here entails filling at least 25 sandbags per anchor with the powdery sand-dirt to create your own natural-anchor sites.
Come! Come! Highlife Perú would like to host you
Highlife Perú would love to show you their beautiful landscapes and share their culture with other highliners. They speak fluent English and have already hosted adventure travelers from the U.S., Canada, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Israel.
To hook up with Highlife Perú:
@highlife.Peru on Instagram
Highlife Perú on Facebook
WhatsApp: +51 945 230 500 or +51 921 222 377
Support Highlife Perú
Highline gear is hard to get in Perú! If you plan to travel there, bring some gear to leave behind with HP. They will be super grateful. HP can also always use financial support for their community projects and ongoing efforts to increase access for the sport.
To donate or get involved with Highlife Perú, contact Cheryll:
@rae_raptor on Instagram
telephone and WhatsApp: +1 (775) 313-7310
Cheryll (@Rae_Raptor) personally witnessed how difficult it is to get highline gear in Perú. The combination of low wages, high import taxes, and no local suppliers make it ultra-challenging to get webbing, amsteel, slings, weblocks, linegrips, pulley systems, bolts, and other hardware used in our sport. The fact is that resource-access barriers to highlining exist in many countries.
Let's spread the love and facilitate highlining around the world. The Equilibrio Foundation, now in the planning phase, will provide gear and support to slackline and highline projects in places where resources are slim. ("Equilibrio" means balance in Spanish.) It is likely that team members will hand-deliver most of the gear, entailing wild adventures and fostering international friendships.
To get involved, contact Cheryll:
@rae_raptor on Instagram
telephone and WhatsApp: +1 (775) 313-7310
See how the 2.0KM world record was rigged in Asbestos, Canada