Logistics | Highlining 101

"Finally, how to use the highline that is already set up”


Last but not least, the meat of the course. How on earth do you get back on top after you fall or stand up in the middle of a highline? Learn how to slide back on long vs short highlines and how to manage your leash while walking. We will even show you how to catch and try to convince you that it is a bad idea!


Some logistics tips:

- Clip your PAS to a solid point on the anchor if near a cliff edge to work or to tie in.

- When you are tied in, you can take off your PAS and wrap it once around your waist and clip it to a gear loop so you always have it available when you are ready to untie. Don’t make it too tight but you don’t want it loose either. It is nice to have it the same tension as your harness waist belt.

- When you are tied in, you can take off your PAS and wrap it once around your waist and clip it to a gear loop so you always have it available when you are ready to untie. Don’t make it too tight but you don’t want it loose either. It is nice to have it the same tension as your harness waist belt.

- Tie a figure 8 by doing half the knot in the bottom 2/3rds of the leash, then go up through your harness and retrace it until you have parallel lines on all parts of the knot.

- Finish your tail by doing a stopper knot on the top or putting the tail through the bottom hole of the figure 8. Just make sure you don’t create a loop for your finger to get amputated.

- Climb a leash by flipping upside down, putting a foot, thigh or shin on the leash, then reaching over to pull yourself up high enough to grab the highline.

- Mount (going from under to on top) a line by creating a counter weight with your legs and swinging to the top of the line. There are many ways of doing this.

- Starting (going from sitting to standing) can be done many ways. They all require your leg(s) to be under your butt, then transfer your weight to your leg(s), then stand up. Your arms can grab the line or be out far to help you balance depending on the method

- You can put the leash in front or behind you when you start. Just make sure your legs don’t get caught in it when you start so plan according to your style

- “Chongo” sit start begins where you are sitting on your foot and your knee is bent aggressively, which can cause damage to your knee tendons. So be careful not to over do this sit start until your knee is used to it.

- If your leash gets stuck when you are walking, just reach down between your legs with one hand and jiggle it.

- To move the leash to the other side of your body while sitting, just hold the leash in place and push your body up and scoot over it.

- When walking with a leash, you want it between your legs. If it is off to one side it can make falling on that side awful or get hung up on your leg on that side while trying to walk.

- When you fall, don’t go feet first and don’t grab the leash!

- Catching a highline can cause injuries to your hands, fingers or elbow joints, but it is a good skill to have as it saves from having to climb a leash and protects you in no-fall zones that you shouldn’t be walking in anyways. If you rely on catching, you may be tempted to not stand up all the way, which makes walking more difficult.

- To go from standing to sitting, squat while staying as straight as possible without bending over, reach down with one hand and reach for line, then sit. If you screw up the line can snap up and sprain your wrist so be careful.

- Turn around by pushing your body up with both hands on the line, flip one leg to the same side as the other leg, then flip the other leg over line; keeping your waist above line the whole time. It can be exhausting to go under the line, turn around and remount the line.

- Having a keep sling is convenient for your line slide but it is more efficient if sliding long distances to have the line slide directly connected to your belay loop.

- Whether sliding out or in on steep lines, you always want your head facing the closest anchor.

- Buddy check every time before highlining. Be checked or check your friends on the following:

  • Is harnessed correctly. Is it double backed if the harness requires it?

  • Does the leash go through the same 2 points of the harness that the belay loop is going through?

  • Is the figure 8 tied right. You can count the parallel lines 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 plus tail tied off?

  • Do they have loose things on them or things in their unzipped pockets

- Don’t slide out of control on steep lines

- Line slide past obstacles by using your heel to take the weight off your hips so you can use your free hand to slide it past the twisted backup or split connector.

- To rest on a steep highline, you can flip the line slide over (specifically the Hangover) so the wheels are on your belay loop, so you don’t slide around.

- To scoot on a highline put one hand behind you and one hand in front and push your butt off the line. Practice this in the park so you don’t wear yourself out on a highline.

- Don’t leave the lineslide on the highline if you are trying to get back onto the cliff or it will hose you.

- Sometimes, it can be easiest to get back onto the cliff (if you slid to the end) to mount the line and scoot to the cliff edge rather than trying to do a pull up right next to the cliff edge.

- Keep positive thoughts, have goals, but don’t get frustrated if it is too hard. Aim to reach flow state and not adrenaline.

- Highlines can have the following unique characteristics compared to slacklines in the park.

  • Humping: back and forth motion as the energy travels through the line (200+ meter longs)

  • Side sag: you are blown off center and the highline is not straight (100+ meters)

  • Backup loops: loose backups can wrap around the main line or be blown around by wind and you need to be careful not to get your feet caught in it while walking.


If you have feedback, additional information, more correct information, or just good ol' typos that need fixing, please email me at skylining@live.com or leave a comment below.


It costs about $10k a year to operate HNTH and no we don't make money on youtube. Please spot us $20 on paypal/venmo or support us per episode on Patreon.

Read the PDF version below... it's better than the blog version!


Subscribe to our channel on youtube and hit the bell so you get notified every time we put out a new episode. We talk about bolts, highlining, climbing, gear, break tests and more.

185 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All