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Jan Galek - Balance Community PRO-Team Athlete
Jan Galek - Balance Community PRO-Team Athlete

When I started slacklining I wasn't the first but definitely one of the few in my country. I had no guidelines or help from anyone so the first experience and trying to figure out how to walk the line was lets say at least quite a journey. I got a bit frustrated but it was too late, I was already with that new thing which suppose to be rest-day activity from climbing. I took it really seriously and I think I can say I am a precursor of slacklining in Poland. Over the years I have visited most popular highline areas and put up many new ones in USA (including places like: Yosemite, Moab, Joshua Tree etc.), Europe (for example Meteora in Greece, Czech Republic, Germany) and Mexico (Baja). I had a chance to be the first Pole to send legendary “Lost Arrow Spire” Highline (Yosemite, 2007). Last year (2013) I got to free-solo this beautiful, high and exposed line. On my tick list you can find one of the worlds best highline and longline sends, but also some decent achievements in tricklining. So far I walked around 500 unique highlines from which 83 of them were free-solo. I was a special guest during multiple slackline festivals, won many slackline contests in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany and Austria. In my free time I works as a editor of the “Slackline Corner” section inside GÓRY climbing magazine. Being part of elite highline team Somewhereelseland and BC Pro-Team makes my proud. I also co-operate with a polish slackline team called Slackhouse.

Jan's Blog Feed

  • I've always liked cooking and eating. In my mind these are such a obviousness it is almost weird to state that. I don't think that everyone likes cooking but we can probably agree that everyone likes to consume foods. I remember when I was a kid I used to eat any amounts of whatever and definitely didn't pay attention to my diet. Later in my life I decided to study biology because in high school that was one of my favorite subjects. After one and a half semester I realized I am not really interested in botanic, mycology, life cycle of tapeworm and such ... Due to my long interest in sports as well as my both passions - climbing and slacklining, I decided it might be better to focus on topics connected with it.

  • Three days ago I was celebrating three-month anniversary of my climbing accident in which I broke my lover right leg. At first it was quite shocking and brutally painful. Then by the time I was in a hospital dominating feelings were fear and uncertainty. After two surgeries and almost two weeks spent in a hospital I was noticeably weaker, my stomach was wrecked by four different types of painkillers but slowly I was becoming myself, feeling happy. I think I avoided the stage of resignation and indifference. Instead I started planning, dreaming about what I can achieve, trying to distance a bit to myself and laugh about some things in a hospital which at first seems a bit depressing. I think I am quite lucky. It could be way worse.

  • Last month Jordan and I had a free weekend and decided to start ticking possible highline spots off our urban highline list in Berlin. We did some research on the internet together and found this amazing spot - old abandoned chemical factory. Looking at the pictures online we definitely saw potential of the place but it turned out to be even better then expected.

    We packed our haulbags full of gear and took of quite early at the morning (at least for us it was early start). After driving for a while we finally saw two big chimneys sticking out on the horizon. The excitement level reached its ceiling. We were speculating how big it is, how long, if there is a ladder to top, is it strong enough and so on. I definitely felt like a kid going to do something I should not do ... and actually it was totally justified feeling as we were going for illegal ninja highline action.

  • During last weekend of November Jordan, his girlfriend Lidia and I made a short trip to Ostrov in Czech Republic. This place is magical and we always come back. You can not get bored of it, always finding new places, re-discovering old ones and during this time of the year enjoying natural painting made by nature and colorful trees all around you.

  • It has been a while since I started to post on my blog more frequently, trying to keep up to date and so far I think I am doing quite good. I will finish the last post from our USA trip quite soon but before that I thought I would write about something, which happened during last year. Lately the movie from this show was released on the Internet and remind about the whole gig. It was a great time with one of my friends, a trip to a new country I didn’t visit before and two urban highlines for Ukrainian branch of TV show called “Red or Black”. I have to say the final cut is quite hilarious so read more about it and check out the video.

  • After short rest day in Davis caused by sustained rage-time in Castle Crags, Jordan and I were off to Yosemite Valley. The destination which consists most of our goals for the trip. It was really awesome to get back to the Valley after 3 years since our last visit. I was even more psyched because this time I was going to touch Yosemite granite and do some climbing. I mean, don't get me wrong, highlining is really cool and we had and still do have lots of crazy plans on a high slackline but climbing in the Valley was always my dream.

  • During our short visit in Ashland were we stayed together with Scott Balcom for couple days we made a plan to go explore and establish new highlines in Castle Crags. He recommended to us using words like; epic, beautiful, unexplored, forgotten or remote. Just two of these coming out of Scott's mouth was enough to get our immediate attention. Even though the schedule of our trip was already pretty tight we were stoked to re-organize our schedule for this exciting adventure. I was a bit afraid it might be a bit too ambitious because as we learn establishing new stuff is always way more work then repeating existing spots but it is also way more exciting, rewarding and besides we are pretty experienced and good in it already. It was decided then, we were going to storm the Castle!

  • Last weekend Jordan, Jerry and I had a pleasure to visit Arcada during first 'Humboldt Highline/Longline Festival'. Humboldt is mainly known from the THC (trickline competition originally started by Andy Lewis, which is on now for quite few years). It must be said even though the highlines rigged during the festival are tree-highlines they are really epic and some of them pretty exposed. Red Woods is quite magical place. Massive sequoias covered with moss, green dells coated in ferns makes it really cool experience and perfect highline spot. I had no idea that sequoias have common root system so they are one of the biggest if not the biggest living organism on our planet (!)

  • We had a lazy start after the day before when we rigged and seshed 'Unicorn Graveyard' Highline. It took us long time to wake up, eat breakfast and so on and when we showed up at the Bridges Rock Gym it was almost 2pm. Damian was ready to gave up on us, but we spoke for a short moment and decided to go on a REALLY fast run.

    We were getting ready for the 'Hole Rock' Highline (23m L/21m H/1219m of exposure). The line with which I had unfinished business since my first trip to USA in 2007. After our Yosemite trip Damian Cooksey, Jon Ritson and I went to bolt and rig this line on Mount Saint Helena. It was a really hot day, the hike is not so short and the last part of it is brutal scramble through sharp and spiny chaparral. The time in Yosemite had us in the mindset that we didn't need to carry water. Unfortunately on Mount Saint Helena there is no springs and we had 1/2 liter of water in between three of us. We finished finding and scoping the line but we had no power and time to bolt, rig and walk. Jon and I were so dehydrated we almost passed out.

    Soon after that Damian went back to finish the line together with Pierre Carrillo, Andy Lewis, Jenna and others. I always wished I could be there and during that trip I could finally get a second chance.

  • As soon as we got back to Lodi from our 2-day quickie in Yosemite Valley the weather decided to get windy again (sigh!) ... Faced with non skydiving conditions we were forced to continue the rage ;) Faith unexpectedly had to leave to Austin because of the important personal reason so we couldn't enjoy this time together. Short conversation with Jordan made everything clear and after a quick call to my old friend Damian Cooksey we were on out way to San Francisco. Sitting in a car I was excited about meeting him again after almost 3 years. Damian has been an mentor and inspiration to me for a really long time, we shared some amazing times during our trip in 2007 and other places. Actually he never stops inspiring, lately establishing and sending long 'Yosemite Falls' Highline which is double length of original line ...

    While sitting in a car I was wondering how he is now and going through the old memories. We arrived in Berkley at the Bridges Rock Gym late afternoon, met up with Damian and Alex and spoke for quite a long time. I was glad to see Damian being happy and full of energy. We made some plans for next visit in Yosemite and I am truly glad Damian will be there with us. Next we went quickly to pick up Max and Jared from Oakland and rode back to the Gym to slackline and boulder for the rest of the day. Bridges Rock Gym is such a fun place to play. We climbed bunch of problems from V1-V7, tricklined, slacklined and even set up small and fun rodeoline.

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Balance Community: Slackline Outfitters