Cascade Falls, an incredible multi-stage waterfall in Yosemite that houses one of the most spectacular highlines I've ever seen. The waterfall starts well above where the highline is and goes through a series of small tiers before the final exit of about 450 feet, which is where the highline is. At the base of the pre-final waterfall, there is a perched rock with several 1/2" bolts dedicated for this highline. This rock was meant for a highline anchor. It perks out at the perfect height above the final exit point of the waterfall to make for a HUGE drop.

Mich preparing to cross Cascade Falls

Across the chasm about 200 ft. away there is a rock shelf that is at the same height as the perched rock on the other side. There are also many dedicated 1/2" bolts on this shelf that are there for this highline. The landscape of this location makes for one of the hardest lines to rig as there is absolutely no way to walk the line around, which is something that Eric and I learned the hard way last year when we attempted to rig this monster highline. In order to rig it, a person has to rappel down about 100m to the base of the falls and attach 2 ropes together to pull the line across. This was not an easy task for Mich Kemeter and I. We spent the better part of 2 days getting this line up, which really sucked since we only had 2 days to be in Yosemite.

A view of the 4-point anchor on Cascade Falls

Once we got the line rigged, we were both pumped to give this thing a try, unfortunately it wasn't as easy of a walk as we both thought it was going to be. We have both had our fair share of difficult highlines to walk, but this line was by far the hardest thing either of us had ever been on. At 204 feet long (62.2m), about 400 feet off the deck, and with a vertical white wall as an anchor, it was no easy task to get across this line. After several attempts at walking towards to wall, we both decided it would be a good idea to try and start from the other side. This proved to be a good decision because after about 10 more tries, Mich was able to cross the line! It was such a smooth walk on his part, very inspiring for me. He was also able to walk the line back on his second attempt.

Mich getting the first ascent of the Cascade Falls Highline

Next, it was my turn to get on this beast. I knew I was going to send the line on my next few tries, but it was just a mater of committing to the walk that I was having a hard time doing. I was EXTREMELY shaky on this line, more so than I have ever been before. There was not a single time on the walk to the rock side that I was comfortable. The line was swinging left and right, my legs were shaking like crazy, and my eyes were tearing up. It was such a difficult line for me, but I made it! I conquering this project that I've had for nearly 2 years now. Such a great feeling getting to the other side, what I live for!

Cruising across the Cascade Falls Highline

The way back was equally hard for me. After about 7 attempts, I was about to give up. Then Mich yelled over to me to give it one more go. The back of my legs and my hands were completely dead at this point, bruised from line-catch after line-catch. But, I thought to myself, when is this line going to be rigged again? I walked it one way, why can't I walk it back? So I gave it another try!

This proved to be a good idea as I was able to cross the gap! Such an incredible feeling, walking a highline in this incredible place. There is nothing like being out in the middle of space on such an aesthetic line, it really is life changing. This will most definitely not be the last time this line is rigged, we plan on doing it again this Spring when the falls is Uber raging!

Looking down on the Cascade Falls Highline



Name Cascade Falls
Length 204 feet (62 meters)
Sag 4 feet (1.2 meters)
Height 400 feet (120 meters)
Exposure 500 feet (150 meters)
Mainline Webbing Spider Silk MKI
Mainline Tension 2,500 lbf (1,150 kgf)
Backup Material Spider Silk MKI
Backup tenson 400 lbf (180 kgf)

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