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Brothers Set Yosemite's Record For Longest Sky-High Walk


Hiking Yosemite National Park can be treacherous. There's slippery snowmelt, steep cliffs, wild animals. But some adventurers choose to cross through the park from up high, more than a thousand feet above the ground.



D MONTERRUBIO: And we are highliners that set up ropes between canyons, and we try to walk them.


The Monterrubio brothers claim to have just broken a record in Yosemite - and in California - for making the longest walk across a sky-high, inch-wide nylon rope.

CHANG: The brothers say they got approval from the park to string up their line. They anchored one end to an old, thick tree and attached the other to a granite cliff looming over the Yosemite Valley called Taft Point.

D MONTERRUBIO: That place is very special to us because that's where we walked our first true highline - like, a very exposed and above, like, hundreds of meters. That was two years ago, and that was only a 30-meter line.

SHAPIRO: This time, they walked for more than half a mile. The brothers wore a harness for safety, which left them dangling in midair during some inevitable falls. But they say that wasn't even the scariest part.

D MONTERRUBIO: The dangerous part was actually getting the line across.

CHANG: Putting up that half-mile line across treacherous terrain took six days and a big team. And they spent a lot of time together.

D MONTERRUBIO: We made some family meals for everyone. We ate together.

M MONTERRUBIO: We also had arguments - in a good way, constructively. Yeah, there was a lot of things involved, a lot of emotions.

SHAPIRO: As for why they do it?

M MONTERRUBIO: We just see something that could be turned into something beautiful. We just imagine a line across. Yeah, I guess now it means we actually broke a record.

SHAPIRO: The Monterrubio brothers broke that record by almost three times and now aim to break a much longer world record walk, not to get in a record book, but for the love of the sport.

(SOUNDBITE OF FOUR TET'S "TEENAGE BIRDSONG") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Christopher Intagliata is an editor at All Things Considered, where he writes news and edits interviews with politicians, musicians, restaurant owners, scientists and many of the other voices heard on the air.
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