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You did test this thing, didn't you?
March 5, 2013 8:45 AM   Subscribe

Extreme rope swinging (SLYT). The question is, would you do it?
posted by arcticseal (80 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Cliff jumping was terrifying enough for me but I love the emotional shift the guy goes through around 1:20. I like to think that'd be what I'd do.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:51 AM on March 5, 2013


Oh in a heartbeat.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:52 AM on March 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


You said "extreme". Therefore, the answer to your question is "no."
posted by grubi at 8:54 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


So the girls can only swing if they go with a boy?!
posted by chavenet at 8:55 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would LOVE to do that (although I've hit the age where I can manage to hurt myself sleeping).
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:55 AM on March 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


The extended video of him pushing his girlfriend off the cliff swing is equal parts endearing and troubling.
posted by saladin at 8:56 AM on March 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


At first I was gonna be like, "No because I'm like a t-rex when it comes to arm muscles," but then I actually watched it and realized that they were, y'know, harnessed in, and not just hanging on to the rope like Indiana Jones. So the answer is, um, DUH YES.

Although honestly I think the thing that they're doing where they're rope walking over the canyon looks even more fun.
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:58 AM on March 5, 2013


I'd do it, but I sure as hell wouldn't be the first one to test it out. I'll let someone else double-check the math on that one.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:01 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure why the guy uses a bow to get the leadline across the canyon when it's pretty obvious from the opening shot that they have some kind of aircraft.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:02 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure why the guy uses a bow to get the leadline across the canyon when it's pretty obvious from the opening shot that they have some kind of aircraft.

Later on there's a shot where you can see their aerial photography unit and it's one of those ultralight RC helicopter things. Probably could lift a couple pounds tops.
posted by komara at 9:04 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I kinda wish there'd be one or two longish takes so I could get a better sense of the apparatus and the ride, and a couple fewer quick jumpcuts between young beautiful faces enjoying their extremeness.

I might have done this* when I was young and beautiful, but I certainly would not do it now that I am neither.

------------------
*Lord knows some things were once done that should not have been done.
posted by notyou at 9:04 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


The extended video of him pushing his girlfriend off the cliff swing is equal parts endearing and troubling.

I think you and I have different definitions of "equal".
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 9:05 AM on March 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's a big drop but in the daylight, no trees to miss, and real climbing equipment? Wimps. The one I remember was in a ravine near Seattle, there was a bit of wood at the end of the rope to sit on, and when I went back to the location some responsible person had removed the rope. And everyone seemed to miss the trees, but it was close. And really stupid. How did we survive?
posted by sammyo at 9:05 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I did something similar this past summer - I went on a rope swing that was launched off a bridge, over a river canyon. It was very fun, but also terrifying. At least we had trained people push us off the bridge. These folks are jumping on their own initiative.

The same day I tried bungee jumping, and I didn't enjoy it. You have to force yourself out, and force yourself to jump. It was not a pleasant experience. I knew that I would freeze if I gave myself half a chance, so as soon as the gear was attached to my legs, I shuffled over to the side of the bridge and jumped off.

Whenever I think about it I feel sick to my stomach (I had to do it for work - I'm a copywriter, and one of our clients operates a bunch of bungee jump adventure parks, and wanted me to learn about the experience first-hand).
posted by KokuRyu at 9:06 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Awwww, HELL NO!! (my inner T-Dog has come out!!)
posted by pearlybob at 9:08 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


This looks superior to bungee and BASE jumping to me. Just putting that out there. Like a tree swing from childhood all grown up.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:09 AM on March 5, 2013


I had to do it for work - I'm a copywriter, and one of our clients operates a bunch of bungee jump adventure parks, and wanted me to learn about the experience first-hand.

Please speak to the safari travel agency I write for from time to time and explain how so much better your copy is after having had the experience. I would like my client to understand that he needs to send me to East Africa. (Maybe a few months after the elections in Kenya. I once might have been willing to go during the election tension, but I'm not young and beautiful anymore.)
posted by notyou at 9:12 AM on March 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


Not to keep harping on the bow thing, but the way the opening is edited is misleading in the extreme. It gives the impression that the guy swings out on the very line he just launched. There are a lot of problems with this idea. First, that's a very heavy pair of ropes he's swinging out on. You use a bow to send a lead line, very light and just strong enough to haul a real rope across. Second, you don't put your weight on something that you just fired into a dead piece of scrub brush from tens of meters away.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:13 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Huh, I was wondering how they got that expensive crane shot at the beginning.

Expect to see a whole lot of expensive-looking crane shots in the future.
posted by ook at 9:15 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


They probably got the idea from Man on Wire where they did that same thing on the WTC.
posted by cazoo at 9:16 AM on March 5, 2013


Yeah, how did they anchor the thing they shot with the bow? How did they test it? how did they make sure that they wouldn't swing right into the face of a cliff?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:16 AM on March 5, 2013


I'd like to think I could muster the courage to do this (or skydiving, to live out my Point Break fantasy). But I'm pretty sure I would require a preemptive diaper of some sort--there's no way I wouldn't pee, at least a little bit. Maybe a lot, and possibly worse than pee.
posted by rodeoclown at 9:17 AM on March 5, 2013


I think the bow thing was bullshit intended to look cool.
posted by Lord Force Crater at 9:17 AM on March 5, 2013 [17 favorites]


The bow is a sensible solution in itself, but they don't show the whole thing. They used the bow to span the gap, then they walked or drove to the other side and used that line to pull real ropes across and rig them properly.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:19 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you watch the "making of" video linked at the end it adds a lot of understanding to how the swing is actually set up. Also a guy pushes his girlfriend off the cliff as mentioned above.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:20 AM on March 5, 2013


Go to 5:30 to hear more about the set-up of the rigging.
posted by amanda at 9:21 AM on March 5, 2013


Man, you push your girlfriend off a cliff one time...
posted by yoink at 9:22 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not even willing to click the link, let alone perform the activity myself.
posted by DU at 9:24 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


* SPLAT *
posted by scose at 9:24 AM on March 5, 2013


Yeah, that was so not cool. Russians don't need all the fancy Hollywood editing, and they don't have to force their girlfriends off of cliffs. They do so of their own volition.
posted by phaedon at 9:28 AM on March 5, 2013


That's one of the stupidest things I've seen.
posted by slogger at 9:33 AM on March 5, 2013


That being said, I'm a huge wimp.
posted by slogger at 9:33 AM on March 5, 2013


saladin: The extended video of him pushing his girlfriend off the cliff swing is equal parts endearing and troubling.
I'd say 99.9% troubling. Here's the douche moment.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:34 AM on March 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


Expect to see a whole lot of expensive-looking crane shots in the future.

That is incredibly cool.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:35 AM on March 5, 2013


Somebody call Johnny LaRue!
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:36 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


As a general rule, I only trust my own rigging. I wouldn't trust myself to do this kind of rigging.
posted by cmoj at 9:44 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I still don't get how they can be so sure of not hitting the sides. It seems they're skilled at this kind of thing, but still.
posted by Jehan at 9:45 AM on March 5, 2013


komara: I'm not sure why the guy uses a bow to get the leadline across the canyon when it's pretty obvious from the opening shot that they have some kind of aircraft.

Later on there's a shot where you can see their aerial photography unit and it's one of those ultralight RC helicopter things. Probably could lift a couple pounds tops.
Also, because: CoolAsHell Batman move!
posted by IAmBroom at 9:49 AM on March 5, 2013


As a general rule, I only trust my own rigging. I wouldn't trust myself to do this kind of rigging.

Add in the "when to retire the rope" question and it gets even more intense. I'm 90% sure I saw a backup rope in every direction but still, to my understanding, that's a consideration that's especially important in usages like this, as opposed to climbing where falls aren't the intent per se.

I still don't get how they can be so sure of not hitting the sides. It seems they're skilled at this kind of thing, but still.

Toss a test dummy, adjust, repeat. That's my guess but I'd listen to people that know more since my experience is limited to top rope climbing, some rigging instruction on bombproof holds, and extensive living through vicarious reading*.

*A great book, do recommend for technical comprehension/introduction, if not application.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:50 AM on March 5, 2013


The extended video of him pushing his girlfriend off the cliff swing is equal parts endearing and troubling.

That must have been incredibly endearing for you, then. That's a whole level of assholery that I never considered the existence of.
posted by cmoj at 9:54 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


See also the amazing, and also tragically/inevitably late, Dan Osman doing increasingly mental rope-jumps (basically tying one 50m climbing rope to the other to another to...). No security, no back-up lines. Note: you may die.
posted by YouRebelScum at 9:56 AM on March 5, 2013


In regards to the guy pushing his girlfriend off the cliff... I don't find it as bad as some people have suggested. Yes, it's still a bit of a jerk thing to do, but I didn't see any follow-up to it.

Look at how long she was there ready to go, and the number of times they counted down and she didn't do it. My vibe isn't that she doesn't even want to do it, as if that was the case, she'd either not have gotten geared up, or have had them take the gear off after staring down and deciding not to do it.

What I see is someone who wants to do it, but has let fear take control, and now has spent too long thinking about it and dwelling on the fear. She's still got the want, which is why she's still hooked up to the line, but that part is now dwarfed by the fear. It takes an external stimulus to go through with it.
posted by evilangela at 9:59 AM on March 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


Add in the "when to retire the rope" question and it gets even more intense.

No kidding. Are they using a new rope for each jump? How much abuse can these ropes take?
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:03 AM on March 5, 2013


Are they using a new rope for each jump?

I highly doubt it, that'd be prohibitively expensive and is probably overkill. However, the search term you're looking for is fall factor and, in climbing, a major fall can be a reason to retire a rope but isn't always necessary.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:07 AM on March 5, 2013


I'd like to know what the woman and her boyfriend discussed before this -- because I could see, for instance, that she knew this about herself beforehand and agreed that he could do it (something I can imagine doing myself). And I would like to pretend that's what happened, that she agreed that if she didn't walk away, he could push her, because otherwise pushing her after she said "please don't push me" several times and he said he wouldn't is . . . well, I'd love to hear her take on this.
posted by jeather at 10:10 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


You could also read into dynamic belaying, which used to be a huge deal when climbers used hemp ropes (yea, back in the day...*) because it would spread out the impact of the lead climber being placed on the rope and gear over a longer time interval.

Modern climbing ropes do this naturally via their inherent stretch so maybe, probably imho, their rig and usage has enough dynamic belay inherent in the design that the ropes aren't getting hit with all the weight all at once, which is where rope replacement becomes a concern.

* From my reading this was advanced but required technique for early technical climbing but at that point the mantra was basically "The lead climber must not fall" because it rarely ended well. To me that means the fact that the climber who would climb behind the lead climber didn't put nearly as much strain on the rope if he fell because of the much reduced fall factor.... which makes sense.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:12 AM on March 5, 2013


Somebody call Johnny LaRue!

ONE MIKE! ONE CAMERA LaRue!
posted by edgeways at 10:18 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


It takes an external stimulus to go through with it.

A liiiittle different than being pushed off a cliff. Even if she's glad afterwards, it seems like they'd have some trust issues.
posted by DU at 10:23 AM on March 5, 2013


I think it was an asshole move for that guy to push his girlfriend off the cliff too. But his girlfriend actually thanked him for it:

http://instagram.com/p/Wa2jfqH_iK/
posted by hubs at 10:27 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


The one time I went bungee jumping, I got pushed. I obviously can't speak for the woman in the video, and the circumstances weren't identical, but I was actually kind of grateful for the push. Pushing me probably wasn't ethical, but I don't have any ill will towards the guy who did it.
posted by Serf at 10:28 AM on March 5, 2013


When I went bungee jumping, the guys who ran the bridge were really competent, cool dudes. In fact, one of them had the nickname of "The Bungee Whisperer". He had worked at the park since it opened about 15 years before, and he helped people, in a very low-key and respectful way, muster up the courage to jump of the bridge. His advice to me: just jump. So I did.

But it would be unthinkable to push someone off the bridge.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:34 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nope nope nope nope nope...
posted by jph at 10:51 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


According to the folks at Metolius my ropes and harness are engineered to withstand a minumim of 9kN impact, though their max is much higher. The belay loop is rated at 22kN. You can play with the values on this fall calculator to see where certain death lies. I think the fall is probably putting 5-6kN on the rope given estimates of a 80 kg guy dropping 10-15 meters on a 50 meter rope. In theory your rope should be able to take the bone jarring 9kN fall up to its rated number of falls. So if the rope is rested, free of breaks and fraying, clean and in otherwise good condition it should be alright for at least a few more jumps than the fall rating. This should not be considers safety advice.
posted by humanfont at 11:16 AM on March 5, 2013


Right, but don't forget that the rope they've stretched across the canyon is basically a worst case scenario of the angle of force when you've got two bombproof anchors holding up a climber/jumper. That's the rope I'd be worried about honestly. or maybe they used steel cable or something. I'd love to know more.

So, nothing against the guy's setup, it's been done before and will be done again and can be done as safely as anything most of us do on a daily basis (assuming you drive to work or live on a fault line or something) but it's complicated doesn't even begin to describe setting this up properly.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:24 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Perhaps a better description of the above.
Edit: scroll down a *tiny* bit.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:25 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Before I watched the video, I said hell no, I wouldn't go. Then I watched the video and now I'm all fuck yeah, I will go! As long as no one pushes me. If anyone pushes me, I'm going back up there to push them right back. But without a rope.
posted by rtha at 11:32 AM on March 5, 2013


And okay, not really without a rope. But there would be Consequences.
posted by rtha at 11:32 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Where is that, exactly? Has to be somewhere in SE Utah.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:59 AM on March 5, 2013


saladin: "The extended video of him pushing his girlfriend off the cliff swing is equal parts endearing and troubling."

That's a dumping offense. I've been in a rappel harness ten or more times but only gone over twice. Even my mock-happy friends wouldn't dare push me. What if she tripped, or got going sideways and clipped the cliff? Asshole.
posted by notsnot at 11:59 AM on March 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


I might do it.

Also, there's got to be one hell of a jolt when your body weight hits the end of the rope!
posted by nrobertson at 12:11 PM on March 5, 2013


Also, there's got to be one hell of a jolt when your body weight hits the end of the rope!

I'm thinking maybe not so much. The rope looks to be near it's maximum length when the jumpers jump. As long as they fall down (rather than leap into the abyss and introduce slack into the line), they'll fall more or less along the path of an arc described by the end of the rope. They shouldn't experience too much of a jolt.

Try it yourself with a plumb bob and string or pocket watch and chain.
posted by notyou at 1:18 PM on March 5, 2013


I’m an adrenaline junkie, but not a climber, and I know nothing about ropes and rigging, so I personally wouldn’t do this. I choose to get my gravity on in more controlled situations such as mountain biking and skiing, and that’s plenty thrilling enough for me.

To my untrained eye, this group seems competent in use of the equipment, and climbing is clearly their outdoor pursuit of choice, so I can make no judgments there. However, the forcing of an unwilling participant into taking that plunge was a major asshole move, and spoils the endeavour for me.

The dismissal by some participants of others' decisions is my #1 pet-peeve about adrenaline sports. Within my own pursuits of skiing and biking this tendency to force others to tackle obstacles that they aren’t yet ready for mentally or physically by taking inexperienced users on courses far too challenging for them probably ruins these activities for far more people than it entices into them.

I have many mountain-biking friends who won’t ski because of a bad experience they had when learning, and the reverse is also true. Encouragement and support for those ready to attempt challenging tasks is always laudable, pushing someone off of a cliff never is. One of the most satisfying things about adrenaline sports is the conquering of fear, the pusher robbed his girlfriend of that achievement.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 1:19 PM on March 5, 2013 [8 favorites]


Awfully decent of these rush junkies to gib me some cheep trills. WHOOah!
posted by Twang at 1:26 PM on March 5, 2013


We used to go bridge swinging off Menai Bridge when I was a student and climbed a lot at the time. The trick was that you had to do it at night and during heavy fog as the police used to sweep it a lot as it was a known location for suicide watch. There was something almost mystical about swinging through the fog. Climbing up the rope at the end was a pain though.

To answer my own question: I'd do this in a heartbeat.
posted by arcticseal at 1:27 PM on March 5, 2013


It's outside Moab UT.
posted by leslies at 1:43 PM on March 5, 2013


I would like to do this*, but I think I would also need to be shoved.

(*Given that somebody would inlighten me as to why I shouldn't fear smashing up against the cliff wall.)
posted by Jehan at 2:09 PM on March 5, 2013


Oh yes.
posted by homunculus at 2:12 PM on March 5, 2013


Look, if I pushed my g/f off of a 400 foot rope bridge, after she repeatedly said, "no" and "don't push me" and she wouldn't dump me after that, even I, the pushee would think that this girl was still hanging out with me because I am an asshole, and she's attracted to things that are bad for her.

ps: she dumped him anyways, a few weeks later.

What part of a relationship is about forcing your partner to do things, against their will?
posted by alex_skazat at 2:19 PM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I should have been more clear in my earlier comment; what I find endearing is her working through her fear, not his pushing her off in the end. He comes off as a dick (although, as others have mentioned, there may be additional context to their relationship that we're not privy to that makes this particular action okay), but irrespective of that, the safety issues inherent in pushing someone off like that seem completely fucked. When I first watched it I couldn't stop imagining what would have happened if she'd instinctively grabbed on to him, accidentally pulling him over to his (and possibly her) death.

I guess that means I'm getting older.
posted by saladin at 2:30 PM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Look at how long she was there ready to go, and the number of times they counted down and she didn't do it.

You know what you do then? You say "Okay, hon, let's get you out of the rig. Wanna beer?"
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:51 PM on March 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


I guess that means I'm getting older.

I wouldn't say that. I was introduced to climbing at a pretty young age in grade school - safety was hammered into my head, especially since we were in groups of 20+ with no so many adults to wrangle us all. Those types of experiences stuck. I'm not so caring of the issue of someone doing something stupid to themselves, but when you basically force an action upon someone else, without their consent, because you think it's OK - that's, well not. It's cut and dry.

When I'm on hiking trips with my S.O., and the hiking turns to unroped scrambling up and over something we've both never done, the conversation isn't, "Well, you can't turn back NOW!" at the base of the climb, it starts the previous day with, "this is what this all entails" and we take it from there, discussing it all - AFTER working up from easy hike to moderate hikes, etc.

Maybe it's also where I live. I've been met with forest rangers on the start of very easy hikes, that warn me that people have died on this same route (mostly for going off-route), and to be careful. I read up on these types of trips accidents constantly. If you want examples where on S.O. pushed the other and the outcome was a death, I've got those at hand. (incidentally, this is the death of the one that pushes)
posted by alex_skazat at 3:00 PM on March 5, 2013


Dan Osman doing increasingly mental rope-jumps (basically tying one 50m climbing rope to the other to another to...). No security, no back-up lines...

I remember reading in Climbing that on his first jumps Osman did devise a system to absorb the initial impact on the rope, one component of which was to have Hidetaka Suzuki - a notoriously skinny and ripped Yosemite local - on belay, wearing padding and a bike helmet for when he was slammed upwards into the anchors.
Later Osman got more comfortable with the jump, and figured it was ok to forgo this shock absorbing system.
posted by Flashman at 3:17 PM on March 5, 2013


I trust all young folk involved kept mom abreast with Facebook.
posted by breadbox at 3:18 PM on March 5, 2013


nonononono x 3:47.
posted by mochapickle at 6:01 PM on March 5, 2013


> When I first watched it I couldn't stop imagining what would have happened if she'd instinctively grabbed on to him, accidentally pulling him over to his (and possibly her) death.

I had the same thought -- in fact, before he got douchey I kept thinking how if I were her I'd have been so beside myself in panic that he would slip when coming over to comfort/encourage me that I wouldn't have heard a word. On closer viewing, though, it seems he's responsibly & safely anchored to the ground. (If you don't want to re-watch, just skip to the frame at 1:28 in the douche-moment video linked above and you'll see the line from his harness to the ground.)

As to her being OK with it in the end: maybe, but that Instagram photo & the story of her thanking him is evidence of nothing except HER maturity & professionalism in front of rolling cameras. And honestly, the fact that he posted it with a triumphant see-I-really-did-know-best tone isn't making him look any less douchey.
posted by Westringia F. at 6:11 PM on March 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


The one and only time I went bungee jumping, I asked the guy to push me and he said he couldn't and wouldn't. So when he started counting, I didn't wait for him to get to 1, I just jumped. It was awesome. I probably would have wanted to do this when I was younger, but I think I would have chickened out in the end.
posted by tamitang at 7:28 PM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


On closer viewing, though, it seems he's responsibly & safely anchored to the ground.

As he should be. That doesn't excuse this action though, and in a way it compounds the error, in that it was her flight that wasput at risk, if any. He's not going anywhere.

It's precisely this cavalier dismissal of the integrity of decisions that others might make than can be so off-putting in the personalities of some of those attracted to gravity sports. Advice and encouragement can too easily become pressure and compulsion; and this is what leads to woe. One reason these kinds of activities have lower participation levels amongst women isn't that they are less capable or attracted to the thrills, but that they are less tolerant of the kind of coercion seen here. This attitude can be endemic within what is often a testosterone-heavy culture. They become more disenchanted with the attitude of others and denial of their agency than do they do with their own progress.

Ultimately, our pushee may or may not have made the decision to jump. But that was her resolution to make, and no one else's.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:52 PM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Not just that, but I think women are subjected to this type of bullying more extremely. DoucheBro would probably have pressured anyone, but I strongly suspect he would have stopped short of actually shoving a guy. And not only in the context of extreme sports, either. [In fact, for me it's been the opposite: I've been treated with utmost respect in high-stakes situations because everyone is very aware of the risks, but in "normal" circumstances, I, a petite adult woman, get physically picked up (as in carried off the ground, not "hey baby") with shocking frequency by male aquaintances who think it's cute.] It's all part and parcel of the lack of respect for physical boundaries & autonomy that pervades how women are treated in so many situations. :(
posted by Westringia F. at 11:42 PM on March 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, he's an asshole. Period.
posted by BlueHorse at 1:06 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, 22, dies while swinging from Utah rock arch
posted by rtha at 8:14 PM on March 25, 2013


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