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1948 Canyon Crossing Repeated On Highline

Photo credit: Helen Richardson
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600 feet across and 500 feet in the air, Taylor VanAllen did what hadn’t been done in almost 70 years.

VanAllen took 18 minutes to cross from the Bastille formation to the Wind Tower over Eldorado Canyon near Boulder, Colo., Saturday.

His attempt raised money for trail maintenance and anchor placement for climbers within the state park.

tyler van allen eldorado canyon
Photo credit: Helen Richardson

The event drew a “cheering crowd,” according to local reports.

Organizers required the approval of officials, as slacklining (or highlining) in the park is typically prohibited.

highline in Eldorado Canyon
Photo credit: Helen Richardson

Event staff anticipated at least a 40-minute crossing, as did spectators, VanAllen crossed the line three more times, performing tricks and caught-falls on his final attempt.

Ivy Baldwin: King Of Eldorado Canyon

In addition to raising funds for outdoor enthusiasts in the area, VanAllen, a nearby Morrison, Colo., resident, paid homage to a local icon: Ivy Baldwin.

Baldwin was an avid, if not widely known, high-wire acrobat. He made the Eldorado Canyon crossing more than 80 times between 1902 and 1948.

Ivy Baldwin
Ivy Baldwin walked the Eldorado high wire decades ago

His final crossing took place on his 82nd birthday. While 25-year-old VanAllen had a 1-inch wide webbing slackline, Baldwin made the trek across along a half-inch-wide steel cable.

The images of VanAllen’s crossing give real perspective to Baldwin’s accomplishment. He crossed the canyon with a 40-foot pole, no leash, and no net.

To honor Baldwin’s feat, VanAllen dubbed the route “Poison Ivy” after the event.

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