Reaching New Heights

Austin native Faith Dickey, 26, has captured national media attention again with her latest feat: crossing a 70-foot-long highline across 2,769-foot-high Pedra da Gávea, a mountain on the coast of Rio de Janeiro, in a pair of bright-pink kitten heels, no less.

By April Cumming

“I was feeling a little bit like a fool out there in pink heels, falling and catching myself. My skirt was blowing everywhere, but it was fun. I couldn’t help but laugh and smile the whole time.” 
– Faith Dickey, after her third time crossing a highline in heels 

Highlining, for those unfamiliar with the daredevil-driven activity, is a branch of the sport of slacklining, the adrenaline-inducing practice  of stretching a piece of not-so-taut webbing between two strongholds— two trees or two cliff faces—before wobbling across like a trapeze artist.  

Faith Dickey got her start in the sport on the grassy hilltop slopes of Barton Springs, balancing on lines  set up between old-growth pecan trees. The athlete holds multiple female world records in her sport and is notoriously known for her 2012 Volvo commercial (The Ballerina Stunt on YouTube), in which she crosses a slackline strung between two 18-wheelers as they drive down a highway at high speed.  

Her recent high-heel highline endeavor on November 1 was part  of the High Girls Brazil Festival, an inaugural event celebrating female highliners in the country, to which Dickey was invited as a special guest.  

What heights are her sights set on next? She’s establishing new lines in Tasmania, off the Australian coast.

“My focus in highlining is conquering gaps that have yet to be conquered,” Dickey says. “I want to push my own personal records.”   

 

Photos by Reginaldo Gomes.    


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