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The first ever women Highline gathering in India

Updated: Mar 14, 2022

If anyone is familiar with the highlining scene in India, they know very well how scarce women are in the sport in comparison with the number of men who Highline. A crew of women spending time outdoors to rig and session on highlines was something that was unheard of in India.

Rigging Session. Pic Credit: Shruti Agarwal
Rigging Session. Pic Credit: Shruti Agarwal

This was up until some of us got together organized the Women’s Highline Gathering at Duke’s Nose Lonavala happen in November 2021.

The sole purpose of this gathering was to bring slackliners together and create a space where we could motivate each other, learn to rig and just generally spend time with each other in the outdoors, something that doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should.

The gathering saw about 12-15 women from Delhi, Aurangabad, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore come together for the most part of the week, a pretty big number given that people had to travel from across the country to be a part of it. A range of different people came together for the gathering, we had a Pilot, photographer, designer, actor, medical worker, copywriter and neuroscientist among others.

Mel on Red Jewel. Pic Credit: Megha Thiara

The idea for this gathering came about after a video call that happened last year among some women, namely Mel, Shruti, Misbah, Diva and me. All of us came together because we wanted to get better at highlining and also learn to rig highlines. Every single one of us at different points has been the only woman among many guys at rigs and as nice as these guys are, it's always nicer to also have other like-minded women around too. In the call, we imagined what it would be like to organize a women's gathering but no conclusive dates were decided. It was only in October when I moved to Kurvande in Lonavala, that the stoke to get something going was rekindled and without too much thought, dates were decided and social media invites were sent out.

Everything that happened after this had a life of its own.
Anchor Selfies. Pic Credit: Megha Thiara
Anchor Selfies. Pic Credit: Megha Thiara

It was decided early on that we didn’t want to plan or create an agenda for the days of the gathering, to allow for things to happen organically. Everyone contributed to making the gathering a success, from figuring out the logistics to bring up food and water to the campsite, to making sure there was always snacks in the camp, to organizing rigging sessions, rigging the lines themselves and impromptu flow sessions. The only role I played as an organizer was to decide a start and end date, send out Instagram messages to the few people I knew would be keen on being a part of something like this, and make sure we had all the gear needed to rig the 2 lines we were planning. Everything else that followed evolved on its own.

We rigged Baby Beast and Lack of Chai (LOC)

LOC was established by Rohit Vartak, Samar Farooqui, Bhupesh Patil and David Baby Beast was established by Rohit Vartak and Samar Farooqui

And finally a group selfie.

Pic Credit: Fernando Ferreira
Pic Credit: Radhika Agarwal

Rhea Antony
Rhea Antony

She is a rock climbing, highlining and Ultimate frisbee playing graphic designer, who just generally loves spending time outdoors being uncomfortable and sweaty.

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