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

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

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.

DANIEL MONTERRUBIO: I'm Daniel.

MOISES MONTERRUBIO: And I'm Moises.

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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.

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