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Michelle Griffith slacklining in Eldorado Canyon State Park. It’s legal there, but with restrictions—best to call in advance. (photo by Scott Hardesty)

Slackliners brainstorm ideas on how to propose a reasonable and respectful compromise with the Boulder County Council.

If you’ve ever seen someone attempting what looks like tightrope walking between two trees a few feet from the ground in a park, you’ve seen the sport of slacklining. From trees and vertical poles to rock faces, the anchors slackliners need are plentiful in Boulder County. But under Boulder city ordinances, the sport is illegal.

These regulations aim to protect people from being injured on public property, as well as prevent damage to publicly owned trees. However, considering there is only one slacklining park in Boulder County (located in Superior), slackliners are hoping for a change in their legal limitations.

After Tyler Shalvarjian, a CU student, was issued a $250 ticket for slacklining in July at Martin Park, the slacklining community rallied around him and organized an online fund for people to donate money to cover his citation costs. The Colorado Slackline Club subsequently created a public Google Doc via Facebook to brainstorm ideas on how to propose a reasonable and respectful compromise with the Boulder County Council. As of November, no progress had been made.

“If the city applied these concerns equally across the board for every activity that takes place on public property—like bicycling, especially in traffic, team sports such as football, rock climbing and children playing on high playground structures—they would also have to be illegal,” says Colorado Slackline Club president Michelle Griffith.

To legally practice the sport, head to the Superior or Denver slackline parks, or set up a rope on private property. Slacklining on the CU campus is permitted, but only for CU students and under strict regulations.

—Emma Smith