“I thought I was going to throw up” – Colorado man slacklines between two hot air balloons

Hot air balloons at sunset
The Vail athlete has a set a new world record, taking the sport to dizzying new heights (Image credit: Lehlogonolo Magolo / 500px)

A Colorado slackliner has taken the sport to dizzying new heights by rigging up a line between two hot air balloons and crossing it in the skies above Brazil.

Davis Hermes, 23, hails from Vail, so he’s not exactly new to high altitude adventures, but his latest feat is enough to give even the hardiest adventurer butterflies. On August 4, Hermes crossed a slackline he had rigged between two hot air balloons that were floating at 7,545 feet (2,300 meters) over Praia Grande in the state of Santa Catarina.

The slackline was rigged before they left the ground, and Hermes shared the hot air balloons with patrons who had no idea what they were about to witness. Needless to say, the airborne caper brought some unpredictable circumstances, but despite the dynamic conditions, Hermes managed to pull off a few static moves while in the sky.

“This slackline was harder not because it is high up, it’s because the anchors were moving, the balloons were not the same height all the time, everything was constantly changing, so the line was tight and then it was loose and the anchors were shifting forward and backward, to the right and left,” Hermes tells the Vail Daily

Though he’s not the first slackliner to pull off this daring stunt – that honor goes to Rafa Bridi of Brazil – Hermes set a new world record for the highest slackline between two hot air bellows.

Hermes is quickly making a name for himself in the slacklining world after taking it up following a demonstration he watched at the 2012 GoPro Mountain Games in Vail. Last summer, he won the freestyle competition at the first Highline World Championship in Laax, Switzerland. Freestyle slacklining involves performing tricks like backflips and spins on the slackline. The same year also saw him slacklining between Fisher Towers, an iconic sandstone rock formation in the desert near Moab.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.