Slacklining in the mountains of Kazakhstan

If there’s one thing you didn’t expect to be confronted with today, it’s a new project from John Roose: A 500 meter long slackline between two mountains, above the bottom of what was once the ocean. Introducing Bozzhyra in Kazakhstan!

An Estonian slackliner embarks on an adventure that takes him to the western border of Kazakhstan, just 160 kilometers from the Caspian Sea. There he finds the “fangs” between which Roose stretches his slackline. It is the entrance to the province of Mangystau.

This slackline deserves all the credit!

© Victor Magdeyev/Red Bull Content Pool

Slacklining as a sport requires all kinds of challenges: organization, planning, vision, passion. Half of the discipline is just installing the slackline. In such a place, it is not enough to stretch the line where you want. You must be aware of the first rule of adventure: leave no trace.

“We chose the route that is the most gentle to nature, so as not to destroy the unique beauty of Bozzhyra,” notes mountaineer and safety expert Kirill Belotserkovskiy. “We fixed the line with a special technique that allowed us to be sure that nothing would happen to the rocks. This construction is simple and at the same time protects nature.”

Once the line is in place, the rest is a matter of patience, method, balance and focus. Stepping half a kilometer – 200 meters above the desert floor – is no easy feat. But for a place of this kind it is worth all the effort.

“I was blown away by the incredible beauty of this place. And the fact that there used to be an ocean right here sparks the imagination,” says Roose. “Bozzhyra is a challenge, a challenge that is among the most difficult of all. At the same time, it is the most beautiful project I have ever done.”

Jaan Roose during Red Bull Highline Mangistau in Aktau, Kazakhstan, 2022.

Roose makes his way through the “fangs”.

© Victor Magdeyev/Red Bull Content Pool

As for the sporting challenge, it’s clear that this is by no means the longest slackline ever climbed. This project stands out rather for its uniqueness. After the whole thing was carried out in the middle of the desert, the temperatures were around 50° Celsius – extremely hot… “In the last five days, I’ve accumulated enough vitamin D to last me several years,” laughs Jaan. But even though the sun was brutal, it wasn’t the biggest problem. It was an endless wind that blew across the Mangistau Steppe. The crew had to wait five days for a time slot to open.

Jaan Roose during Red Bull Highline Mangistau in Aktau, Kazakhstan, 2022.

Gray earth…

© Viktor Magdejev

“The wind was blowing, so we were worried if Jaan would be able to cross the slackline. One morning we were lucky and the wind died down,” recalls director and cinematographer Sardar Baimoldin. “Jaan climbed on the ‘fang’ and immediately made the transition. It was the first time I worked with an athlete of this class and I really enjoyed it. He knows how to move, where to look and what moments to be in.” looking directly into the camera lens. The end result speaks for itself; it was worth all the work, drama and emotion.”

Jaan Roose during Red Bull Highline Mangistau in Aktau, Kazakhstan, 2022.


© Viktor Magdejev

The whole project was also an unforgettable experience for Roose: “It’s a fantastic place! It’s so far from any civilization. I’m glad I visited it and saw such a unique place with my own eyes. I was able to combine my physical abilities with the beauty of nature. ..”

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John Roose

Estonian slackliner Jaan Roose, known for his nerves of steel, is a three-time world champion and holder of many world records.

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