The 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 “fangs” between which Roose draws his loose line. It is the gateway to Mangistau Province.
Slacklining as a sport requires all kinds of challenges: organization, planning, vision, passion. Half the discipline is just setting up the slackline. It’s not enough to draw the line wherever you want in a space like this. You must be aware of the first rule of adventure: leave no trace.
“We have chosen the most nature-friendly route so as not to destroy the unique beauty of Bozzyra,” says climber and safety expert Kirill Belotserkovsky. “We fixed the line with a special technique that allowed us to be sure that nothing would happen to the reefs. This construction is simple and at the same time protects nature.”
Once the line is in place, everything else is a matter of patience, method, balance and focus. Climbing half a kilometer – 200 meters above the desert floor – is no easy feat. But for a place like this, it’s worth all the effort.
“I was blown away by the incredible beauty of this place. And the fact that there used to be a sea here fires the imagination,” says Roos. “Bozzira is a challenge, a challenge that is the most difficult. At the same time, it is the most beautiful project I have ever done.”
When it comes to the challenge of the game, it is clear to say that this is not the longest sloth ever. Rather this project stands out because of its uniqueness. After applying everything in the middle of a desert, the temperature was around 50°C – extremely hot… “In the last five days I’ve collected enough vitamin D to last me a few years,” laughs Jan. But while the sun was brutal, it wasn’t the biggest problem. It was the endless wind that blew across the Mangistau steppe. The crew had to wait five days for the timing to open.
Director and cinematographer Sardar Bimoldin recalls, “It was windy, so we were worried that Jan was able to overcome his lethargy. One morning we were lucky and the wind died down.” “Jan made an instant change by getting on a ‘fang’. 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 at what moment I should be looking straight into the camera lens. The end result speaks for itself; it was worth all the work, drama and emotion.”
The whole project was also an unforgettable experience for Roose: “It’s a wonderful place! It’s far away from any civilization. I’m glad I visited it and saw such a unique place with my own eyes. Succeeded in combining physical ability with the beauty of nature…”
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Known for having nerves of steel, Estonian slackliner Jan Rooj is a three-time world champion and multiple world record holder.
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