From Brazil to China to Norway, British Columbia highliner Mia Noblet has spent this past year walking her way into the record books. By Vince Hempsall.
“I never really cared much about records,” says Mia Noblet who, despite her nonchalance, has had an epic year highlining around the world. In April 2018, she set a new female world record, with a 614-metre-long highline walk in Brazil. The next month, she walked a highline in China in high heels. And in August, she set another female highlining record in Norway: she walked a full kilometre in the sky.
Highlining is a relatively new sport in which participants string five-centimetre-wide tubular webbing between two elevated points, attach themselves to it with safety harnesses, and walk its length without the help of a balance pole. Noblet is very good at it. She grew up in Nelson, British Columbia, but now lives in Vancouver where, in 2015, she met a crew of people at the forefront of the province’s highline movement. It only took her a year to break the female world record by walking a 222-metre line over Hunlen Falls in British Columbia’s Coast Mountains. Since then, she’s chalked up record after record, garnered a sponsorship with SlacklifeBC, and is paid by other promoters and businesses to highline internationally.
As this magazine was going to press, Noblet was in Asbestos, Quebec, near Montreal where she and five men from various countries successfully walked a 1.9-kilometre-long highline, breaking yet another world record. Noblet was on the line for a whopping two hours and five minutes and the achievement marks the first time in highline history that the female record is equivalent to the male’s. When asked what keeps her pushing the limits of this fringe sport, Noblet replied, “I just really enjoy walking for a long time.”