Video of highliners crossing Riverside County's Ortega Falls catches the attention of U.S. officials

A group of daredevils who walked over a waterfall in Riverside County on a tightrope caught the attention of federal authorities after photos and video of the feat were posted online.

The images show the thrill-seekers balancing with their arms in the air as they precariously cross from one cliff side to another as the water of Ortega Falls — near Lake Elsinore in the Cleveland National Forest — rapidly flows below.

“Here's a little bit of what today looked like. A lot of fun and peacefulness with some amazing people walking awesome lines!” wrote Jim Galli about the outing on a Sunday posting on his Facebook page.

He later told KTLA-TV Channel 5 that he considers the activity a form of “moving meditation.” “You get lost in the line,” he said.

Highlining is an elevated version of slacklining — the art of walking across a strip of nylon webbing strung between two stationary points. Most partakers wear a safety harness in case they slip.

Cleveland National Forest spokeswoman Olivia Walker told KTLA that her agency became aware of the activity, which is not allowed on federal lands, after photos started to circulate online.

“Obviously there’s concern for environmental impacts,” she said. “We don’t know what kind of damage they’re doing. We don’t know how stable these ropes are. It would be a big liability for us if somebody got hurt.” Walker said rangers would be keeping a closer eye on the area.

The postings came a little over a week after another video of a heart-stopping stunt in Riverside was posted online. In that case, a motorcyclist jumped over state Route 60 as cars and trucks passed underneath. Officials later found and bulldozed the ramp the biker used to make the leap.

debbi.baker@sduniontribune.com

Baker writes for the San Diego Union Tribune.

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