The Slabs: Danny MacAskill's terrifying ride is seen 2.3m times in 10 days as new film reveals how it was made
MacAskill reveals how the groundbreaking filming of climbers and mountaineers inspired him to make The Slabs on the 900-metre Dubh Ridge on the edge of the Cuillin mountain range.
The new documentary lifting the lid on how The Slabs was made over two days last September sees MacAskill compared to his route to “a giant cheese grater.”
Directed by regularly collaborator Robbie Meade, the new film depicts MacAskill “Doing the Dubhs,” as the route above Loch Coruisk is known among climbers, and navigating his way down slabs, steps, buttresses and cliffs in the island wilderness.
The six-minute long film, set to a soundtrack of the Arcade Fire song "No Cars Go,” is the first made by MacAskill on Skye since The Ridge, which has had more than 74 million views since 2014.
The Slabs was made by MacAskill and a four-strong crew in September after they were taken across the loch by a fisherman.
They climbed up to just below the summit of Sgurr Dubh Beag, a dramatic peak just off the main Black Cuillin Ridge, where MacAskill made his 2014 video.
Speaking in the documentary, MacAskill says: "Over the last few years I’ve been really inspired by climbers and mountaineers, watching lots of films where they are going out and coming up with new projects which are really pushing their own limits and maybe pushing the boundaries of filmmaking as well.
“The two things together just seemed like something I would like to get more into – trying to test myself against the environment and seeing what is possible on my bike.
“There's something about riding on rocks, it's quite different to other terrain. It’s so direct, especially the clean rock that you get up on the Cuillin.
“You really feel a connection to the ground in a way that you don’t feel on dirt or any other kind of terrain.
“One of the things about riding on this rock is that you can’t really make any mistakes. It’s like a giant cheese grater that just goes on and on, with cliffs all over the shop as well. You’ve got to make sure you stay in control.
“When you’re riding a mountain bike you’re normally riding on a trail which is well-marked, whereas on the slabs it all kind of looks the same.”
The making-of film shows MacAskill nervously navigating his way down the slabs and event taking a tumble.
However the only major hitch was when a drone crashed into the rock and was lost.
Speaking shortly after completing filming, MacAskill says: "The real crux of the whole film was this final slab, 200 ft high, of 60 degree, very scary rock, scary enough to be on it on your feel, but the idea of trying to ride down on it on a mountain bike was definitely right to my limit.
"The feeling when I got down to the bottom was relief more than anything. It was by far one of the exposed things I’ve ever done on my bike."
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