Watch: Daredevil biker Danny MacAskill unveils dramatic new video filmed on Skye mountain slabs
The 34-year-old YouTube sensation spent two days making The Slabs on the 900 metre-long Dubh Ridge after being forced to abandon another project last autumn due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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.
MacAskill said: “We had a big project planned in September, which fell through due to the international travel restrictions.
"My friends and I were all ready to work so we actually ended up making three projects in Scotland, two of which were filmed on Skye.
“I’d been eyeing up the Dubh Slabs as a project, although I hadn’t actually seen them for myself, I’d only heard about them. I went over there with some friends of mine who are climbers to have a look around first and managed to find a route down.
"From a riding point of view The Slabs is a real progression from The Ridge. I definitely had to push my riding a lot further. I’m pretty happy with it for a couple of days work.”
"You can’t really be crashing on that rock. It’s incredibly grippy, but I could really feel the weight of the gravity trying to pull me down. It was quite a funny feeling.
“I just had to try to constantly keep things under control and make sure I wasn’t going at a speed where the bike would start running away from me, as that would have ended in disaster. Most of the time I am doing tricks where they are over very quickly. This was more like sustained peril.
"But I just felt so comfortable on the rock. It was an amazing feeling being out there. We didn’t see another soul.”
MacAskill filmed The Slabs after six months staying in the Aviemore area when his packed schedule of filming and touring around the world was “wiped clean.”
He said: "We had shows planned over all the place and I also had a whole bunch of films I was meant to make abroad.
“I lived in Aviemore for a number of years when I was younger. It was really cool to re-explore the area again. Lockdown was also a good reset for me. I felt like I’d missed out on a couple of winters of just riding for myself due to injury. I really jumped at the chance to get some miles on the trails. It was quite nice to be in the one place for a while."
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