Pictured: The daring Canary Islands folk sport known as the ‘shepherd’s leap’

pictured the daring canary islands folk sport known as the shepherds leap

The steep hills, sharp cliffs and rocky terrain of the volcanic Canary Islands are tricky to negotiate at speed. But not for enthusiasts of the indigenous folk sport known as Salto del pastor, or ‘shepherd’s leap’.

They speed up journeys across uneven terrain by pole-vaulting across it using a wooden stick or lance.

The folk sport and hobby is due to be internationally recognised at the upcoming London Mountain Film Festival, with the addition of documentary Jurria: Guardianes del Garrote to the festival’s official line-up. This 35-minute film, shot entirely in Gran Canaria, tells the story of ‘Maestro Paco’ and his passion for the traditional Shepherd’s Leap.

In the sport of Salto del pastor, or ‘shepherd’s leap’, daring participants pole-vault across sharp cliffs and rocky terrain using a wooden stick or lance. Pictured is Aday Medina Ramirez vaulting 

The hand positions, aka manas, are key to the shepherd’s leap sport and participants have to learn various grips depending on whether they want to descend, climb or brake

In this shot, shepherd’s leap experts prepare to carry out a move called salto a regaton muerto, or the ‘dead spike jump’, which is one of the most challenging actions in the sport…

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