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Falling with Love

 

It’s not everyday that you fall in love but sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get to fall with someone you love. During the many years I’ve spent playing with ropes in nature rigging countless highlines and rope swings, I’ve had the awesome opportunity to work with many talented companies and inspiring people on all kinds of adventurous projects. This most recent commercial I was the talent for was no different and did not disappoint!

Working with Sony over several months during this past Fall, I helped plan and create various storyboard ideas advertising the new Sony CM a6000 camera and the end product couldn’t have been more exciting and fun to execute with all my friends beside me. Having the occupational freedom to employ my Moab Monkey family for some good ol’ fashion desert fun just added to the novelty of having a fake wedding and introducing the love of my life to some accelerated free fall through a beautiful slot canyon in my desert backyard. Don’t be fooled ladies and gentlemen, the rigging knowledge, skills and equipment required to do this stunt safely and as a tandem is nothing to be taken for granted. This particular canyon rope swing is one that I originally pioneered 4 years ago with professional slackliners Faith Dickey, Jordan Tybon, and Jan Galek, and our abilities to push the limits while understanding the huge dynamic forces involved with this jaw dropping fall has taken a lot of time to safely experiment with. WE ARE PROFESSIONAL HIGH ANGLE ROPES RIGGERS, so please don’t try to repeat this without fully understanding the dangers you or your friends are subject to when falling at fast speeds near rock walls. Canyon rope swings are still very experimental and require a lot of rigging experience and knowledge to do safely, so please don’t make a quick run to REI and think, “I got this.” Although jumping from the edge of the cliff, while tied into a full 60 meter (200′) rope only requires a moment of courage, constructing this outdoor amusement park ride takes a lot of experience to do safely and without fail. So, there’s my formal warning and I’ll leave it at that…

In conclusion, I wanted to thank the many people who were involved in this big production… A sincere thank you goes out to everyone at Sony for providing this amazing opportunity to share with the world. Scott Rogers for nailing the finale shots you see in the commercial, well done sir! Andy Lewis, Hayley Ashburn, Brent Cain and Larry Harpe for being awesome safety coordinators and riggers for this big production crew. Aaron Livingston, Kiersa Koepnick, Dominique LaFleur, John LaFleur, Rachel Wagner, Kevander Fox and many other Moab locals for being awesome wedding guests and extras on short notice. I also wanted to give a big shout out to the countless other highliners who have helped me to learn so much about rigging and the natural elements during this adventurous life we live. It always brings a smile to my face to reflect on all the paths we traveled together and wild experiences we’ve shared all around the world to prepare ourselves for these big adventures that continue to build over the years… Last of all a big kiss and embrace goes out to my beautiful and loving partner in crime, Aleta, I enjoyed every sincere moment of staring into your eyes and sharing a kiss with you in free fall. May everyone continue to follow their passions, fall in love and be moved by the world around them!

~Brian Mosbaugh

 

A New Era of Aerial Space Net Adventure is Born…

Pentagon Space Net

Every year during the Fall season in Moab, there’s been a growing number of adventure sport athletes who converge in this incredible desert landscape to enjoy the elevated views and seek out exciting new ways to get the blood pumping through our veins. Amongst the two main groups of people who gather here are the BASE jumpers and highliners, who come from all around the world for the annual Turkey BASE Boogie (ongoing for more than 10 years) and G.G.B.Y. highline gathering (with its 7th annual celebration). Both groups come to the same desert playground to communally celebrate life together and push themselves in new innovative ways with their respective sports, but often we’re spread out across the vast red cliffs experiencing different adventures with land and air. The highliners spend long periods of time honing their focus in space walking across long one-inch wide pieces of webbing while the jumpers gather in masses across cliff edges to throw themselves into the abyss for a wild and fast paced flight back to the canyon floor below. Both activities attract different crowds with varying dangerous interests, but the fact remains that we all love this shared desert paradise for the same reasons of its undeniable beauty, solitude and freedom. Despite our differing focuses, we all love being immersed in nature and spending time with our friends in a quiet environment.

Pentagon Space Net

This year’s gathering, however, felt noticeably different than all others in the past for one main reason… The “Mothership Space Net Penthouse” was born and both groups found themselves working together as a team in order to rig and share the same air space of the pentagon shaped hammock which was suspended 400′ above the rocky desert floor. Highliners attempted to walk across the five different legs of the net, varying in lengths up to 80 meters long (262 feet), BASE jumpers leapt daily from the human sized hole in the middle of the net and paragliders made several flybys while dropping world-class wingsuit pilots from high above so they could buzz by over groups of friends hanging out in space. This upgrade of size to the space net concept was a massive scale up from the 2012 three sided “Space Thong” design, which was also shared by both groups but with less cohesiveness. A big undertaking during its time but clearly just the first steps toward bigger goals and dreams for one person in particular, Andy Lewis.

Original Space Net

This all would not have been made possible with out the rigging genius of Andy’s progressive vision for constructing such creative and ambitious projects, alongside the huge communal effort it took to hand weave this net by more than 50 different BASE jumpers, highliners and friendly volunteers over a 3 day period prior to its one day installation in space. This was without a doubt one of the most unique Thanksgiving gatherings we’ve had out here in the Moab desert, where not one athlete was injured or maimed during the duration of such dangerous stunts. In the end everyone was very thankful for the new relationships and community that came together because of something bigger than any one person. We all eagerly await next years’ gathering as history has shown the progression of these sports coming together to create quite the vertical circus of new achievements never before thought possible or conceived…

~Brian Mosbaugh

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO BELOW

“Space Net” Concept Creator: Andy Lewis

Athlete: Matt Blank

Cameras: Matt Blank, Brian Mosbaugh, Kyle Berkompas

Music: Let it Rain by Keys and Krates

More Images and some words from Andy Lewis:

Penthouse Space Net

“Some say that ‘too many chefs spoil the broth,’ but regarding The Mothership Sky Net Penthouse Suit of slacklife glory, this was simply NOT the case! In fact, the list of all the chefs is as long as it is diverse. It’s quite baffling actually and I’m sincerely thankful for everyone’s tremendous efforts in this project and all others past. This was a massive undertaking, AND WE TOTALLY ROCKED IT!!! The knowledge for the successful construction/use of this net has evolved over the last 8 years… Grifin Anderson first showed me some basic net weaving techniques back when I was still in college and since then I’ve learned by experimentation weaving other nets in many locations with other friends including Shaun Cordes, Andrew Tysinger, George Upton, David Gumbiner, Scott Antipa, Jimmy Peterson, Daniel Moore, Nick Williamson. Over time these nets eventually led to the 3 sided Space Thong constructed in 2012, a successful first attempt at what was deemed a “Space Net.” However, it wasn’t until just a few weeks ago that I thought the pentagon idea was actually possible. I calculated the approximate size I wanted the net to be (~2000 square feet) and acquired the proper materials to build it. This took a few years as well considering that every piece involved needed to be extremely strong, redundant and therefore expensive. Since the moment the last of the pieces arrived on my door step I’ve literally had help every step of the way to complete this truly monstrous project. From Brent Cain providing the ultimate perfect net weaving habitat, to Will Fryer providing many ratchets to pre-rig the beast, to Sylvan Christensen who weaved for literally 3 days straight with me and the 30 plus other people who helped including Canyon Cain, Hayley Ashburn, Scott Rogers, Brian Mosbaugh, Ian Flanders, Matt Blank, Adam Krum, Ryan Sorg, Sarah Taz and many others. Among the final rigging team there was more than 50 people who helped set up the pentagon in space, which allowed for more than 200 people to experience the comfort of true net chilling glory, to the 10 people who helped build the nets second layer, to the MANY slackers who helped maintain the rig while I was gone, from adding padding to edges, to re-locking carabiners, to helping people in and out of the net, covering the pink hole for my parachute landing, to the highliners who helped crush 4 out of the 5 legs including Mickey Wilson,Ryan Robinson, Keagan French, to Dan Dewitt and Nathan Pertuset for towing me up in a paraglider for a chance to land in the net! There were also nearly 200 successful BASE jumps made from the net including TARDs, gainers, hanging nonsense, Rudy and Richard Webb with their wingsuit fly-bys, multi ways, a zip line, and at least 1 game on, and I have to give thanks to the BASE community for having not one injury during the entire event. Also a VERY special thanks to the 40 plus people who helped de-rig and carry everything back to my car. I literally was left with nothing to carry back and it was amazing. It was a true and perfect thank you from the community. All I’m thinking about now is how insanely empowering the cumulative strength of an entire community is when brought together by an idea and a dream, watching the paper towel sketched construction and experiencing something brand new that can only be defined as “next generation,” has left me truly inspired and humbled. You are all amazing, and without YOU this never would have happened. From the bottom of my heart I truly and sincerely appreciate everyones work and commitment! I LOVE YOU ALL!!! WOOLALALALLALAL.”

~Andy Lewis (Mr.slackline@gmail.com)

Wingsuit Fly By

Through The Portal Hole

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Lucky Horse Shoe

 

4,000 Feet Above the Earth, 2 Moving Hot Air Balloons with 1 Highline Sans Leash

 

Looking back at this incredible year of smiles and adventure, I have a moment of pause to reminisce about the wonderful fruition of many outdoor projects and the unfortunate demise of others. I’m reminded of how much life can turn on a dime and lead us in new wonderful directions when we least expect them to. As one door closes inevitably others will open, and this spontaneity of opportunities always makes me excited for the unexpected paths ahead. Out here in the crisp cool conditions of Moab’s fine desert, the Moab Monkeys have been raging hard and taking advantage of the incredible weather as the winter season slowly approaches. This is about the time I start making plans for travel to chase the endless summer, and this year it’s looking like Southeast Asia is calling, but in this brief moment I sip my coffee outside and look back at this incredible hot air balloon highline stunt which my friends and I pulled off under the radar outside Las Vegas. I recently realized I never published the 3 part series which covers the full story and build up to success, which Cody Tuttle and myself filmed and edited together, so without further ado here it is ladies and gentlemen…

 

Inspired by the incredible video produced by Seb Montaz and the “Skyliners,“ who made the first, but unsuccessful attempts, to walk the highest slackline between two moving hot air balloons in Spain, the Moab Monkeys along with Andy Lewis were psyched to give this challenge a go. This project was an incredible feat to tackle and through their initial exploratory efforts we were able to repeat it with some rigging modifications to make the highline a little more manageable to walk. The whole story of how this all came to be, how in 24 hours 24 different professionals were assembled in Las Vegas to attempt this stunt is an incredible tale to tell. In essence, we quickly organized our own team of world-class wingsuit pilots, BASE jumpers, highliners, Las Vegas balloon pilots, aerial performers, riggers and cameramen to give this experience a shot and it was executed with perfection. The end result was an awesome success of epic gravity sport shenanigans with an aerial Cirque du Soleil show high above the desert floor. Cody Tuttle and myself edited and released a short trailer of what happened on February 18th, 2014 but before you is the full 3 part series that tells the story in its complete form.

 

~Brian Mosbaugh

Around the World in 3 Weeks

For every story they say there is a beginning, middle and end. For this story there is a stop in Thailand, Poland and Switzerland. During this short journey of 3 weeks around the world Scott Rogers, Andy Lewis and myself spent about a weeks time in each country playing with gravity and doing a little “work” along the way. It was a trip of firsts for me experiencing my first (B)uilding jump in Bangkok, being part of a team rigging a new world record urban highline, committing to my first terminal BASE jumps from amazing cliffs in Lauterbrunnen and seeing so much more along the way. I attempted to take some photos on the blazing trail and here are a few I wanted to share to give a glimpse of the beauty and diversity of the sights, sounds and people we got to play and smile with. I hope you enjoy!

Chapter One: Above the City (Bangkok, Thailand)

The new world record length urban highline has finally been rigged and it weighs in at 167 meters long (547′) and 180 meters high (590′). Andy made his first attempts on the line in the middle of the night at 3:00 AM in preparation for his televised walk a couple days later. He was able to eventually get across the line, while all the cameras were rolling, with many falls in between. One of the most impressive lines I’ve seen to date! So much thanks goes out to everyone who organized and supported this project: Paul Amornwet of Tab Agency, Jan Kaeding of Gibbon Slacklines, Balance Community for the awesome vectran webbing and our support team of Thai climbers that were a huge help in establishing this line. DSC_6834 DSC_6945 DSC_7071

 Chapter Two: The 6th Annual Urban Highline Festival (Lublin, Poland)

Slackliners from around the world have been gathering in the quaint historical town of Lublin, Poland for the past six years rigging dozens of highlines in this amazing urban setting. Thanks to the efforts of Jan Galek, Faith Dickey, Jordan Tybon, Wojtek Kozakiewicz and so many more, this gathering continues to gain momentum and attendees as the slack scene gets bigger and more individuals are discovering the benefits of being better balanced people. This celebration takes place alongside a massive gathering of Carnaval where mimes, aerial silk performers, contortionists and other artists come together to showcase their skills and vision with a big audience that casually strolls through the town square as highliners walk above in every direction. The vibe is so much different than Bangkok and it was an incredible experience to see so many familiar and new faces that have become the community of modern slacklining. Officially the Europeans have been pushing the sport in a huge way making been advances in the lengths of highlines being walked today and exploring new environments to construct these lines in space. Without a doubt the church lines were my favorite to walk at this gathering since its such a unique opportunity to walk in this sacred space… If I could share one bit of advice it would be to attend this event every year if you have the chance!

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Chapter 3: The Valley of Death or Glory (Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland)

Welcome to the world of 2,000 foot tall limestone cliffs amidst the most beautiful alpine mountain environment you’ve ever imagined. With gondola services that take you to the top of either side of the valley where countless world-class BASE exits await the brave and bold, this place is either a Disneyland paradise for talented trackers and wingsuit pilots or the Valley of Death if you make any mistake. Taking anywhere between 8-15 seconds delay before pitching your pilot chute and being under an inflated canopy, you can leap from these heights and fly like superman away from the towering walls to touch down in a grassy field and have a 15 minute walk to the nearest local pub. For those more adventurous types, a couple gondola rides and a 3 hour hike can get you to the top of the infamous Eiger or other alpine regions where you can expect a 45 second flight or more depending on your skill level and chosen flying suit… This place absolutely blew my mind in terms of how outrageously scenic it was and the seriousness of performing every jump with perfect execution. It seemed everyday someone was having a cliff strike, landing in the tall trees or worse, which added to the commitment level of every action you took. I’ve made it a goal to spend time in this place every year as long as I’m current in my flying skills, because I can’t imagine a more beautiful place to spend time with friends truly flying in a dreamlike environment. Thanks so much to Andy Lewis, Scott Rogers and Jimmy Peterson for being there for my first long delays, you brothers will always be near and dear to my heart!

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Life on the Line

 

Over the past many years I’ve been fortunate enough to live a simple life of travel and balance, meeting amazing people along the way and accumulating a massive collection of video footage and photographs. I try my best to publish and share these documented moments with everyone but the reality is I mostly prefer spending my time outside creating new memories rather than sitting in front of a computer processing hours of footage and crunching away on long stints of editing. I like to think that in modern times I’ve found a delicate balance between these two experiences, which has allowed me to support a life of continuous adventure, but not too long ago I was only living out of my car devoted to the outdoors more than any other thing in life. Which brings me to my meeting with a friend named Jon Lang back in Oregon, whom a couple years ago approached me with an interest to edit some of my archival footage to use in a college assignment back at Oregon State University. We started hanging out together and began bouncing ideas back and forth about starting a production company and how we could go about getting a bit more professional with our documenting habits and obsession, but to summarize a long story short, we eventually went our separate ways as Jon was pursuing a career in the free skiing world and I moved out to Moab, Utah where my life became sculpted by the awesome community and sandstone cliffs that I now interact with everyday.

The video above is comprised of my collected archival footage from an expedition to Thailand with the Moab Monkeys, highlines in Joshua Tree/Moab/Yosemite, along with some additional video footage Jon compiled of the first annual Smith Rock Highline Gathering I organized and the many deep water solo lines I developed in central Oregon with the help of many rad friends. Looking back on all these memories always makes me smile and reminds me of the footprints I’ve left behind and gets me excited for the new adventures to come. There’s been so much progression in the sport of slacklining over the years that it’s obvious the passion and pursuit of balance will always see leaps and bounds as long as this passionate community continues to devote their lives to its obsession and progression. Jerry Miszewski has been a huge influence in the community, pushing the limits of length, endurance and innovation with the sport while Andy Lewis has been exposing the world to his ‘slacklife’ philosophy with his many crazy shenanigans, world traveling pursuits and awesome combination of parachute sports alongside a one inch piece of webbing. Both athletes are featured in this short video, alongside countless other individuals who have also spearheaded the progression of slacklining in so many other ways. Much of this footage has been locked away with my collection of hard drives and has yet to be seen by the public until now. So, sit back and enjoy this fast paced edit created by Jon himself.

In closing, I just want to say that it’s been an honor sharing these smiling moments of balance in nature with so many talented artists and I look forward to the new friendships and adventures that wait on the horizon. Until that next line is established or plane ticket purchased, slackers keep up the high life and stoke of balanced progression. The world really is watching and we’re just having a good ol’ time cultivating a happy life of smiles, vertical challenges and real adventure with our closest friends and heroes. What a time to be had!

~Brian Mosbaugh

Desert Towers, Epic Highlines and BASE Jumping Oh My!

Scott Rogers sending 51 meters of the newest tower highlines deep in the desert of Moab. This project has been an effort almost entirely complete to summit 4 separate towers, establish BASE jumps from all of them and rig 4 new lines traversing their various peaks. The Moab Monkeys rage hard here!

Monkey missions in Moab typically consist of several adventure sports all coming together in beautiful locations and with an amazing group of talented friends. This past week of shenanigans was no different and in typical monkey fashion I’ve stepped away from the experience reviewing the photos, videos and memories with a sense of overwhelming awe and appreciation for all the incredible people and life pursuits we’re collectively creating here in this desert paradise… The privilege of being surround by so many inspiring and gifted people in this outdoor community is a constant reminder that life is continually progressing toward greater happiness through new adventurous pursuits and achievements that we all get to share with one another. As a quick summary of events; Andy Lewis was able to gather the monkey resources of psyche, community and gear to get everyone assembled at the base of four desert towers in Hell Roaring Canyon to challenge many adventure skill sets ranging from difficult rock climbing, rigging, highlining and BASE jumping that ultimately allowed us to mature from the experience through new success and struggle.

Diabolix

All in all, four separate desert towers were summited (The Warlock, The Cauldrons and The Witch), two beautiful tower highlines establishhed and four new BASE jumping exits opened. As far as logistics go, it took a solid 3-4 days of hot exposed adventure rigging/climbing to gain access to all these points in order to prepare for the accomplishments ahead. With two new highlines established; Demonix (51 meters/167 feet long) and Diabolix (67 meters/220 feet long) many visiting slackliners saw new personal bests go down while Andy himself was able to span both lines on his first attempts after many long days of raging through the trying desert conditions. Seeing so many people struggle through fear, apprehension and difficult circumstances, while having success in the end, is always an inspiring note to end on. Scott Rogers, recovering from a very serious tib/fib fracture only six months ago, successfully walked both highlines (setting a new PR) and even joined Andy and I on a BASE jump from the summit of The Warlock tower, which hasn’t happened in what seems a long time. Sharing these types of adventures together as a group of friends and athletes always brings us closer and I love seeing the elated smile of my friends after landing a canopy. It’s a precious moment that I lack words to describe its excellence.

Lines in Space Andy Lewis finishing up his sunset sends of Demonix and Diabolix. Walking from one desert tower to another and back to the desert rim to finish up the days work.

Watching my personal heroes overcome huge life obstacles and come out on top as wiser better people reminds me that I’m surrounded by the right crowd and instills pride in my heart. This community has always inspired me to improve my focus and balance and this past adventure helped stoke the fire even more as the summer heat kicks in and the desert adventures continue on. It was a pleasure sharing this experience with everyone involved (Faith Dickey, J.R. Racine, Ray Diaz, Daniel Albrecht, Monica Beck, Parker Gales, Dan Krauss, Aleta Edinger, Andy Lewis, and Scott Rogers) and I know we’ve all stepped away from the experience as better people with a bigger smile on our face and new stories to someday share with the grandchildren. Last of all, I look forward to sharing the upcoming video edits with everyone in a few weeks as Scott and I will be editing and publishing soon. Until then, I hope everyone continues to love life, push themselves in new directions and share amazing experiences with the precious people they’re surrounded by. Slack on!

~ Brian Mosbaugh

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