Skip to content

The Progression of Human Flight and NEW WORLD RECORDS

 

Looking back at the past several months has been a whirlwind of travel, adventure and diverse activity, yet none of that seems obvious to anyone other than myself and the friends that were there along the way. I realize I haven’t sat down to share my thoughts on life for public viewing since last November, so I attempt to pick up where I left off now… After the death of one of my best friends I needed some time to clear my mind and do some global travel before getting back to the things I really love doing. I needed a break from the desert of Moab to explore new sceneries and refresh the brain from tainted memories here. BASE jumping has been one of the most incredible adventures of my life, but it will always come with its extreme ups and downs of emotional oscillation. It physically and mentally forces me to live in the moment and allows me to appreciate life for its fleeting beauty and potential, but it also makes me lash out at the world when precious people pass in its wild and dangerous pursuit… In short, to clear my mind I spent all of last December living in a tent pitched inside an airplane hanger in Lodi, California. It was a great time spent skydiving everyday learning new flying skills and improving my canopy control with some really inspiring and talented people at my side. The world of air sports never ceases to amaze me with the diverse and awesome crowd it attracts. These people are free from so many stupid “normal person” worries that they find more time to relax in the air and evolve into strangely talented individuals who play together amongst the clouds and at speeds upward to 180 mph. They all smile a lot and learn to tolerate the noise and smell of airplane engines in the morning so they can cram into small spaces to jump out of perfectly sound aircrafts from 13,000′ above the earths surface. Trust me, if you haven’t had the pleasure of falling with your friends in pure air I recommend you do so. It’s proven to cure your mind of all the petty mental obstacles we create for ourselves and is guaranteed to put you in the living moment. I loved every spent dollar at the drop zone and every raffle ticket sacrificed, which gave me 75 new intervals of fast paced fun and the freedom of flight with my friends. In general, skydiving may not be the solution to your financial debt problems or accumulating bills but I once heard it cured cancer for someone… It’s science, don’t question it!

Lodi Flight

Once the plane engines quieted and I speed off into the distance back towards Moab, Utah my mind had time adjust back to the desert momentarily. As soon as I got back home I shared a loving embrace with my beautiful girlfriend and promptly rode off into the sunset with her on yet another adventure down south toward Puerto Rico. We spent close to a month practicing traditional yoga, acro yoga, slacklining, climbing, surfing, exploring and dancing with many wonderful people at the Redefining Balance retreat that my dear friend Adi Carter hosts every year. If you’re ever wondering how to spend your January or February months, and you have a week or more of freedom to indulge yourself (preferably as much time as possible) I highly recommend booking a cheap ticket down to this wonderful island paradise where you’re guaranteed to be immersed in an overwhelming amount of natural beauty and radical people all around. I kid you not, this little island hosts a huge abundance of natural waterfalls, jungles, beaches and island culture in all directions of its small land occupancy on this planet. Adi is also really great teacher, masseus and yoga master who will point you in any direction you’re looking to seek out better balance, beauty and relaxation to spice up your life. Seriously, just message her and she’ll steer you in a good direction I’m sure… So to put things simply, I spent many weeks improving my balancing skills, playing in the tropical blue waters of the ocean and sharing continuous smiles with amazing people. A trip that was also worth every penny spent and a momentary detriment to my bank account… After many layovers and several more commercial flights I once again landed back in my home desert playground of sand and stone in Moab, Utah.

Demonstrating both balance and beauty, Adi Carter shows off her mad skills waterlining in Puerto Rico during this last years "Redefining Balance" retreat in Rincon. Many thanks and praise for bringing your awesome energy and wisdom during this radical experience.

Demonstrating both balance and beauty, Adi Carter shows off her mad skills waterlining in Puerto Rico during this last years “Redefining Balance” retreat in Rincon. Many thanks and praise for bringing your awesome energy and wisdom during this radical experience.

With only two days of getting settled back in my own bed I began packing again for another trip, one that swept me off toward Arizona where I started a new chapter of adventure filming and producing for an upcoming web series called Exit Point. I’m now currently in the process of following and documenting the life of some of my talented female BASE jumping/wingsuit flying friends as they travel the globe and jump off of various objects into space. Collectively they’re an awesome bunch of people who come from different backgrounds and share a committed passion of exploring human flight. How this project came to be is a funny story, but the gist of it goes like this… I put forth an idea back in December to a filming friend about wanting to document a series following a group of multi-sport female athletes as they traveled the world seeking out adventures through rock climbing, highlining, and BASE jumping. From this seed sprouted the real opportunity to actually pursue such a dream. Now we have an assembled team of athletes, a filming/traveling budget and several sponsors who have allowed this idea to take off and I’ve been busy filming and editing footage ever since. This new series will debut at the end of this month on the Limitless Channel, alongside another film project I’m spearheading documenting the life of “Sketchy” Andy Lewis. Andy has been leading the movement and progression of both highlining and BASE jumping for more than 7 years now and I’ve had the awesome opportunity to be a part of the adventure for a good chunk of that time. As a group of talented friends and athletes here in Moab, calling ourselves the Moab Monkeys, we’ve also been traveling the globe establishing new highlines in exotic locations, jumping off of fixed objects with parachutes and documenting the experience along the way. Our shenanigans have caught the attention of many TV networks and have been turning heads from several interests groups for a while now, which has lead to this new experience of paid adventures and a creative new web series also premiering at the end of this month.

Flying

Chasing down a Dream

To launch this film project with Andy we decided to start off with a bang… Inspired by the incredible edit 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 several weeks ago in Spain, we 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. I won’t try to put it all in words here but detailed video edits will be published soon to give evidence of our adventure. In essence, we quickly assembled 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. Documented by the Fenom Creative production team, which I’m now a part of, the end result was an awesome success of epic gravity sport shenanigans with an aerial Cirque du Soleil show high above the ground. The whole adventure will be posted on-line as of the 25th of this month, so stay tuned for more links to see the whole story of how it evolved and came to realization. For the time being, Cody Tuttle and myself edited and released a short trailer showing a glimpse of what happened on that day of February 18th, 2014 high above the deserts of Las Vegas, Nevada. It can be seen at the top of this post or viewed by CLICK HERE. This is only the beginning of a big adventure that is taking on more momentum and creativity over time with both the Exit Point team and “Sketchy” Andy Lewis.

Balloon Jumps

Sarah Watson chasing down Scotty Bob on our first project video shoot at Skydive Arizona.

Aside from a million details left out here and there, that’s the run of things as they happened since November of last year. As mentioned, keep checking back as I continue sharing links to the upcoming videos and adventures of the Exit Point team of female bad asses and “Sketchy” Andy Lewis’s crazy antics across the globe. All these edits will be a part of Bite Size TV’s line up of adventure programming brought to you on the Limitless Channel, which you’ll soon be able to see by clicking on the link in this sentence. To everyone out there in the world, stay psyched and keep charging the skies and earth wherever you are. Much love to all!

~Brian Mosbaugh

Arch Nemesis

 

Continuing the slacklife with yet another Jay Bird promotional video, Ryan Robinson and I payed a visit to one of my favorite desert lines which we established this previous summer together. During the original rigging of “Arch Nemesis,” Ryan had a lot of trouble staying on the highline due to its unfamiliar exposure, but upon our return and with a month of training behind him he came back with a vengeance and crushed it like a boss. We spent a total of two days re-rigging this gem and walking its length with happy repetition in front of a camera. In my opinion, this unique highline stands alone in the vast desert of Moab’s red rock country as a 5 star line for anyone psyched on esthetics and lengths of 170 feet. Seeing these ancient natural creations and interacting with their surrounding environment always leaves me with a greater sense of awe when confronted with natures unmatched ability to carve out ancient art in the landscape of Utah’s massive deserts. Its always an honor to walk amongst this beautiful place while exploring new heights and progressing our personal abilities to balance and create these human artistic expressions in space. This project made for another fun opportunity to present a tasting of Utah’s breath taking scenery and grandeur, which always seem to stretch on as far as the eye can see.

MORE INSIGHT TO THE SLACKLIFE PHILOSOPHY:

 

~Brian Mosbaugh

Power Your Passion

 

True commitment to adventure has its undeniable moments of peril and fear, but what it offers in return is an unparalleled sense of contentment and bliss with the world around you. It’s definitely not the luxury life that it’s made out to be, there are still many stresses, doubts and moments of depression to combat, but when it comes down to the important issues I feel incredibly happy to live this way despite the very real dramas and consequences that come up occasionally. For example, losing close friends and acquaintances more regularly is a part of this lifestyle choice, and because of this fact you learn to really appreciate the small things in day to day life which are commonly overlooked. Drinking coffee with your friends in the morning, sharing moments of debauchery and laughter, walking with two functioning legs and feet, these are all amazing things to be thankful for. Because of the inherit risk of injury and death, we experience a profound appreciation for being in good health and staying so active in a beautiful world. What I’m trying to convey is that it’s not always glamorous recreation… It is, however, rewarding in countless other ways which can only be felt in the heat of moment, through a shared smile and glance amongst friends, living life on the edge of risk and reward.

Ever since I began committing myself fully to the elevated adventures of rock climbing, highlining and now BASE jumping, I’ve felt a greater sense of peace and connection with the natural world around me. Its led to some of the closest friendships and relationships I’ve ever had and has certainly been the greatest roller coaster I’ve ever been a part of. There are ups and downs along the ride, balanced between moments of fear and elation, bliss and depression, but ultimately its all been a part of the journey and you eventually learn to appreciate every spectrum of the experience. After spending close to 5 disciplined years living out of a car, traveling along a seasonal migration pattern in pursuit of better weather, rock and higher perspectives, I’ve now come to appreciate having a real home base in Moab, surrounded by some of the most talented and genuinely alive people I’ve ever come to know. We spend our days as self directed adventurers, basically exploring the vast desert which surrounds us and taking on whatever creative outdoor projects comes to mind. Alongside this story, we find ourselves documenting the experience in an attempt to both convey the beauty and focus required to accomplish such feats, which can only be achieved by repeatedly overcoming dangerous scenarios through calculated risk and dedicated training. It goes without saying, that a lot of what we’re doing is conceived of as ‘crazy’ and ‘excessively risky’ by the general populace, and this is true to some extent, but the difference I find in our perspectives stems from an overall miscommunication of life philosophy… I could just as easily make the life choice to spend my days working in an office, making money on a predictable schedule and having insurance policies to pay for annual dental check ups. Or… I could choose to shrug off some of the societal expectations and material wealth to instead LIVE in the moment and in pursuit of a path where risk and bliss exist on a thin line that’s incredibly fun to balance along. These situations aren’t necessarily exclusive to one another, happiness and freedom not being allowed in the office setting that is, but they often lead to different life approaches with different life choices. The reward for regularly pushing past my fears with better honed focus allows me to see the world with new eyes and experience profound levels of happiness with my friends always by my side. It’s hard to explain really, but at the epicenter of this lifestyle is the ability to truly enjoy the fleeting and beautiful moments that pass by during this finite time we all have to share together, here and now.

That being said, it’s alway a pleasure working with other creative and talented artists/companies who find a similar passion of documenting these adventures in a professional manner. Both Daniel Moore and myself, recently had the opportunity to collaborate with the company Jay Bird, who produces some of the nicest and most comfortable wireless ear buds I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. Because of the incorporated blue tooth technology, you get to experience a crisp and clean sound without the annoyance of wires getting caught up in your clothing, harness or BASE rig, while still enjoying your favorite tunes to get you pumped up to power your passion. Together, we did a quick evening commercial shoot with these guys jumping one of the most classic Moab BASE exits, known as Tombstone. This incredible rock feature is an astounding sandstone monolith that has over 400 vertical feet to free fall and fly, all while being a short 30 minute hiking approach from the parking lot where you land your parachute. A classic jump by all definitions of the word. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the video which tells a story of friendship and adventure shared between two close friends who pursue a passion of freedom only achieved by letting go of your fears and jumping into the void.

~Brian Mosbaugh

#Onetankadventure

 

 

I’ve been realizing more and more in my daily practices, that the greatest joys I encounter in life are discovered through outdoor adventures and the bonds I share with those I love so profoundly. Surrounding myself with a community of balanced minds and creative individuals has led to some of the most unbelievable friendships and experiences I could ever imagine, which can sometimes feel like I’m living a dream more so than a reality… In other words, these adventurous moments sometimes defy my immediate comprehension and require time and a shift of perception to truly process. The act of exploring space with your body and canopy is a good example of what I’m attempting to explain. My brain tells me I cannot fly, yet man has found a way to do this. My instincts tell me I cannot levitate or walk in space, yet man has also found a way to do this too. It takes a bit of reprogramming to wrap your head around the realities we’re all capable of experiencing with these new human technologies, and I try my best to strike a balance between this understanding and the natural worlds’ rules while on these elevated adventures.

The past two film shoots I’ve found myself on recently, along with fellow Moab Monkey teammates (Scott Rogers, Lauren Crepeau and Daniel Moore), have been a great example of the unique opportunity to share this passion of gravity and heights with a bigger audience. As seen through the talented and cinematic eyes of Devin Graham and Parker Walbeck, in collaboration with Ford’s new car campaign #onetankadventure, the unique visuals of BASE jumping and highlining can be seen through mind blowing aerial perspectives and a soundtrack to get your heart beating fast. Even if only through the looking glass of a computer screen or television, I hope our hard work and years of training will shine through to redefine the limits of our human capabilities. The mental obstacles that we often construct for ourselves, usually out of fear of the unknown, are far too shortsighted from our actual potentials. Being able to surpass your fears and commit to a little adventure in life can do us all a little good I think. As Helen Keller once said, “life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.” So get out there, enjoy life to the fullest, explore the environment and find fun ways to share your living experiences with those you love.

~Brian Mosbaugh

A Tribute to Mario Richard: A Life of Passion and Adventure

 

Death is inevitable. We all come in the door and out another at some mysterious time. The reality of not being invincible remains a commonality for all mortal beings where death eventually confronts us in the end… During the past 10 days, international headlines have bleed regularly as 7 BASE jumpers/wingsuit pilots have died flying from various cliffs in different parts of the world while pushing the limits of human flight. Tragically so, a recent addition to this growing list happened to be a local Moab hero, and one of the most talented jumpers worldwide who boasted an impressive history of over 20 years in the sport without any severe injuries. This discussion of risk vs reward has always been a common topic of discussion amongst the adventure sports community, which understands these risks far too well, as participants take on a high level of commitment in their passionate outdoor pursuits. Due to all the recent fatalities I felt inclined to share some perspectives on life and death as a whole, and provide some insight to the stories that are created in between.

It’s easy to attribute mistakes and death in the BASE world to inexperience and a lack of awareness, but when one of the most accomplished pioneers of the sport goes in, your mind can feel a bit jolted and confused about personal risk assessment decisions. This question of risk vs reward that comes up seems even more pertinent than ever before, leading to new ways of approaching everyday circumstances for some of us. The death of a friend or family member is so very real, more so than any personal injury or temporary physical pain, because it penetrates to the very soul of everyone around you, your family and the community. It illustrates tangibly the incredible influence that everyone has on each other in this world. While sustaining a life of adventure, death hides behind every corner you approach, leading its participants to think differently, live differently and appreciate all aspects of daily life differently. Confronting mental obstacles, physical set backs and potentialy fatal scenarios regularly, at some point puts you in a position of balancing the unknown outcomes of your personal decisions with the adventure you’ve committed to. When pushing the extremes in high risk sports, life and death simply become a bigger part of your daily thought process and chosen path. You begin to ask, what are your real motivations? At what point is the pursuit of adventure worth the outcome of not coming back on your next expedition? The questions go on and on and I don’t claim to know the universal answers, just the personal ones… There exists no universal response, in fact, but at some point when you’re putting it all on the line you have to be brutally honest about what you’re seeking in life. Is the pursuit of freedom worth dying for?… For some of us it is. This distinction is inherently what defines our personalities as extreme athletes and we accept the give and take of living so fully, while losing so much from time to time.

Reflecting on the recent death of Mario Richard, one of the most genuinely talented and unscathed BASE jumpers/skydivers/wingsuit pilots worldwide, this topic becomes very personal and emotional. I’ve always resorted to the poetic response that a life well lived is better than a life never lived at all, and I often find this to be the common cultural thread of connection in this adventure sports community. In the words of a dear Australian friend, Luke Chappell, who lived and died for the sport of BASE jumping, “everyone dies mate, not everyone lives.” Despite the roller coaster of feelings and emotions between friendships and partnerships living with heavy risks, you start to see the guiding philosophy behind these athletes and compassionate human beings. Accepting the fragility of life and the ever passing moments of time, we’re forced to consider that our physical lives will eventually end at any moment… Not necessarily tomorrow or the next year, but maybe today. Retirement plans begin to seem a scam and organizing life for the very distant future starts to feel like a distraction from living fully in the moment. This lifestyle of flight and gravity is what Read more

Behind the Lens

 

Life as a nomadic adventurer has no defined path or “how to” book on finding success. A lot of my personal experience in trying to “make a living” with this traveling lifestyle is built on the foundation of following my own intuition, committing to the adventure and trusting that it all works out in the end. There are moments of doubt and periods where I feel a bit disoriented without a real schedule to abide by, but the flip side of this coin is a self-directed path where I’m moving in unexpected directions of joy and new terrain. Throughout the many years of traveling out of my vehicle seeking various opportunities to play in nature, I’ve stumbled across many groups of interesting and uniquely gifted people who often think, act and live outside of the box. A modern tribe of pseudo-rebels and trouble makers defining their own rules to life, often far from the concrete jungles and confined indoor cubicles of urbanized society. Most of them happen to be outstandingly creative and coordinated athletes, while others are inspiring artists and free spirits who live by a similar code of passion in everything they do… I’ve concluded this to be the recipe for a truly meaningful life of creation, and I’m continually surprised by the many forms it manifests all around me. Whether your passion is growing a garden or walking a slackline high above the ground, it seems whenever you dedicate your life to cultivating meaning through personal action and interaction, a positive life is carved out in front of you. Decisions and experiences tend to gravitate toward a community of like minded people on a similar path of happiness and progression, and this is the real source of momentum that keeps the wheels spinning and the engine turning over time.

So who is Kyle Berkompas?… Many years ago I found myself in the desert of Moab during the Thanksgiving season, at yet another highline gathering of balanced athletes and artists from around the world. It was there that I noticed an unfamiliar face amongst the small accumulated crowd, which at that time was something of a rarity since our family of slackliners was even smaller and more close knit then. The popularity of Moab as a highline mecca, just 3 years ago, was still hidden under the radar and these gatherings were pretty small, exclusive and lesser known. When I first saw Kyle he was on the edge of a cliff, assembling a long camera crane for an upcoming video shoot with Andy Lewis. I became suddenly aware that a high budget film was being made and Kyle was at the forefront of documenting the slacklife-style which we had all been living. Upon striking up conversation, I learned he was working for Sender Films and was creating a piece on Andy which would later be featured in the Reel Rock film tour traveling the globe. We started working and spending time together then and I offered to help with the production over the next week… I think there was a moment of realization that came with this, that slacklining was slowly blowing up in popularity and the media coverage about our adventure lifestyle would eventually become a bigger catalyst for spreading our balanced gospel worldwide. Since that day, Kyle and I have cultivated a great friendship and we occasionally get the opportunity to team up on video projects together, primarily documenting the progression of the Moab Monkeys and other inspiring athletes who push the boundaries of outdoor adventure.

 

Over the years, Kyle’s camera skills have become more refined and his ability to get the epic shot in any outdoor setting has exponentially improved with his evolving craft. From commercial shoots with Alex Honnold to his upcoming film Exposure Vol 1, it seems Kyle is always traveling the globe documenting the most progressive achievements with the best “extreme” athletes alive today. Currently working for Chuck Fryberger Films and doing freelance projects on the side for large companies, Kyle is a committed artist ready to document the adventure anytime, anywhere. The success he has created over the years continues to inspire me as an aspiring professional cameraman and friend, and I’m very proud to support and share his work here at Slackline Media.

The above short videos are samples of his recently edited work with the Moab Monkeys and other desert nomads who seasonally call this dry paradise home. I was fortunate enough to be hired on as the camera assistant/behind the scenes documenter for these projects, during which time I learned a lot about the industry and what it takes to capture adventure sports from unique perspectives. Utilizing state of the art camera equipment and progressive flying technologies, we teamed up with the amazing aerial filming experts at SkySight, based out of Boulder, CO, to capture these incredible sceneries from never before seen views using the RED Epic camera… For those of you unfamiliar to the world of modern camera equipment, this technological set-up with flying octocopter included, costs around $70,000 in total. The RED Epic is capable of capturing digital video at an incredibly impressive resolution of 5K and at mind boggling slow speeds for ultra awesome slow-motion sequences! This was the first time in history that these two technologies had been paired up together! It was an absolute honor to have them record the evolving shenanigans of the Moab Monkeys and Mason Earle’s newest/hardest crack project in our desert backyard. So as usual, sit back and crank up the volume on these presented short films! If you feel the love, share them and spread the works of Kyle Berkompas, SkySight and the Moab Monkeys as we constantly push the limits of outdoor adventure and human achievements.

To check out more work from SkySight click HERE

What’s going on in and outside the office of Chuck Fryberger Films click HERE

Stranger Than Fiction EpicTV Short Film Festival

~Brian Mosbaugh

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,246 other followers