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Worlds First Jägermeister Ice Cold Gig in the Sky

A new evolution of space net rigging finds its way into the mainstream media as a worlds first music gig high in the sky above Queenstown, New Zealand. Sponsored by Jägermeister and featuring the UK sensation band Modestep, this was truly a project of epic proportions. The space net has now found another use outside of its extreme platform for sports such as BASE jumping, rope swings and highlining around the world, having been converted into a globe trotting suspended musical stage. Who would have thought, right? What a pleasure it was working with the wonderful staff at Jägermeister this past September in the beautifully scenic countryside of New Zealand, especially while getting to know the witty and talented musical duo of Modestep. Pat Lundy and Josh Friend, you two are legends!

 

There’s so much that takes place behind the scenes to make a project like this become a reality so I wanted to officially recognize the hard work and efforts of Secret Compass, who helped coordinate this event with me for 15 months leading up to the live gig itself. Tom McShaneTom Bodkin and Dave Lucas you guys are amazing individuals who really worked your butts off to get this ball rolling and on time. To all the invaluable local New Zealand mountain guides: Hugh BarnardDavie RobinsonBruce Dowrick, Tarn Pilkington and Tony McCutheon, without you all we would have been lost in the cold wilderness for a long time. To AJ SutherlandDonna Allen, Tim Reid and Tim Pierce your audio and visual expertise allowed us to have real sound in real nature. Tony Young, thanks for creating all the stunning aerial drone shots that made for a beautiful cinematic touch. Geoff Ellis, you persevered in working around the clock to create the necessary perspex platforms for all the instruments and band. Heli Glenorchy, your piloting skills in the backcountry are top notch and nothing short of perfection. Sherwood Queenstown thanks for looking after us and providing ample flat whites for our caffeine needs every morning. Last but not least, my main rigging hand and long time adventure partner, Scott Rogers, you’re such an incredibly talented professional to have at my side when undertaking these big commercial stunts. Your thoroughness and diligence in all these impressive endeavors with the Moab Monkeys never goes unnoticed. The same can be said of Cody Tuttle, of Wingate Motion, who was one of the principal shooters for the main feature and ‘behind the scenes’ video seen below. Your artistic eye and fierce courage to get the shot in the toughest of circumstances is truly inspiring. A lot more could be elaborated about the trials and tribulations of this crazy project but I’ll simply let the videos speak for themselves. Thanks everyone for all the hard work and enthusiasm on this breathtaking worlds first live music gig high in the sky. Cheers!

 

 

~Brian Mosbaugh

Hot Air Balloon Ropeswing Joko vs. Klaas

In my youth, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would eventually be paid to build large commercial rope swings, jump out of hot air balloons with a parachute and regularly work on television productions as part of my adult career. Immediately after finishing a formal education and graduating from college, I boldly set out on an unconventional life path living out of my car, climbing mountains, walking highlines and BASE jumping all over the world. Possessed by a passion for global travel and a proclivity for immersing myself in outdoor adventure sports, I’ve pursued life the only way I know how, with total commitment and dedication to that which makes me happy and serves other people’s happiness. Working as a professional athlete, photographer/videographer, stuntman and high-angle ropes rigger over the years has provided me a unique skill set in confronting fear safely and carving out my own professional niche in the commercial industries. In the past 10 years, I’ve successfully grown a working resume doing various jobs across the hot deserts of Namibia, deep in the humid jungles of Brazil, Borneo and Thailand, above the urban madness of Bangkok and Rio de Janeiro and atop the high mountains of Nepal, Switzerland and New Zealand, among many other extreme environments. My confidence and proficiency in high risk locations has essentially become a key asset to this trade of rigging expertise, which constantly requires timely perfection, mental clarity and absolute thoroughness with clients. I’m not sure if Las Vegas, Nevada, exactly fits my definition of a pristine wilderness where I prefer to work, but the surrounding desert undeniably has its own serenity and peace far from the distracting bells and whistles of the obnoxious casino strip.

CLICK HERE TO SEE FULL ‘JOKO VS. KLAAS HOT AIR BALLOON ROPE SWING’ EPISODE

Joko vs Klaas Rope Swing Stunt

After completing a unique and challenging rigging job down in Namibia earlier this year (CLICK HERE FOR THE BIGGER STORY), working on an adventure reality television series called Global Gladiators, Scott Rogers and I received an unexpected phone call from our previous employers. They inquired if we were available during the summer to provide our unique rigging skills constructing a large human rope swing between flying hot air balloons. Having built, designed and operated many complex rope swing systems over the past decade, we got some basic details of the envisioned stunt and enthusiastically said yes. Contracted as the key riggers for yet another German program, entitled Joko vs. Klaas – Duel Around the World (or Joko gegen Klaas-Das Duell um die Welt in German), we began excitedly preparing ourselves for a hot desert job site somewhere outside Las Vegas.

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The show Joko vs. Klaas, which is hugely popular in Europe, is a travel game/reality television program (running since 2012) which showcases celebrity hosts, Joachim ‘Joko’ Winterscheidt and Klaas Heufer-Umlauf, as they challenge one another to endure a slew of outrageous and mentally challenging obstacles all over the globe. Imagine a Jack Ass meets Fear Factor competition amongst daring friends with a big budget. Examples of their creative madness include them literally being duct taped to the side of a skyscraper (hundred of feet above the city of Bangkok) while singing karaoke, being placed in the middle of a room (wearing bomb squad grade protection equipment) as its literally blown up with explosives, collecting hallucinogenic honey in Nepal (from active bee hives on the sides of exposed cliffs) dangling from hemp made ladders, etc. Our project involved a slightly different interaction with fear, mostly dealing with intimidating heights, requiring Klaas to jump out of a hot air balloon into a gut dropping 250 foot long rope swing thousands of feet above the ground. This style of pendulum rope swing is a rigging design that both Scott and I have perfected for many commercial productions, but the changing variable for this stunt was that the fulcrum point of the swing would be secured to a separate hot air balloon flying parallel in the sky.

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Nyima Under the Sun

Two years ago I embarked on a journey into the Himalayan mountains of Nepal that would profoundly shake my personal beliefs and be the beginning of a beautiful cross-culture family relationship. Accompanied by a small group of filmmakers, close friends and Nepali mountain guides, we spent a month in the country interviewing, documenting and setting the foundation for the film you see above. Over the past couple years, many trips have been made back to Nepal by parts of our original expedition crew of Scott Rogers, Cody Tuttle, Cherise Tuttle, David Porter, Suresh Nepali, Tenjing Sherpa, Phuri Sherpa and myself to make this film a reality.

TO DONATE AND SEE FULL FILM CLICK HERE

Samagaun

Nyima is a modern day story of a low-caste Dalit family struggling to survive in the isolated Himalayan village of Samagaun. It examines the shifting cultural dynamics of a developing young girl, Nyima, who lives in a raw and unforgiving mountain environment. Pushed to the outskirts of her remote village, this intimate narrative is told through the curious mind of a young protagonist searching for answers about her identity as a human and Untouchable outcast member of society. The viewer will go on a beautiful cinematic journey examining the responsibilities and struggles of daily life for this unique Untouchable family, which lives in stark contrast to the first world experience. This film offers breathtaking scenery with a rich cultural lens focused on the greater social problems of the caste system in Nepal.

While every Dalit person is born into the social caste system with limited choice or chance toward radical self improvement, there exist a growing number of developing Nepalese communities whom are breaking free from the confines of their social oppression. As a younger generation gains better access toward greater social equality and more educational resources, many outdated cultural taboos and oppressive ideas of identity are shifting. The implications of these progressive younger communities are becoming the catalyst for a new Nepal shifting toward a brighter and more educated future.

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Mission Statement
As a group of adventure filmmakers, we want to continue our exploration of Nepal’s beautifully diverse culture and continue to produce impactful media on the subject. By studying the different ethnic groups affected by the institutionalized caste system we hope to draw greater global awareness to it and be a catalyst for social change. From the pristine mountains of the Himalayas, to the busy street life of Kathmandu, caste discrimination is an obvious part of the country’s rigid social hierarchy. Through access to better education for Untouchables and giving the silently oppressed populace a platform to speak, our media and fundraising efforts provoke powerful cultural reflection alongside real human support. We are personally invested in helping the wonderfully generous and authentic people who so kindly have shared their intimate stories, lives and strife with us.

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Vision Statement
Human rights; to see the change that is teetering on the edge of society come into fruition. We want to see each child, no matter their social standing have the opportunity to receive education so they can become influential and an integral part of their society.

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“Global Gladiators” New Reality TV Show, African Adventures and a Space Net-Rope Swing Challenge

The e-mails volleyed back and forth for a couple of weeks. Digital communication across separate continents discussing the details of a new German television series in the making. Think American Ninja Warrior meets Survivor. The premise being that two teams of German celebrities will explore the vast wilderness of Southern Africa, competing in a series of outdoor obstacle courses over water, land and air. The competitors will travel over 2,500 miles distance through rugged environments in a windowless freight container, stopping only to compete against one another in a succession of impressive outdoor challenges across some of Namibia’s most breathtaking sceneries. They’ll jump from helicopters into water, rope swing out of one of our patented space nets and free fall hundreds of feet above the ground, among many other exciting physical and mental tests.

SPIDERNET-BOULE VIDEO LINK (chapter 4, part 2)

Global Gladiators Space Net

The new rigging assignment was to build a space net that would be suspended somewhere in the desert of Namibia, as part of a new adventure reality television show called Global Gladiators. Our objective was to prepare a new net that would have a rope swing component out of it, something we’ve only prepared in the home comforts of Moab. The game plot was designed so that the contestants would cross a long horizontal rope (tyrollean-traverse) hung in the middle of a canyon to access our suspended net, scramble around on the large hammock surface to find a hidden hand-held bocci ball, free fall out of the net into a large pendulum rope swing and attempt to throw their ball at a fixed target below. Basically a very extreme game show version of bocci ball. Easy enough, right? Well, from a rigging stand point Scott Rogers, Tiffany Junge and I knew this was going be an extremely technical rigging task in a very harsh desert environment. We naturally smiled at the new challenge and began devising a plan. With no time to waste we started brainstorming innovative ideas together, drawing up design diagrams and making important calculations.

Space Net Build

Before knowing all the details of the job ahead we needed to first do a reconnaissance trip to Southern Africa. Global Gladiators sent Scott Rogers out to Fish River Canyon, which happens to be the largest canyon system on the continent of Africa, located in southern Namibia, to find the perfect space for our proposed rigging challenge. Upon returning to Moab, he reported that the most promising gap he could find was 400 feet across, at its smallest span, and the rock quality ranged from very bad to pretty solid. A geological mixture of optimism with a hint of spiciness. We knew this big budget project was going to be full of new obstacles and the scouting trip confirmed this to be true. Amenities, available gear and human support, we were told ahead of time, were going to be scarce so our pre-expedition logistical planning would have to be extremely precise for everything to be executed flawlessly. In addition to our homework, we were given a second assignment to create another challenge for the show that would take place at a totally different location in Swakopmund, immediately following our de-rig schedule. The expedition was shaping up to be jam packed with lots of excitement and hundreds of miles to be traveled across vast parts of the African desert, in the midst of their hot summer season. This was a job that would require military precision, effective team communication and impressive rigging expertise. With next to no shade available in the canyons, temperatures were forecasted to be hovering around 115 degrees fahrenheit and we would only have access to a very small rigging team at our side. Considering all the facts on the table, we smiled once again, realizing that our decades of accumulative rigging experience, desert acclimatization in Moab and unique climbing/rigging skills made us the most qualified and only professional team in the world capable of completing such a task, with crew safety always at the forefront of our minds.

Space Net Build

Fast forwarding a month, after a mirage of logistical planning and flying half way around the world to a new desert environment, we all found ourselves gathered in a small studio apartment in Windhoek, Namibia with extreme jet lag. We unloaded our massive coils of ropes, metal bolts, steel carabiners and remaining gear on the floor to begin prepping. The following days would consist of meeting parts of the Global Gladiator’s production team, sourcing more ropes and materials in town and then eventually heading out across the desert expanse to confront a multitude of rigging tests ahead.

Space Net Rigging

The design of the space net to rope swing challenge (titled “Spidernet-Boule”) was that each contestant would manually pull themselves across 400 foot long horizontal ropes (tyrollean-traverse) to the center of the canyon, while hanging 120 feet above the rocky ground from a climbing harness. Once positioned above the suspended space net we would lower them into our colorful net, attach them to a new leash system and they would begin scrambling about the perimeter of the webbing, searching through a series of dangling black bags to find a specific colored hand-held bocci ball. Once found, I would attach them to a separate 100 foot long rope swing, already secured to the edge of the net, so that they would plummet toward the ground at high speeds and attempt to toss their bocci ball at a tree target below at the apex of their swing. To conclude the game, we would lower them carefully to the ground from the swing ropes and they would be judged based on their ball accuracy to the target and time taken during the challenge. Depending on how close the ball landed to this target determined how many points they would accumulate as a team and as individual competitors. At the end of the game, the losing team would be forced to pick a team member to leave the television program and thus no longer be in the running for winning money or being crowned the Global Gladiators champion.

SPIDERNET-BOULE VIDEO LINK (chapter 4, part 2)

Working 16-20 hour days to prepare this stunt, 5 consecutive days in a row with no more than 4 hours of rest per night, we accomplished our rigging goal and provided an extremely adventurous experience for the German contestants. Despite the long hours of work in very harsh desert conditions, temperatures hovering around 114 degrees most of the day, we kept each other safe and focused as a team. Our effective ability to take care of one another in the high stress environment, while maintaining safety as our primary objective throughout the experience, was noted by the production crew and they left with a tremendous amount of respect for our professional rigging abilities. What we created and coordinated as a cohesive team unit was nothing short of world-class rigging with an awe inspiring outcome for the Global Gladiators television program.

After wrapping up production with the 8 German celebrities and spending the following morning de-rigging the net, we barely had enough time to breath or celebrate before setting off on a 14 hour drive to our next set location of Swakopmund. Read more

Across the Sky

Have you ever wondered how long your focus could last while walking on top of a one-inch-wide piece of slackline webbing? Theoretically, if a line continued in distance for as long as the eye could see, at what point would you fall off? At what point would the world’s best balanced athletes fall off? The discipline of “longlining” attempts to answer this question and the numbers continue to exponentially grow as webbing technology advances as so does the skill level of slackliners worldwide. This question of length then becomes the main focus and adversary for “longliners” who naturally take this challenge to great heights as well.

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Antony Newton making giant strides across 1,617 feet of webbing.

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In the world there exists a very small niche community of highly trained slackliners who devote their balanced practices to pushing distance and height. In my experience of being surrounded by these talented individuals, the majority of them aren’t doing this to stroke their own personal egos or for any real claim to fame. After all, walking across a slackline is a very arbitrary and personal accomplishment all things considered. Instead,what I’ve noticed is that their deepest motivations and desires to push the limits of body and mind stem from a profound need to be the best version of themselves. To explore their outer limits and see what is humanly possible when strict rules and definitions are ignored. During this Fall season, those limits were pushed longer and higher than they ever had been before. Read more

Rhythms of Rimba Rainforest Celebration

I’ve just gotten back from the humid jungles of Borneo, where myself and other members of the Moab Monkey crew installed a new custom space net in celebration of preserving biodiversity. We spent the past week enjoying the sights and sounds of Sandakan, Borneo, rigging a colorful “Jungle Nest” above a beautiful lake at the Rainforest Discovery Centre. This was all coordinated as part of an amazing annual festival to celebrate, preserve and teach about the immediate need to protect our rapidly disappearing jungle environments. Over a two day period, hundreds of professional artists, educators and musicians gathered at the 2015 Rhythms of Rimba celebration to share their thoughts, concerns and plans to slow the destruction of their surrounding jungle. During the event it was our duty to facilitate over 200 people from the general public, getting in and out of the suspended net (with a huge amount of help from local Bornean climbers), to enjoy a new perspective of the canopy life around them. Although our role may not have been as educational as the professional lectures given, it offered attendees the opportunity to push themselves past comfort levels in their beautiful home and see new perspectives along the way. We also took advantage of this time to rig several slacklines in the area to teach the general public how to walk again. This gave them a greater appreciation for their own personal balance and mind power, which empowers humans for life.

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 One of the biggest steps in preserving the rapidly disappearing jungles, due to expanding palm oil plantations and other forms of corporate exploitation, is the simple act of educating people on the importance of protecting biodiversity as a whole. If you don’t understand the fragility of your own home or wildlife, you’re less likely to take a stand against its destruction. Similarly, if you don’t value its natural presence then you won’t see the absolute need for its existence. This is why the festival was created, to make a positive impact on the surrounding communities and take a stand against the decimation of our own biodiversity.

By deforesting our rainforests in the name of human greed we simultaneously destroy all fragile ecosystems, plants and animals that require them to live, including ourselves. Borneo supports over 15,000 different plant species alone, which rivals that of the entire African continent, and may well represent the highest level of over all plant diversity on planet Earth. A lot of this vegetation remains endemic to the unique island of Borneo, so when rampant deforestation and wildfires takes place, as a direct result of the growing palm oil industry, this precious life disappears forever. When you take into account that many endangered species are already struggling to live on this large island (the thirds largest in the world after Greenland and New Guinea), such as the colugo flying squirrels, pygmy elephants, Sumatran rhinos, orangutans, clouded leopards, gibbons and sun bears, you realize many changes need to be made in regard to our human behaviors and priorities for this biodiversity to continue existing. If drastic changes aren’t made more life will be lost and our future generations will be deprived of a more diverse world to live in.

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