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 occasional moments of doubt and disorientation in my direction, but the flip side of this experience is a constantly evolving path filled with unexpected moments of joy and learning. Throughout the many years of living a simple life out of my vehicle, I’ve stumbled across many groups of interesting and gifted commumities who often think, act and live outside the box
I introduce you to a modern tribe of rebels and desert dwellers who define their own set of rules and guidelines to life, far from the concrete jungles and confined cubicles of urbanized society. Most of these so called “dirt bags” happen to be outstandingly creative and world-class athletes, while others are inspiring artists and free spirits living by a similar code of passion in everything they do. Whether their obsession is growing a garden or walking a slackline high above the ground, it seems whenever anyone dedicates their life’s energy toward following intrinsic bliss, a positive path unfolds. Decisions, experiences and communities of magical people amass over time and the the zest for life is shared forever.
The above short videos are samples of Kyle Berkompas’s work with the Moab Monkeys and other desert nomads who seasonally call this dry paradise home. I was fortunate enough to be the camera assistantant/behind the scenes documenter for these projects, during which time I learned a lot about the adventure film industry and what it takes to capture these experiences from unique perspectives. Utilizing state of the art camera equipment and progressive drone technologies, we teamed up with the amazing aerial filming experts at SkySight, based out of Boulder, CO, to capture these incredible shots using a RED Epic camera. This was the first time in history that these two technologies had been paired together! It was an absolute honor to have them capture the evolving adventures of the Moab Monkeys and Mason Earle’s newest/hardest crack project in Moab.
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
Getting into the world of BASE jumping could easily be considered both the worst and best decision I’ve ever made in life. That being said, I feel extremely happy about the introduction of a new adventure and passion, accepting whatever consequences may come from this choice. One of my defining character traits is that I love and appreciate life for all its dramas, both the ups and downs, and I do my best to fully accept all spectrums of the experience. With this new chapter, I’m hoping to experience unique elevated perspectives and explore greater opportunities for world travel, community bonding and gain a better understanding of my mind and gravity. Although obvious before every jump, there exists the lingering reality of femurs shattering, friends cratering and life expectancies being cut short. As terrible as that may sound, I fully understand there are no guarantees in this sport, which accurately describes the very nature of what ‘living’ has come to mean for me over the years… I wouldn’t define myself as an adrenaline junkie by any means, although I do embrace the natural high from time to time, but the real reward and conquest is in overcoming your fear and celebrating the minds ability to push through hard circumstances. Accepting your potential fate while on the edge of a cliff, bridge, building, etc. and distilling it all down to a fast paced moment of focused flight feels incredibly liberating and freeing from a culture that insists on safety nets, insurance policies and supposed guarantees. The sensation of falling and being saved by your own canopy is all very fleeting and a matter of trust, so it reminds me of a condensed lesson in a greater appreciation for the life experience. To make the best of the adventure and enjoy every passing moment no matter how short or prolonged it can be!
Joey California pulling low for a water landing
What I can say confidently so far about this new reality shift is the over all experience of momentary flight and relaxation is absolutely unparalleled to anything I’ve yet endeavored in my 28 years of living. The free-fall in space is mind blowing, the sound and feeling of air rushing past your body exhilarating, and the quiet canopy flight pure joy; adding to the delicious icing layer of this mouth watering cake. In pondering other methods to get my adventure fix, maybe crack-cocaine would have been a better life choice for a multitude of reasons… I’m sure the the longer high would comparatively outweigh the heavy repercussions of potentially ending your life so quickly, but somehow smoking from a glass pipe and having rotten teeth seems a less glamorous and more dangerous decision at this particular junction… Anyway, I stray from the points at hand so let me bring it back to the present. As a new jumper in this sport, I respect the learning curve and am staying highly aware of my own intuition and comfort levels. This honesty has rarely led me astray in perilous situations so I’m hoping to maintain a consistent ‘on heading performance’ with this mind set throughout the journey.
Scott Rogers and Jill Kuz testing the winds below
Few words, more images, end to beginning…
Urban Jungle Highline: As the last week of our trip slowly comes to an end, the team was able to get permission to walk between two apartment buildings in downtown Niteroi as part of a Brazilian TV show. This projects was a test of creative rigging in an unfamiliar terrain of concrete structures and constant noise. The rooftop scenery from this line was incredible and represents, for many of us on the Moab Monkeys team, our first urban highline.
New addition to downtown Niteroi’s urban scenery
18 stories above the concrete abyss
Marcio Cardoso getting the first Brazilian crossing of Niteroi’s new urban highline
Ezequiel Ruete taking in the noisy exposure of the urban setting
Improvised and creative rigging in the urban environment
Return to Tartaruga: The crew returned to walk Tartaruga Sinistra and we proudly established the first 3 walks of this 47 meter long beast. Many of the local Brazilians gave their best to it and will be returning soon with vengeance in mind.
Scott Rogers getting his send on the longest highline in Brazil, weighing in at 47 meters long and very exposed.
Allan Pinheiro walking amongst the clouds
Week three in Brazil is coming to an end and the Moab Monkeys met up with “Lucky” Luke Chappell and some other Brazilian BASE jumpers to explore the urban jungle of Rio de Janeiro. This week’s episode includes some building BASE jumping adventures and new highlines above downtown Niteroi. The buildings will go unnamed, as frankly we don’t even know what they’re called. The two highlines shown include the “Sweat Shop,” 17m long (established by Allan Pinheiro), and “Sol Opressor,” which is a new line we created in the 45-50m range. Enjoy this week’s episode and keep your eyes out for more. The Monkeys have one more week in Brazil and we’re preparing for our biggest project yet!
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Above is a brief trailer of some local Moab BASE jumping and highline footage compiled between Slackline Media, Moab Monkeys and the epic SkySight team for a SONY advertisement. The Monkey team has been working with this professional group to capture some of the most breathe taking and inspiring extreme sports aerial perspectives. I’m excited to be surrounding myself and working with such motivated and talented individuals in life. Every person has contributed something special to this project and I very much look forward to the adventures to come from all our hard work and raging in the cold. As history tends to repeat itself, the continuing cycle of adventure is guaranteed to mature into the next step of what is shaping up to be an amazing year so far!
For more information concerning SkySight and the awesome work they’ve been producing, check out the links listed below. Make sure to “Like” their pages and follow up on continuing projects as they capture life from new unparalleled aerial perspectives never before seen!
To Check out more of what the Moab Monkeys of extreme athletes are up to around the world, subscribe to our new EpicTV channel under Moab Monkeys and stay up to date with our adventures on Facebook.