Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Blog Entries’ Category

Project 365 with SkySight

 

Above is a brief trailer of some local Moab BASE jumping and highline footage compiled between Slackline MediaMoab 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.

~Brian Mosbaugh

Monkeys in Brazil Part 1: Of Spirits and Gravity

The Moab Monkeys have officially launched the first video edit from our adventures in Brazil and it’s scheduled to be one of many more coming your way! Scott Rogers and I are excited to be extensively documenting this experience so that the rest of you can hopefully be inspired by our adventures and give some support to our monkey missions by watching, subscribing and sharing the YouTube channel. In the first week of our highlining and BASE jumping expedition in the southern hemisphere, we’ve been raging around with the awesome locals here and completing many adventurous pursuits. Amongst them, we repeated the Classic Gavea Stone highline, which was established by wingsuit/BASE jumping professional Hugo Langel Van Erven in 2006. We also opened a new highline atop the Four Summits above the city. The line was entitled “Brazilian BBQ” in the end and was successfully rigged and walked in a loose fashion due to the fragile anchors we had to utilize. This line was positioned in a beautiful location with the city of Rio de Janeiro in the backdrop and the beautiful salty ocean alongside it. The statue of Jesus could also be seen from the line in addition to other famous landmarks such as the Sugarloaf and other noteworthy natural and urban features. More ideal anchors would have of course been preferred, but when adventure rigging in the hot and humid jungle by steep rocky cliffs, beggars can’t be choosers. You ultimately take what Mother Nature gives you and hope for the best, backing up all your anchor points as best you can.

 

In addition to all the balanced feats accomplished so far, such as the waterline near Favela da Vidigal and highlines on Pedra da Gavea, Scott Rogers and Hugo have been BASE jumping from various points atop the 2,800 foot tall granite monolith almost everyday. This trip so far has been action packed and the Moab Monkeys are proudly raging hard! Watch the video to get a better idea about what we’re doing down south and the creative pursuits we’ve been pursuing. I hope you enjoy the short film, please subscribe to us at Moab Monkeys on Facebook for progressive updates on the trip and of course to our YouTube channel which is sure to flourish as missions get bigger and Brazil gets hotter.

~Brian Mosbaugh

Yosemite Origins of Highlining

 

Yosemite National Park is a majestic land rich in climbing history, a long Native American presence and marked as the birthplace of modern highlining as we know it today. For a long time it’s been preserved as a sacred place of grandeur and natural beauty, dominated by an abundance of extraordinary waterfalls, diverse wildlife and gigantic granite walls that erupt from the valley floor reaching for the heavens. Without a doubt, these glacial polished amphitheaters beckon to every rock climber and adventure seeker to test their courage and strength on the towering white rock above. Attempting to capture the scale and impressive qualities of El Cap (short for “The Captain”) and the rest of Yosemite’s environments is hard to convey in words, but the feeling and perspective of seeing the larger than life white cliffs for the first time will leave any visitor with a lingering sense of awe remembered for a lifetime. As millions of tourists flood into the park every year, the scene at Camp 4 and around Curry Village can leave the outdoorsman with a sense of claustrophobia and unease, but luckily the backcountry is only a short backpacking distance away. There the hustle and bustle of millions of tourons (common nomenclature for “tourists” and “morons”) can be avoided if you have a solid set of hiking legs. Leaving the crowds behind, along with the many domesticated Yogi bears trying to steal your PB&J sandwiches, is where true adventure can be found.

El Cap

Yosemite FallsI’ve been frequenting different parts of Yosemite for the past 5 years, and it was during my first visit to the park when a new passion was sparked and my worldview was absolutely shaken. I think back at my first experiences looking up at Yosemite Falls as a significant catalyst in my life. It profoundly altered the creation of all future chapters in my path from henceforth. It’s sometimes difficult to define the moment, or origin, of such an impacting life change, but seeing Yosemite Falls from below (towering some 3,000 feet above the Valley floor) left me with a yearning for adventure which I couldn’t resist. Experiencing the powerful roar of the waterfalls near its base, while dumbfounded by the sight of humans casually walking above its crest on a piece of one-inch webbing, I was inspired and intrigued. I felt a pull, drive and desire to suddenly experience that sort of freedom for myself.

Yosemite Falls

My previous year of life had been defined by a nomadic migration living out of my car with an irresistible obsession for rock climbing. After being introduced to ropes and technical climbing in college, while constantly watching films of young men and women traveling the world with a singular obession of going up, I was inspired to follow in their footsteps. Unlike many university graduates who haphazardly question their post-school life, I knew exactly what I wanted and more importantly I knew how to get there. Since discovering my vertical passion I started taking summer college courses and studying constantly to graduate from the University of Oregon as fast as possible. The moment I turned in my last homework assignment was the day I left my old structured life behind, with no regrets. I opted out of walking at graduation, not caring that I had finished in the top 1% of my class in the Romance Language department. I reorganized my life into a small Honda Element vehicle, with a custom sized bed in the back, to see the world from new heights. My journeys led me from one climbing destination to the next, beginning in Squamish, Canada, and heading south along the west-coast corridor to many world-class climbing meccas. I touched many cliffs and boulders around Smith Rock, Bishop, South Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Joshua Tree and other pocketed areas in new terrain. I simply followed the seasons chasing good weather and eventually ended up moving east toward Hueco Tanks State Park in Texas and then Flagstaff, Arizona. The year had been phenomenal and I had progressed from bouldering at a beginners level to sending V10 in some of the best climbing destinations in the country. My sport climbing abilities saw a spike in technical improvement, my gear placements were improving and my strength to weight ratio was exponentially on an upward trend, until IT happened…

Injury set in. I was bouldering in Arizona and heard the dreaded heart breaking sound that plagues the minds of active climbers. SNAP went the pulley in my middle finger, the swelling commenced quickly and tears seeped from my eyes near the base of the boulder. For the average person working a 9-5, this is not a common injury, but for climbers who put extreme amounts of physical strain on their fragile fingers, it’s unfortunately a relatively common occurrence. For a “dirtbag climber” living and breathing to to play on rocks, this can be a serious time of change and potential depression. After realizing I wouldn’t be climbing hard for at least another 6 months to year, I had to make new life decisions. Like all events which appear both tragic and liberating, there was a lesson to be learned here and life would go on. My path of simple living and obsessively dreaming about the next route had to shift in a new direction.

Lost Arrow Spire

Russ Phetteplace sending the classic Lost Arrow Spire Highline, 3,000′ above the Valley floor.

Lost Arrow Spire Highline

Russ Phetteplace practicing yoga on the classic Lost Arrow Spire Highline, 3,000′ above the Valley floor.

DSC_8045-001

Shortly afterward, I found myself backpacking for a week into the depths of the Grand where I hoped to find answers to new life questions. After some healthy introspection in the depths of the desert paradise, I decided to go back to Yosemite National Park. Shortly after arriving in the Valley I headed toward Yosemite Falls, I looked up and saw the most beautiful highline in the world being walked with total grace by Jerry Miszewski. In my previous climbing experiences I had already started casually slacklining in parks around Eugene, Oregon. It was around that same time when I was introduced to rock climbing outdoors at Smith Rock State Park, treating slacklining as a common rest day activity from the routine of cranking down on rock and torturing my tendons. By chance, I had also rigged and walked the classic Monkey Face Highline at Smith Rock after six-months of slackline practice. It was an incredible new challenge to my balance but the thrill wasn’t strong enough to supercede my climbing goals. I was absolutely terrified from the exposure below my body and was shaken by the mental focus needed to walk in balance on a highline back in Oregon, but the level of Jedi focus these highliners possessed dancing 3,000 feet above the Valley floor was on another level.

Lost Arrow Spire Highline

Rigging the classic Lost Arrow Spire Highline

Long Lost Arrow Spire Highline

Jason Lakey sizing up the Long Lost Arrow Spire Highline

With my finger severely injured and the reality of long recovery seeping in, I needed to find another way to keep my brain stimulated, my body moving and my soul happy. I decided then and there, at the base of the grandiose Yosemite Falls, that highlining would become my new life focus. Since that day, I’ve relentlessly decided to follow a path of global exploration, guided by my inner intuitions and balanced passion pursuits. It was inevitable that I would eventually buy a camera and attempt to capture this unique space, and so continues the constant challenge of finding the right angle and image to capture my heroes living awesome in nature. The act of rigging a highline and walking above the great abyss is an almost indescribable sensation. Through still imagery, filmmaking and storytelling I try my best to convey this natural beauty to the greater world. This lifestyle stimulates my senses and leads to extremely profound feelings which help define and challenge my character in a way I’ve never encountered before. Sometimes the walk on webbing is calm and meditative, while other moments its filled with fear and terror, shaking my total sanity and balance. It’s in these contrasting emotional bouts that we push our personal limitations of what is possible in the void. The slackline family which seeks out these adventurous pursuits is ironically a very grounded group, communally supportive of one another and totally blissed out collectively. My fellow highlining, climbing, BASE jumping and rigging companions are now more like a blood family to me. They understand my worldviews and meaning making of life. It is with them that I find acceptance and love.

Photo by Daniel Carrillo

Brian Mosbaugh taking a break on the Taft Point Highline with El Cap in the backdrop. Photo by Daniel Carrillo

Our dreams are filled with BIG goals that straddle what’s possible or impossible, and for this reason we’re pushed in new insightful directions learning something new and exciting everyday. We remain young, despite our growing grey hairs, and push forward like there is no tomorrow. The present flow of life is what matters most in this type of reality. Instead of stressing the importance of accumulating monetary wealth or collecting shiny objects, we willingly accept a simple way of life. We see the world as a living playground to cherish and take care of, knowing that it’s at greater and greater threat by our collective human impact. For this reason, we respect the wild places where we dwell, adventure and grow together. In chasing down these dreams of elevated adventure, constructing arbitary lines in space, jumping into the abyss and climbing large rocks for no apparent reason, I’m somehow reminded of my small size and become immediately humbled. I don’t exactly know why we do what we do, but a love for the outdoors and a universal feeling of being with family is what keeps me coming back for more…

Rigging

Eric Rassmussen rigging the Long Lost Arrow Spire line

I’ve included some photos and a video of a highlining trip I took to Yosemite in 2010 and 2011 to accompany these words. These images are a tribute to how inspiring Yosemite National Park is and it’s also a tribute to those that have taught me so much along the way. I want to thank Scott Balcolm for setting a new standard of adventure by walking and establishing the Lost Arrow Spire Highline back in 1984. You did the world a favor on that day. I also want to thank Jerry Miszewski, Pierre Carrillo, Eric Rasmussen, Jeremy Louis, Julien Desforges, Hayley Ashburn, Russ Phetteplace, Damian Cooksey, Emily Sukiennik, Jan Galek, Faith Dickey, Jordan Tybon, Damian Czermak, Mical Korniewicz, Andy Lewis and SO MANY others who not only inspired me to find greater balance in my life as I was learning to walk a slackline but who also shared with me their wealth of knowledge in rigging and living gracefully against the grain of modern expectations. I hope these words and images will have somehow inspired others to follow their own dreams with passion. May everyone continue to inspire and be inspired!

~Brian Mosbaugh

Yosemite Falls Rigging

Russ Phetteplace hanging out in the exposure during the rigging of the Yosemite Falls Highline

Aerial Adventure Perspectives

 

 

Since 2013 has rolled around, outside temperatures in Moab, UT haven’t been above freezing for very long… In fact, they’ve been hovering in the teens mostly and dropping as far as -15 degrees Fahrenheit at night! When it comes to the winter, and cold climate in general, I typically scare away running south to environments resembling summer and pretend the planet doesn’t tilt on its axis in a balanced way. This year, however, has brought on new changes and challenges and I’m finally starting to embrace, if not tolerate, these very cold conditions. My camera batteries are in revolt from the decision but remain relatively cooperative, allowing for some incredible feats to be captured with a little extra charging. One might assume I would take up a winter sport now and finally enjoy the mountains on skis or a snowboard, however, my passion continues leading me on a path of highlining, rigging and adventure filming/photography in this beautiful space of unlimited desert adventure. Since returning from Joshua Tree during the holidays, I left beautiful Utah in its typical glory of red cliffs and warm temperatures only to return to a different, yet subtly familiar landscape, which maintains a lingering layer of white and has given me a new appreciation for indoor heating.

Scott Rogers sending Mario during sub-zero temperatures in Moab, UT.

Scott Rogers sending Mario during sub-zero temperatures in Moab, UT.

The weeks have “flown” by as one project has led into the other, all of which have been full of new learning experiences and opportunities to meet amazingly talented people with a similar drive to document adventure sports on the cutting edge. Above is a brief trailer of footage compiled between Slacklinemedia.com, Monkey Den Media and the epic SkySightRC team which we’ve been working with to capture some breathe taking and inspiring highlining/B.A.S.E. jumping footage. I’m so excited to be surrounding myself and working with such motivated and talented individuals. Every person has contributed somethings 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!

Scott Rogers sending Mario during sub-zero temperatures in Moab, UT.

Scott Rogers sending Mario during sub-zero temperatures in Moab, UT.

For more information concerning SkySightRC and the awesome work they’ve been doing, 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 what the extreme athletes of Moab Monkeys are up to around the world, subscribe to our new YouTube channel and stay up to date with our adventures on Facebook.

Daniel Moore getting his BASE on at the infamous Tombstone formation.

Daniel Moore getting his BASE on at the infamous Tombstone formation.

Daniel Moore getting his BASE on at the infamous Tombstone formation.

Daniel Moore getting his BASE on at the infamous Tombstone formation.

Daniel Moore getting his BASE on at the infamous Tombstone formation.

Daniel Moore getting his BASE on at the infamous Tombstone formation.

Ancient Artwork of a balanced kind

Ancient Artwork of a balanced kind

Snow capped Moab landscape

Snow capped Moab landscape

Sahalie Falls Highline

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” ~Deepak Chopra

About seven years back while living in Eugene, Oregon, I came across Sahalie Falls in the densely forested region of the Cascade Mountain range. This waterfall happens to be one of three consecutive falls close to one another along the McKenzie River, recognized as the tallest and perhaps most inspiring of the trio. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always had a deep fascination and respect for water and its unrelenting power. This incredible force is capable of carving out entire valleys and sculpting new mountain ranges in a way our modern technologies and destructive capabilities pale in comparison. The cascading water is large and in charge, constantly changing with the seasons depending on glacial melt and available runoff from the surrounding mountains. During my first visits to this destination I was neither a climber or slackliner, lacking the vision to see it as a beautiful highline destination for the future. Jump forward many years, after improving my skills as a highline rigger/developer, and I had a new approach and set of mental tools to complete this project with my slackline equipment in my backpack. The privilege of walking above such incredible forces is certainly an experience hard to forget, and it remains one of my favorite settings to highline amongst.

Sahalie Falls

Ethan Holt takes in the lush green forest of Oregon’s beautiful wilderness

With a constant mist of water being pushed upward due to an updraft of wind, and the violent noise of water crashing 100′ below the line, it can be a somewhat unnerving experience to harness the appropriate focus for walking in balance. At the time of rigging this line for the first time, with fellow slackliner Kurt Staheli, I was still very much a novice “learning the ropes” so to speak. Despite being somewhat of a beginner, Kurt and I were inspired and able to successfully rig the line to get the first full-man sends (walking in both directions) and using all natural anchors as our fixed points for the highline. Although natural anchors aren’t alway present when equipping a new line, it’s something I especially seek out and take a lot of pride in when not using the aid of bolts or a drill. This ethic and style of rigging is, and always has been, my preferred method of establishing new lines… Since the recording of this video I’ve returned with many groups of friends to share the unique experience of hovering over falling water. Everyone whose been a part of this adventure has always left with a smile and new appreciation for Sahalie Falls’ natural presence, so I consider the expedition a great success and thank all who have helped rig and walk this incredible line.

~Brian Mosbaugh

Max Sterling takes in the power of the falls

Max Sterling goes for some exposure just before diving into the falls

Sahalie Falls

Ethan Holt don’t need no hands to balance!

Ethan Holt keeping it calm and cool

Ethan Holt staying centered

Line of the Lost

SONY DSCThe life of a Moab highliner often involves a lot of wandering in the desert and traveling over rugged and rocky terrain via 4 wheel-drive vehicles. The approaches are typically pretty short but for this most recent project the hike was half the battle while the driving portion meandered casually along nice asphalt for once. The trip from Moab passes through a pleasant corridor of rock cliffs alongside the Colorado River eventually leading into Castle Valley, providing a refreshing scenery of mountains, rock towers and scattered mesas with infinite highline potential all around. As the snowy peaks of the La Salle Mountains begin to show signs of accumulating snow caps, the temperatures are beginning to cool as winter nears and projects continue to rage onward and upward. After an hour of hiking alongside steep scree slopes, across cliffs with fixed lines (known as a “via ferrata”) and eventually up vertical ropes leading through chimneys of rock you arrive atop the playing field. Parriott Mesa is the ballpark which stands out as an incredible highline location with vistas and exposure hard to beat anywhere in the world. It was during this last summer that Hayley Ashburn, Andy Lewis and Scott Rogers established the first highline here, a beautiful line appropriately named “Rim with a View,” as it showcases the La Salle Mountains in the distance, quaint farm fields below, multiple desert towers nearby and the infamous Fisher Towers almost out of sight. During my first trip to the top of this formation I was blown away by the natural beauty and the room for adventure it beholds. Not only is Parriott Mesa well known by rock climbers in the area for its epic pick of desert cracks leading up amazing phallic towers but it’s also the site of many BASE jumping exits. In fact, it’s currently one of the few destinations where local BASE jumping professional, Mario Richard, has established a business of tandem BASE jumping!

SONY DSCUpon getting to the summit of the mesa with heavy packs and friends Richard Webb, Ethan Holt, and Ryan Matson (accompanied by our canine friend Big Fuzz, who patiently waited below) we were all psyched to get our rig on and start walking amidst this stunning landscape. As we finished tensioning the line and putting on harnesses I was both excited to walk the line and capture some incredible images of my friends being bad ass. The rig was ultimately walked by all of us with many smiles and a bright sun in our face for the majority of the day. Photographing highlines in this condition can often be a difficult task if you don’t get the right light or angle from the sun, but that days mission provided ample opportunities to snap off some amazing shots. Luckily for me, with the remaining rope from our pulley set-up, I was able to rappel down the cliff a short ways to access a small ledge and get a new angle on the line. Below are some photos which demonstrate the beauty of Utah’s desert, mountains and local monkeys.

RiggingLocal Moab climber/highline developer, Ryan Matson, takes a casual stroll in paradise atop Parriott Mesa on "Rim with a View." This location offers access to some of the most amazing tower climbs in the area with equally amazing views of Utah's staggering landscape.

SONY DSCSONY DSC

After spending the day walking “Rim with a View” it appeared obvious that many new highlines could be established atop this formation. What caught our eye most was a longer version of the line we were walking, which extended out to a more exposed prow that jutted into greater space, offering dizzying views and exposure. So with our minds made up to come back soon and excitement coursing through our veins, we charged the drill battery that night and prepared for the next day’s adventure. Following the same slog path and 1,500 plus feet of climb to the summit, we returned with heavier packs and anticipation for a new highline. It turned out that only Ethan and I were able to come back a couple days later after waiting out some rain. With our psyche high and legs well rested we had enough energy to get the job done and install a new addition to the growing resume of Moab highlines. The new project, to be named “Line of the Lost” (since the terrain vividly reminded us of what Land of the Lost would look like) was a great success. Measuring in at about 140′ long with approximately 400′ of direct exposure beneath, and another many 1,000′ of visible dizzying drop, we were psyched to put another notch on the belt of projects conquered. Both Ethan and I were first to walk the line, Ethan getting the send in one direction and myself walking it full-man and on my first attempts on-sight. This is one of many desert adventures which Ethan and I have embarked on and it never gets old sharing such unique experiences with best of friends. I feel honored and blessed to be surrounded by such motivated people in my life…

This is of course not the last or longest line to be established atop Parriott Mesa. On the same day as walking “Line of the Lost” Ethan and I installed anchors for another highline along a different aspect of the mesa. The new project looks to be around 200′ long, with amazing exposure beneath and the potential for a swingline if people were so inclined to help carry more ropes to the summit. So with that being said, life continues on here in Moab with many promises of adventure ahead and countless more towers to climb and span.

~Brian Mosbaugh

B.A.S.E. + HighlineSONY DSC

Parriott Mesa

SONY DSCSONY DSC

SONY DSCSONY DSC