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Posts from the ‘Highline’ Category

Red Bull features the 8th and 9th Annual Turkey Boogie/GGBY Desert Gathering

Roughly 400 rag-tag dirt bags and silent heroes from across the globe gather in the sandstone cliffs outside of Moab during Thanksgiving 2015 for Gobble Gobble Bitches Yea and Turkey Boogie; two festivals that are dedicated to supporting each spark that engulfs the imagination and pushes the limits of human possibility. Within 10 days, 17 highlines were strung, two space nets suspended and one Russian BASE swing constructed in the middle of the desert by dreamers, inventors, and influential creators coming together to create an unstoppable community. “It’s a cool environment to do groundbreaking things with talented people. It always has been and will continue to be that way.” says Scott Rogers, Director of the upcoming Wingate Motion film “Sky Tribe”. This group creates an atmosphere only portrayed in the Hollywood blockbusters, like finding the magical wardrobe or taking the red pill; you feel like you’ve made it to Neverland.

 

The tight, red canyon walls drop more than 350 feet below leaving you standing at a precipice of possibilities. Everywhere you look you are surrounded by the world’s best of the best in extreme sports, and each one of them is here to collaborate with your inspiration. That is where Scott Rogers and Cody Tuttle, Co-Directors of Wingate Motion, come into play. Documenting such incredible feats was a no-brainer for these two alongside the help of Brian Mosbaugh, Corey McCarthy, and Sarah Taz. Scott and Brian are two of the original Moab Monkeys and have been a part of the festival since it started many years ago. “At the beginning, we were setting world records every year. At the first GGBY we rigged a 135 foot highline with Terry Acomb called ‘A Walk In The Sun’ and that was a world record for the very first GGBY. One year, Andy Lewis walked a 330 foot line out there, which was the first highline longer than 100 meters.” While records never have been a priority at the festival, they tend to happen thanks to the creative, open, and energetic people who gather there year after year.

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Photo: Cody Tuttle

It was only a matter of time before the world would find out about GGBY and the Turkey Boogie events held in Moab. In eight years, the GGBY event grew from a mere 15 people on a camping trip to 400 people choosing “the outlaws over their in-laws” as Scott describes. With the growing community, 2015 was the biggest event yet, with GGBY and the Turkey Boogie mashed together for the second year in a row. The Wingate Motion production team hung off cliff faces, climbed tall boulders, and bounced across 4WD desert roads to work with the most talented Wingsuiters, BASE jumpers, and Highliners in the world. Over the week we captured the first two-way wingsuit flight off of Castleton Tower, the longest human anchored highline, the rope swing to BASE and Russian swing to BASE, just to name a few. “The cool thing about the event is that it’s a collection of so many awesome people that are so creative and so open to expressing their creativity uninhibited, because it is such an open and welcoming environment that it’s conducive for doing new and cool things.” says Scott. And that’s exactly what Wingate was able to capture.

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Photo: Cody Tuttle

Wingate’s “Sky Tribe” lives somewhere between the documentation of the rare extreme sports we all know and love, and the embrace of the friends and outlaws we love as family. This community is built upon striving for more as a whole, thus empowering the individual; making each world record event a group achievement, which can’t be explained better than witnessing the human anchored highline. “That’s why we are making this film, to not only document this amazing event, but to inspire other people and other communities to continue doing things that they are passionate about; to grow, to create, to inspire others who continue to increase the collective amount of good things that we still have as humans in this world and try to offset the bad.” Scott describes the passion behind the film project we all share at Wingate. This film will unveil a totally new world for anyone who has not experienced the BASE or Highlining community, creating the feeling of a world hidden in another reality. This is our family, our Sky Tribe, and we encourage you to share, join in the fun, and to hopefully be inspired to go out with your own tribe and discover the realm of human possibility.

Words: Tiffany Junge

UPDATE:
Check out how the 9th annual Turkey Boogie/GGBY gathering has grown in yet another Red Bull featured video below. A tribute to the slacklove that Terry Acomb has so graciously offered to the world of extreme sport athletes exploring the red rock wilderness of Moab, Utah.

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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Elevated Acroyoga Atop Desert Towers

Yoga has always been a part of my daily life of stretching and being outside. The constant search to find inner stillness, better breathe and greater flexibility in my movement has always been a joyful meditation, but I’ve always been more drawn to sharing the experience through more playful forms of balance such as slacklining, climbing and acrobatic yoga. Instead of focusing on individual static poses and personal progression, combining the finesse and flowing movement of two people together has continued to be a more relaxed and playful practice for me. I was first introduced to acroyoga a couple years ago while living in Oregon and I was immediately intrigued by the focus and flexibility required of two people to find balance together in a very simple yet beautifully complex form of choreographed motion. The creative flows are infinite, the mood always light and the natural settings where we practice are continuously shifting. In drawing on my skills and experience with wrestling and mixed martial arts, where the goal is to counterbalance your opponent and dominate their body position, I found that transforming combative dance into its opposite focus, where cultivating a mutual balance was the goal, has brought me a new sense of mutual accomplishment.

 

Last winter I was approached by my good friends Scott Rogers and Dallin Smith with a  project idea that would join our combined skills of acroyoga, desert climbing and extensive ropes rigging in a new form of adventurous and artistic expression. To take these three disciplines and combine them into a single project, where the natural beauty of Moab’s desert towers could be displayed alongside the flowing balance of humans, became the new focus to pursue. Being the desert wanderers that we are here in Moab, Utah, Scott and I started to brainstorm some interesting environments where acroyoga could be practiced in new exposed ways. After deliberating on a number of different desert towers in the local area; which we had previously climbed, established highlines atop and BASE jumped from, we concluded that this concept of tower yoga could be achieved realistically in our own backyard. Very quickly Trimr water bottles was excited by the idea and the project was set in motion. Over a cold three day period, Scott and I climbed a couple towers, fixed ropes to their summits and began planning the logistics of getting the other yogis out to these remotely exposed locations.

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A New Era of Aerial Space Net Rigging

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 exciting new ways to get blood pumping through our veins. Amongst the two main adventure groups 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 15 years) and G.G.B.Y. highline gathering (with its 8th annual celebration). Both communities come to the same desert playground to 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 having different adventures with land and air. The highliners spend long periods of time honing their focus walking across long one-inch wide pieces of webbing in space while the jumpers gather in masses across cliff edges to throw themselves into the abyss for a wild and fast paced flight 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.

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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 to rig and share the same 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 wingsuit pilots from above to buzz by groups of friends hanging out in the net. 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.

This all would not have been made possible with out the huge communal effort it took to hand weave this new space net by more than 50 different BASE jumpers, highliners and friendly volunteers over a 3 day period prior to its one day installation between the canyon. 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 during the duration of such dangerous stunts. In the end, everyone was very thankful for the new relationships and community that came together because it represented something bigger than any one person.

~Brian Mosbaugh

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

Looking back at this incredible year of smiles and adventure, I take 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 the southern hemisphere and this year it’s looking like Southeast Asia is calling. In this brief moment, however, I sip my coffee outside and reflect on the incredible hot air balloon highline stunt my friends and I recently accomplished outside Las Vegas. I’m including here the 3 part video series that covers the full story and build up to success, which Cody Tuttle and myself filmed and edited together.

 

This incredible idea was inspired by the 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. Following up on this attempt the Moab Monkeys were more than psyched and qualified to give the challenge a new go. The project was an incredible feat to tackle and through their initial exploratory efforts we were able to repeat it with some minor rigging modifications to make the highline a little more stable. The entire story of how this all came to be is truly impressive. In a 24 hour period more than 24 different professionals were quickly assembled in Las Vegas to attempt this stunt once and for all. In essence, we organized our own team of world-class wingsuit pilots, BASE jumpers, highliners, Las Vegas balloon pilots, aerial silks performers, riggers and cameramen to give this experience a solid attempt and it was ultimately executed with perfection. The end result was an awesome success of epic gravity sport shenanigans with an aerial Cirque du Soleil performance high above the desert floor. Cody Tuttle and myself edited and released a short trailer of what happened on February 18th, 2014 but here before you is the full 3 part series that tells the story in its complete form.

 

~Brian Mosbaugh