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Posts from the ‘Moab Monkeys’ Category

“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.

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

Rhythms of Rimba Rainforest Celebration

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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.

Read more

Around the World in 3 Weeks

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For every story they say there is a beginning, middle and end. For this story there is a stop in Thailand, Poland and Switzerland. During this short journey of 3 weeks around the world Scott Rogers and myself spent about a weeks time in each country playing with gravity and doing a little “work” along the way. It was a trip of firsts for me experiencing my first (B)uilding jump in Bangkok, being part of a team rigging a new world record urban highline, committing to my first terminal BASE jumps from amazing cliffs in Lauterbrunnen and seeing so much more along the way. I attempted to take some photos on the blazing trail and here are a few I wanted to share to give a glimpse of the beauty and diversity of the sights, sounds and people we got to play and smile with. I hope you enjoy!

 Chapter One: The 6th Annual Urban Highline Festival (Lublin, Poland)

Slackliners from around the world have been gathering in the quaint historical town of Lublin, Poland for the past six years rigging dozens of highlines in this amazing urban setting. Thanks to the efforts of Jan Galek, Faith Dickey, Jordan Tybon, Wojtek Kozakiewicz and so many more, this gathering continues to gain momentum and attendees as the slack scene gets bigger and more individuals are discovering the benefits of being better balanced people. This celebration takes place alongside a massive gathering of Carnaval where mimes, aerial silk performers, contortionists and other artists come together to showcase their skills and vision with a big audience that casually strolls through the town square as highliners walk above in every direction. The vibe is so much different than Bangkok and it was an incredible experience to see so many familiar and new faces that have become the community of modern slacklining. Officially the Europeans have been pushing the sport in a huge way making been advances in the lengths of highlines being walked today and exploring new environments to construct these lines in space. Without a doubt the church lines were my favorite to walk at this gathering since its such a unique opportunity to walk in this sacred space… If I could share one bit of advice it would be to attend this event every year if you have the chance!

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Chapter Two: The Valley of Death or Glory (Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland)

Welcome to the world of 2,000 foot tall limestone cliffs amidst the most beautiful alpine mountain environment you’ve ever imagined. With gondola services that take you to the top of either side of the valley where countless world-class BASE exits await the brave and bold, this place is either a Disneyland paradise for talented trackers and wingsuit pilots or the Valley of Death if you make any mistake. Taking anywhere between 8-15 seconds delay before pitching your pilot chute and being under an inflated canopy, you can leap from these heights and fly like superman away from the towering walls to touch down in a grassy field and have a 15 minute walk to the nearest local pub. For those more adventurous types, a couple gondola rides and a 3 hour hike can get you to the top of the infamous Eiger or other alpine regions where you can expect a 45 second flight or more depending on your skill level and chosen flying suit… This place absolutely blew my mind in terms of how outrageously scenic it was and the seriousness of performing every jump with perfect execution. It seemed everyday someone was having a cliff strike, landing in the tall trees or worse, which added to the commitment level of every action you took. I’ve made it a goal to spend time in this place every year as long as I’m current in my flying skills, because I can’t imagine a more beautiful place to spend time with friends truly flying in a dreamlike environment. Thanks so much to Andy Lewis, Scott Rogers and Jimmy Peterson for being there for my first long delays, you brothers will always be near and dear to my heart!

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Life on the Line

 

Over the past many years I’ve been fortunate enough to live a simple life of travel and balance, meeting amazing people along the way and accumulating a massive collection of video footage and photographs. I try my best to publish and share these documented moments with everyone but the reality is I mostly prefer spending my time outside creating new memories rather than sitting in front of a computer processing hours of footage and crunching away on long stints of editing. I like to think that in modern times I’ve found a delicate balance between these two experiences, which has allowed me to support a life of continuous adventure, but not too long ago I was only living out of my car devoted to the outdoors more than any other thing in life. Which brings me to my meeting with a friend named Jon Lang back in Oregon, whom a couple years ago approached me with an interest to edit some of my archival footage to use in a college assignment back at Oregon State University. We started hanging out together and began bouncing ideas back and forth about starting a production company and how we could go about getting a bit more professional with our documenting habits and obsession, but to summarize a long story short, we eventually went our separate ways as Jon was pursuing a career in the free skiing world and I moved out to Moab, Utah where my life became sculpted by the awesome community and sandstone cliffs that I now interact with everyday.

The video above is comprised of my collected archival footage from an expedition to Thailand with the Moab Monkeys, highlines in Joshua Tree/Moab/Yosemite, along with some additional video footage Jon compiled of the first annual Smith Rock Highline Gathering I organized and the many deep water solo lines I developed in central Oregon with the help of many rad friends. Looking back on all these memories always makes me smile and reminds me of the footprints I’ve left behind and gets me excited for the new adventures to come. There’s been so much progression in the sport of slacklining over the years that it’s obvious the passion and pursuit of balance will always see leaps and bounds as long as this passionate community continues to devote their lives to its obsession and progression. Jerry Miszewski has been a huge influence in the community, pushing the limits of length, endurance and innovation with the sport while Andy Lewis has been exposing the world to his ‘slacklife’ philosophy with his many crazy shenanigans, world traveling pursuits and awesome combination of parachute sports alongside a one inch piece of webbing. Both athletes are featured in this short video, alongside countless other individuals who have also spearheaded the progression of slacklining in so many other ways. Much of this footage has been locked away with my collection of hard drives and has yet to be seen by the public until now. So, sit back and enjoy this fast paced edit created by Jon himself.

In closing, I just want to say that it’s been an honor sharing these smiling moments of balance in nature with so many talented artists and I look forward to the new friendships and adventures that wait on the horizon. Until that next line is established or plane ticket purchased, slackers keep up the high life and stoke of balanced progression. The world really is watching and we’re just having a good ol’ time cultivating a happy life of smiles, vertical challenges and real adventure with our closest friends and heroes. What a time to be had!

~Brian Mosbaugh

Desert Towers, Epic Highlines and BASE Jumping Oh My!

Scott Rogers sending 51 meters of the newest tower highlines deep in the desert of Moab. This project has been an effort almost entirely complete to summit 4 separate towers, establish BASE jumps from all of them and rig 4 new lines traversing their various peaks. The Moab Monkeys rage hard here!

Monkey missions in Moab typically consist of several adventure sports all coming together in beautiful locations and with an amazing group of talented friends. This past week of shenanigans was no different and in typical monkey fashion I’ve stepped away from the experience reviewing the photos, videos and memories with a sense of overwhelming awe and appreciation for all the incredible people and life pursuits we’re collectively creating here in this desert paradise… The privilege of being surround by so many inspiring and gifted people in this outdoor community is a constant reminder that life is continually moving toward new adventurous pursuits that we all get to share with one another.

Diabolix

All in all, four separate desert towers were summited (The Warlock, The Cauldrons and The Witch), two beautiful tower highlines establishhed and four new BASE jumping exits opened. As far as logistics go, it took a solid 3-4 days of hot exposed adventure rigging/climbing to gain access to all these points in order to prepare for the accomplishments ahead. With two new highlines established; Demonix (51 meters/167 feet long) and Diabolix (67 meters/220 feet long) many visiting slackliners saw new personal bests go down. Seeing so many people struggle through fear, apprehension and difficult circumstances, while having success in the end, is always an inspiring note to end on. Scott Rogers, recovering from a very serious tib/fib fracture only six months ago, successfully walked both highlines (setting a new PR) and joined myself on a BASE jump from the summit of The Warlock tower, which hasn’t happened in what seems a long time. Sharing these types of adventures together as a group of friends and athletes always brings us closer and I love seeing the elated smile of my friends after landing a canopy. It’s a precious moment that I lack words to describe its excellence.

Lines in Space

Watching my personal heroes overcome huge life obstacles and come out on top as wiser better people reminds me that I’m surrounded by the right crowd and instills pride in my heart. This community has always inspired me to improve my focus and balance and this past adventure helped stoke the fire even more as the summer heat kicks in and the desert adventures continue on. It was a pleasure sharing this experience with everyone involved (Faith Dickey, J.R. Racine, Ray Diaz, Daniel Albrecht, Monica Beck, Parker Gales, Dan Krauss, Aleta Edinger, and Scott Rogers) and I know we’ve all stepped away from the experience as better people with a bigger smile on our face and new stories to someday share with the grandchildren. I hope everyone continues to love life, push themselves in new directions and share amazing experiences with the precious people they’re surrounded by. Slack on!

~ Brian Mosbaugh

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 some close 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 a 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. 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 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.

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Chasing down a Dream

To launch this film project 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 rapidly 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 taking on more momentum and creativity over time with the Exit Point team.

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. 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