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Posts from the ‘Moab Monkeys’ Category

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!

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

After mourning the recent deaths of some close BASE jumping friends I needed a break from Moab to explore new sceneries and reset the brain. My immersion into the sport of BASE jumping has been one of the most incredible adventures of my life, however, it also comes with extreme moments of sadness and joy oscillations. In order to clear my mind from the desert dust, I decided to spend all of December living in a noisy airplane hanger at Lodi, California. It was a unforgettable adventure spent skydiving everyday, learning new aerial skills and improving my canopy control with inspiringly talented people. The world of air sports never ceases to amaze me with the diverse and awesome crowd it attracts. This sky tribe devotes more time learning to relax in the air than standing on the ground, which breeds incredibly coordinated aerial acrobats who literally play amongst the clouds. Everyone smiles a lot and learns to tolerate the noise and smell of airplane engines daily. After all, flying out of aircrafts some 13,000′ above the Earth’s surface definitely requires sacrifices of sorts. If you haven’t had the pleasure of falling with your friends in pure air I highly recommend you do so. It’s proven to cure your mind of all the petty mental obstacles we manifest and is guaranteed to put you in the flow of each moment. In general, skydiving may not be the solution to your financial debt problems, but I once heard it cured cancer for someone… It’s science, don’t question it!

Lodi Flight

After completing 75 new skydives I decided it was time to speed off from the drop zone back towards Moab, Utah. As soon as I got back to the desert I shared a loving embrace with my girlfriend and promptly rode off into the sunset on an adventure down south toward Puerto Rico. We spent close to a month practicing traditional yoga, acroyoga, slacklining, climbing, surfing 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 recommend booking a cheap ticket down to this wonderful island paradise where you’re guaranteed to experience an overwhelming amount of natural beauty and radical community all around. This little island hosts a huge abundance of natural waterfalls, jungles, beaches and relaxing island culture in every directions of its small land occupancy. Adi is an amazing teacher, masseuse and yoga master who will guide you toward better balance, beauty and relaxation to spice up your life. 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… After many layovers and several connecting flights, I once again returned to my desert playground of sand and stone in Moab, Utah.

Puerto Rico Waterlining

With only two days of getting settled in my own bed I began packing yet again for another trip, one that swept me off toward Arizona where I started a new chapter of adventure film making, producing an upcoming web series called Exit Point. This project is all about documenting the lives of some of my many talented female BASE jumping friends as they travel the globe and explore the limits of human flight together. Collectively they’re an awesome bunch of people who come from different backgrounds and share a committed passion of flying. This is only the beginning of a huge unfolding adventure which is taking on more momentous creativity with the Exit Point team.

Flying

Chasing down a Dream

Balloon Jumps

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.

~Brian Mosbaugh

Arch Nemesis

Continuing the slacklife with yet another Jay Bird promotional video, Ryan Robinson and I payed a visit to one of my favorite desert lines which we established this previous summer together. During the original rigging of “Arch Nemesis,” Ryan had a lot of trouble staying on the highline due to its unfamiliar exposure, but upon our return and with a month of training behind him he came back with a vengeance and crushed it like a boss. We spent a total of two days re-rigging this gem and walking its length with happy repetition in front of a camera. In my opinion, this unique highline stands alone in the vast desert of Moab’s red rock country as a 5 star line for anyone psyched on esthetics and lengths of 170 feet. Seeing these ancient natural creations and interacting with the surrounding environment always makes me appreciate natures unmatched ability to carve out art in this rugged landscape. Its always an honor to walk in this beautiful place, exploring new heights and progressing our personal abilities to balance and create artistic expressions in space. This project made for another fun opportunity to present a taste of Utah’s breathtaking scenery and grandeur, which always stretches on as far as the eye can see.

MORE INSIGHT TO THE SLACKLIFE PHILOSOPHY:

~Brian Mosbaugh

Power Your Passion

True commitment to adventure has its undeniable moments of peril and fear, but what it offers in return is an unparalleled sense of contentment and bliss with the world around you. It’s definitely not the luxury life that it’s made out to be, there are still many stresses, doubts and moments of depression to combat, but when it comes down to the important issues I feel incredibly happy to live this way despite the very real dramas and consequences that come up occasionally. For example, losing close friends and acquaintances more regularly is a part of this lifestyle choice, and because of this fact you learn to really appreciate the small things in day to day life which are commonly overlooked. Drinking coffee with your friends in the morning, sharing moments of debauchery and laughter, walking with two functioning legs and feet, these are all amazing things to be thankful for. Because of the inherit risk of injury and death, we experience a profound appreciation for being in good health and staying so active in a beautiful world. What I’m trying to convey is that it’s not always glamorous recreation… It is, however, rewarding in countless other ways which can only be felt in the heat of moment, through a shared smile and glance amongst friends, living life on the edge of risk and reward.

 

Ever since I began committing myself fully to the elevated adventures of rock climbing, highlining and now BASE jumping, I’ve felt a greater sense of peace and connection with the natural world around me. Its led to some of the closest friendships and relationships I’ve ever had and has certainly been the greatest roller coaster I’ve ever been a part of. There are ups and downs along the ride, balanced between moments of fear and elation, bliss and depression, but ultimately its all been a part of the journey and you eventually learn to appreciate every spectrum of the experience. After spending close to 5 disciplined years living out of a car, traveling along a seasonal migration pattern in pursuit of better weather, rock and higher perspectives, I’ve now come to appreciate having a real home base in Moab, surrounded by some of the most talented and genuinely alive people I’ve ever come to know. We spend our days as self directed adventurers, basically exploring the vast desert which surrounds us and taking on whatever creative outdoor projects comes to mind. Alongside this story, we find ourselves documenting the experience in an attempt to both convey the beauty and focus required to accomplish such feats, which can only be achieved by repeatedly overcoming dangerous scenarios through calculated risk and dedicated training. It goes without saying, that a lot of what we’re doing is conceived of as ‘crazy’ and ‘excessively risky’ by the general populace, and this is true to some extent, but the difference I find in our perspectives stems from an overall miscommunication of life philosophy… I could just as easily make the life choice to spend my days working in an office, making money on a predictable schedule and having insurance policies to pay for annual dental check ups. Or… I could choose to shrug off some of the societal expectations and material wealth to instead LIVE in the moment and in pursuit of a path where risk and bliss exist on a thin line that’s incredibly fun to balance along. These situations aren’t necessarily exclusive to one another, happiness and freedom not being allowed in the office setting that is, but they often lead to different life approaches with different life choices. The reward for regularly pushing past my fears with better honed focus allows me to see the world with new eyes and experience profound levels of happiness with my friends always by my side. It’s hard to explain really, but at the epicenter of this lifestyle is the ability to truly enjoy the fleeting and beautiful moments that pass by during this finite time we all have to share together, here and now.

That being said, it’s alway a pleasure working with other creative and talented artists/companies who find a similar passion of documenting these adventures in a professional manner. Both Daniel Moore and myself, recently had the opportunity to collaborate with the company Jay Bird, who produces some of the nicest and most comfortable wireless ear buds I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. Because of the incorporated blue tooth technology, you get to experience a crisp and clean sound without the annoyance of wires getting caught up in your clothing, harness or BASE rig, while still enjoying your favorite tunes to get you pumped up to power your passion. Together, we did a quick evening commercial shoot with these guys jumping one of the most classic Moab BASE exits, known as Tombstone. This incredible rock feature is an astounding sandstone monolith that has over 400 vertical feet to free fall and fly, all while being a short 30 minute hiking approach from the parking lot where you land your parachute. A classic jump by all definitions of the word. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the video which tells a story of friendship and adventure shared between two close friends who pursue a passion of freedom only achieved by letting go of your fears and jumping into the void.

~Brian Mosbaugh

Behind the Lens

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

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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

~Brian Mosbaugh