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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. I’m reminded of how much life can turn on a dime and lead in new wonderful directions when least expected. Out here in the crisp cool Fall conditions of Moab, the Moab Monkeys have been raging hard and taking advantage of the incredible weather as the winter season slowly approaches. In this moment, I find myself casually sipping coffee outside and reflecting on the incredible new world record established walking the highest highline (over 4,000′ tall) between two moving hot air balloons outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. Below is the 3 part video series, which covers the full story and build up to monumental success, which Cody Tuttle and myself documented and edited together in the passing month.

 

This wildly creative idea was inspired by the video produced by Seb Montaz and the “Flying Frenchies,” who made the first attempts to walk the highest highline ever rigged between two moving hot air balloons in Spain. Motivated by their failed attempts to walk the line without falling, the Moab Monkeys were more than psyched and qualified to give the challenge a go. The entire story of how this adventure started as a joking suggestion and rapidly grew into a complete success is nothing short of miraculous. In a 24 hour period, more than 24 different professional athletes, cinematographers, pilots and Vegas showtime entertainers were assembled and coordinated to meet outside Las Vegas to attempt this huge stunt. The end result was an absolute success of epic gravity sports meeting an aerial Cirque du Soleil performance 4,000 feet above the desert floor.

~Brian Mosbaugh

 

Around the World in 3 Weeks

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 a 3 week circumnavigation around the globe, 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 many firsts for me where I experienced my first (B)uilding B.A.S.E. jump, rigged a new world record urban highline 600′ above Bangkok’s busy city life, committed to my first terminal tracking BASE jumps in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, and saw so much more along the way. I attempted to capture some moments on the blazing trail and here are a few glimpses of the beauty and diversity of the sights, sounds and people we got to play and smile with. I hope you enjoy!

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Chapter One: Worlds Longest Urban Highline (Bangkok, Thailand) 

First stop on the world adventure travel tour is Bangkok, Thailand. Scott Rogers, Andy Lewis and I got busy right off the airplane rigging a 560 foot long highline 600 feet above the urban sprawl of the hot humid city environment. This was all part of a deodorant commercial in collaboration with Gibbon Slacklines. Thanks Jan Kaeding for the amazing invite and excellent memories.

Chapter Two: 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 grow in attendees as the slack scene becomes globally widespread and more individuals discover the benefits of being better balanced people. This celebration takes place alongside a massive gathering of Carnival arts comprised of mimes, aerial silk performers, contortionists and other acrobats. The vibe is so much different than Bangkok and it was an incredible experience to see so many familiar old and new faces in the community of modern slacklining. Officially the Europeans have been pushing the sport in a huge way with monumental advances in the lengths of highlines walked and exploring new environments to establish lines in space. Without a doubt, the two church highlines were my favorite to walk at this gathering. If I could share one bit of advice concerning this event it would be to attend every year if you have the chance!

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Chapter Three: 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 with countless world-class BASE exits. This magical place is either a Disneyland paradise for talented wingsuit pilots and trackers to test their skills or The Valley of Death if you make any mistake. Taking anywhere between 8-15 second free fall delays, before pitching your pilot chute and being under an inflated canopy, you can leap from these great heights and fly like superman. After landing in a soft grassy field you’re only a 15 minute walk to the nearest local pub and cuisine. For those more adventurous types, a couple gondola rides plus a 3 hour hike in the mountains can get you to the top of the infamous North Face Eiger Wall. This place absolutely blew my mind in terms of how outrageously scenic it was and the gravity of having to perform every jump with flawless 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 I took. I’ve made it a goal to spend time in this magical place every year, as long as I’m current in my flying skills. Thanks so much to Andy Lewis, Scott Rogers and Jimmy Peterson for being there on my first long free fall 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!

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.

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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.

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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

Balance in Nature

 

A beautiful and cinematic short featuring some of slacklines greatest moments and evolving athletes over the years. In recent times highlining has seen some incredible progressions and Grant Thompson has dedicated his life to passionately telling the stories of so many of these balanced individuals playing in nature, from the staggering heights of Yosemite to the urban playground of Poland. Watching his storytelling craft continually improve over the years has been an absolute pleasure to see and I hope you enjoy his artistic pursuit and vision as much as I have. There is much to be said about this person but I prefer to let his work tell the story for him… If you wish to see more of his inspiring shorts just CLICK HERE and give him your support and stoke wherever possible.

~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.

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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