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Posts tagged ‘Andy Lewis’

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 this short journey of 3 weeks around the world Scott Rogers, Andy Lewis 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: Above the City (Bangkok, Thailand)

The new world record length urban highline has finally been rigged and it weighs in at 167 meters long (547′) and 180 meters high (590′). Andy made his first attempts on the line in the middle of the night at 3:00 AM in preparation for his televised walk a couple days later. He was able to eventually get across the line, while all the cameras were rolling, with many falls in between. One of the most impressive lines I’ve seen to date! So much thanks goes out to everyone who organized and supported this project: Paul Amornwet of Tab Agency, Jan Kaeding of Gibbon Slacklines, Balance Community for the awesome vectran webbing and our support team of Thai climbers that were a huge help in establishing this line. DSC_6834 DSC_6945 DSC_7071

 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 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 3: 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 progressing toward greater happiness through new adventurous pursuits and achievements that we all get to share with one another. As a quick summary of events; Andy Lewis was able to gather the monkey resources of psyche, community and gear to get everyone assembled at the base of four desert towers in Hell Roaring Canyon to challenge many adventure skill sets ranging from difficult rock climbing, rigging, highlining and BASE jumping that ultimately allowed us to mature from the experience through new success and struggle.

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 while Andy himself was able to span both lines on his first attempts after many long days of raging through the trying desert conditions. 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 even joined Andy and I 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 Andy Lewis finishing up his sunset sends of Demonix and Diabolix. Walking from one desert tower to another and back to the desert rim to finish up the days work.

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, Andy Lewis, 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. Last of all, I look forward to sharing the upcoming video edits with everyone in a few weeks as Scott and I will be editing and publishing soon. Until then, 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

WORLD RECORD FREE SOLO HIGHLINE WALK: 180′ without a leash

 

On August 17th of 2011, Andy Lewis officially became the first person to walk 180 feet on a slackline suspended more than 200 dizzying feet above the desert floor… WITHOUT A LEASH. To those of you who don’t understand climbing or slackline terminology, this is referred to as free soloing, where the practitioner is void of any back-up connection or protection to the slackline outside of his/her own ability to stay balanced on top of it step by step. The options here are: to either flawlessly walk the line from one end to the other, to fall but subsequently latch onto the line for dear life, or the the third alternative, being the most obvious and most dreaded, is death. It’s a specialized discipline of highlining which the majority of all slackliners and highliners world-wide will never attempt, which isolates an even smaller community into another sub-section of the most trained and confident balanced practitioners. It requires a sharp mind, a trained body, flawless movements and an unparalleled confidence in your own ability to fully live in the moment and respond to the slacklines energy. For many years, Andy has been developing these skills to achieve this type of perfected feat in a relatively safe fashion. I say “relatively safe” because nothing is guaranteed in this pursuit, but risk can be mitigated with proper preparation. Don’t be fooled, however, despite his composure in the above video Andy actually did bail/catch this monstrous highline on two different attempts before successfully walking its full length without a leash.

There’s a lot that happens behind the scenes leading up to this accomplishment, which is rarely acknowledged in a short 4 minute video. Having the courage to confront falling twice on this line, while still mustering the energy to try a third time is something poetically crazy and beautiful. It was somewhat nerve racking to film this walk on my behalf, but considering Andy’s long training background, my experience around his risky shenanigans and bold decisions, accompanied by the events leading up to this day I was ultimately supportive of the dream he had been chasing down for so many years. After walking the “Great Bongzilla” over 10 different times with various types of leashes, offering minimal safety and protection, and having free-soloed over 60 different highlines that same year without injury or death, it was obvious if anyone was prepared enough for such a challenge it was Andy himself. He was physically capable of walking the line without any safety aid, he just had to put confidence into action… That being said, understanding something is possible and actually experiencing it as a LIVED reality are two very distinct achievements and epiphanies to have. Knowing that you can confidently walk a slackline without stumbling or having a mis-step 99% of the time is one thing, actually doing it is quite another. With the added mental stress of exposure alongside the fact that your body is absolutely free of any attachment whatsoever can be difficult to manage physically and mentally. It requires an advanced level of focus matched with a philosophy of detachment, which allows you to fully let go of the future and only acknowledge the present moment. This, I assure you from experience, is a very different mental place to be in while trying to calmly balance across a single inch-wide piece of webbing, which moves with the wind and is constantly oscillating up and down/left to right because of your body’s response.

The above video piece is an original production put together by Andy Lewis for EpicTV. It features the above mentioned current world-record free solo walk at its conclusion with an awesome soundtrack of lyrics and guitar beats that match the tone and narration of the theme. It was an honor to be there that day, to witness, to document and be a part of history being made right in front of me. There were no commercial interests involved, or any other bullshit dramas to dilute the purity of what was happening on a very deep level for Andy. Step by step, he made a dream manifest into reality after years of perseverance and dedicated hard work on the line. The setting was merely a handful of friends gathered around a small campfire in the desert playing some music on the guitar. We were doing what we all love most, which was simply balancing on slacklines in space, isolated in the deep desert environment of beautiful Moab. I’m proud to say, this is the exact expression of what Slacklife has come to be for me and my fellow monkey friends. We live and die to fulfill our biggest dreams and try to never underestimate the moment to moment happenings all around us. Cheers to a life well lived, a dream come true and many more adventures to come along the way…

~Brian Mosbaugh

BASE-ic Instincts

Scott Rogers and Jill Kuz testing the winds below

Getting into the world of BASE jumping could easily be considered both the worst and best decision I’ve ever made in life. That being said, I feel extremely happy about the introduction of a new adventure and passion, accepting whatever consequences may come from this choice. One of my defining character traits is that I love and appreciate life for all its dramas, both the ups and downs, and I do my best to fully accept all spectrums of the experience. With this new chapter, I’m hoping to experience unique elevated perspectives and explore greater opportunities for world travel, community bonding and gain a better understanding of my mind and gravity. Although obvious before every jump, there exists the lingering reality of femurs shattering, friends cratering and life expectancies being cut short. As terrible as that may sound, I fully understand there are no guarantees in this sport, which accurately describes the very nature of what ‘living’ has come to mean for me over the years… I wouldn’t define myself as an adrenaline junkie by any means, although I do embrace the natural high from time to time, but the real reward and conquest is in overcoming your fear and celebrating the minds ability to push through hard circumstances. Accepting your potential fate while on the edge of a cliff, bridge, building, etc. and distilling it all down to a fast paced moment of focused flight feels incredibly liberating and freeing from a culture that insists on safety nets, insurance policies and supposed guarantees. The sensation of falling and being saved by your own canopy is all very fleeting and a matter of trust, so it reminds me of a condensed lesson in a greater appreciation for the life experience. To make the best of the adventure and enjoy every passing moment no matter how short or prolonged it can be!

Joey California pulling low for a water landing

Joey California pulling low for a water landing

What I can say confidently so far about this new reality shift is the over all experience of momentary flight and relaxation is absolutely unparalleled to anything I’ve yet endeavored in my 28 years of living. The free-fall in space is mind blowing, the sound and feeling of air rushing past your body exhilarating, and the quiet canopy flight pure joy; adding to the delicious icing layer of this mouth watering cake. In pondering other methods to get my adventure fix, maybe crack-cocaine would have been a better life choice for a multitude of reasons… I’m sure the the longer high would comparatively outweigh the heavy repercussions of potentially ending your life so quickly, but somehow smoking from a glass pipe and having rotten teeth seems a less glamorous and more dangerous decision at this particular junction… Anyway, I stray from the points at hand so let me bring it back to the present. As a new jumper in this sport, I respect the learning curve and am staying highly aware of my own intuition and comfort levels. This honesty has rarely led me astray in perilous situations so I’m hoping to maintain a consistent ‘on heading performance’ with this mind set throughout the journey.

Moments before a 5 front flip TARD aerial

Moments before a 5 front flip TARD aerial

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Raging Through the Summer Heat

 

Often around this time of year I find it pretty difficult to stay indoors for too long, let alone commit energy to being on my computer regularly. Once the birds begin chirping again, the sun shines high in the sky and the psyche becomes contagious amongst friends, sitting in front of a digital screen seems a daunting task when countless adventures beckon from outside. Despite procrastinating interweb updates, I assure you life has been extremely active and fruitful for the past many weeks. Since returning to U.S. soil from 5 weeks in the southern hemisphere, many projects have been accomplished in Moab as the Monkeys continue pushing the limits of extreme shenanigans with every passing day. The high standard of desert adventure has expanded exponentially with a slew of new awesome projects going down! Amongst them; a new tower highline was established and walked (the 25th of its kind in Moab), an 80 meter rope swing was pioneered and jumped, the Colorado River was slacklined across during a spectacular white water rafting/climbing trip, a new revolutionary space-station was invented for BASE jumping, tent lounging and other forms of chilling (see photos), and lastly I began working as the assistant cameraman in the making of a new climbing movie (with Chuck Fryberger Films). These examples represent the tip of the iceberg for all the Moab Monkeys, as we’ve recently been doing more professional shoots and televised performances abroad and in the states. In short, the PSYCHE dial has steadily been cranked up to 11, with few moments of rest between rigging and de-rigging projects constantly. The proud resume goes on but in keeping this post short and sweet, so as to get outside sooner than later, I’ve provide some visual evidence of said shenanigans to explain what my words cannot… I only expect life to continue raging with this momentum through the coming hot months, as we all collectively plot and scheme new ways to push the limits of outdoor adventure. Stay tuned for new updates along the way, it’s sure to be a bumpy and exciting ride!

~Brian Mosbaugh

Breakfast at Guano's

The Insanity Swing

Alabaster Relaxed

Free-So-Loco

Spacestation Shenanigans

Screen Grab by Kyle Berkompas of Chuck Fryberger Films

Screen Grab by Kyle Berkompas of Chuck Fryberger Films

Floating Tent

Space Station Walk