The FIFTH Annual MOAB
Photos by Chris Hunter, Hunter Imagery.
Written by Steph Davis. Photos by Chris Hunter, Hunter Imagery.
The 5th Annual "Mother Of All Boogies" swept over Moab, Utah from September 25 to 28th. The weather was perfect, the energy was high and the jumpers spread out over the desert with adventurous off-site loads. Loads went up consistently and efficiently, and there was no waiting for plane rides. Clint MacBeth, owner of Skydive Moab, outdid himself again with the best Boogie in recent memory.
Two Super Otters and a Skyvan flew in from Skydive Arizona. Amy Chmelecki organized some great skydives for freeflyers and trackers, and Jay Epstein of Adrenaline Exploits provided Phoenix Fly wingsuit demos and flocking jumps. Thanks to Performance Designs, which had a full selection of demo canopies available, and to United Parachute Technologies, which brought their SkyHook RSL system. SkyHook RSL allowed jumpers to demo with an intentional cut-away jump.
An estimated 150 experienced skydivers and 140 tandem jumpers made a total of 1500+ jumps over the course of the weekend. The locals of Moab quickly got into the spirit of things, and the Canyonlands airport employees got so caught up in the excitement that they made multiple tandem jumps over the course of the boogie, including our mechanic and airport manager.
As anticipated, the real highlights of the Boogie this year were the Mineral Canyon and Castle Valley loads. An Otter flew over the spectacular Mineral Canyon wildlands, and jumpers were able to dip into some of the most beautiful walls in the world, swooping the cliff tops and then landing 750 feet below, beside the winding Colorado River. A Unimog drove everyone back to the DZ, an adventure in itself, up steep switch-backing dirt roads through the canyons. The Mineral load was so spectacular that Mario Richard, Skydive Moab’s pilot, stopped jumping himself that day to fly the Cessna 182 in and out of the backcountry landing strip to share the magic with another dozen lucky skydivers. There will be a lot more Mineral Canyon action at next year’s boogie, because most people touched down glowing, and shouting that it was the best jump of their lives.
Another gorgeous Otter load was the sunset jump over Castle Valley, with the full palette of desert color over Castleton Tower, the LaSal Mountains and the red Fisher Towers in the distance. Local jumpers Mike Messick and Julie Wentz welcomed everyone into their backyard for a landing zone and drinks and snacks.
There were a few barbeques near the hanger throughout the event, along with fireworks, bonfires, and plenty of dogs enjoying the scene. Jumpers were able to camp at the Moab airport, surrounded by beautiful desert scenery. Everyone stayed busy with plenty of other local activities, including Thursday night at the Moab Brewery, sub terminal BASE jumping, mountain biking and dirt biking, balloon jumps and hiking in Arches National Park.
Everyone left the Boogie having lived the magic of the Moab desert, a place of surreal beauty, wild energy and freedom. As always, the M.O.A.B. just keeps getting better.
Rumor has it, that Clint has planned 2 full days in Mineral Bottom for next year. Hmmm…
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