As an author, professional climber, filmmaker, and entrepreneur, Osprey Athlete Majka Burhardt has spent two decades exploring the globe—usually by hand and foot—and her stories of challenge, humanity, and the fine line between extreme and acceptable risk continue to inspire audiences around the world.
The Lost Mountain is a project about discovery, adventure, and ultimately survival in one of the world’s least-explored and most-threatened habitats. Mt. Namuli, a 7,936-foot granite monolith, is the largest of a group of isolated peaks that tower over the ancient valleys of northern Mozambique. Here, plants and animals have evolved as if on dispersed oceanic islands, so that individual mountains have become refuge to their own unique species of life, many of which have yet to be discovered or described by science. Yet despite these distinctions, it is Mt. Namuli’s linkages to the surrounding landscape and its position along a corridor of mountains stretching from South Africa to the Arabian Peninsula that has gripped the attention of the world. The Lost Mountain is about working locally to create locally-generated change and possibility. It is also about sharing that story with the world.
Majka shared this update from May 1, 2014:
Four days from today, I meet my international team of scientists, conservation workers, climbers, filmmakers, students, and volunteers at the airport in Blantyre, Malawi. We’re heading to Mozambique; we’re heading to the Lost Mountain. All totaled, 19 people varying in age from 19 to 55, from Brazilians to South Africans, Americans to Mozambicans, with backgrounds ranging from snakes to photography, forestry to rock climbing, will be working together for one month in the African bush. We have big goals. It started small. It’s mostly my fault—and I’m the one who’s in charge. (more…)
#LostMountain, Blantyre, climbers, Climbing, Conservation, conservation workers, filmmakers, Geraldo Palane, jetlag, Lost Mountain, LUPA, Majka Burhardt, Malawi, Maputo, Mozambique, Mt. Namuli, Namuli, Osprey athlete, Sarah Garlick, students, The Lost Mountain film
Spring is in the air and that can only mean one thing: Red Rock Rendezvous is here!
Whether you are on road tripping through the Southwest for spring break or taking a break from the lights of Las Vegas for the weekend, there is something for everyone to participate in.
Who’s going to be there, you might ask? Well certainly, top outdoor brands, climbers, athletes, and anyone and everyone who has an interest in climbing, biking and trail running. This will be Osprey’s 4th consecutive year attending Red Rock and there are plenty of reasons why we keep coming back for more. Osprey’s booth will be packing some heat this year with incredible demos, prizes and smokin’ deals, not to mention clinics put on by some of the best athletes in the industry! Let me fill you in on the rest:
- 20% off packs in celebration of Red Rock Rendezvous- This is the best deal you will get on our selection as we bring a variety of our hydration, climbing, and running packs discounted at 20% off just this weekend, so get one while the gettin’ is good!
- Not sure what pack you want? No problem! We’ve got your back and will have our demo fleet of bike, climbing, and running packs available all weekend! Stop by the booth and talk with our team of expert pack fitters and outdoor enthusiasts who can help you make the best selection for your needs. You can even purchase the pack at our booth and take it out to the trails or crag that very day!
- Clinics with the experts- Yeah, the good times don’t stop rolling, and you can improve your skills (or learns some new ones) because clinics from some of the best athletes in the world will be offered this weekend. Whether you want to learn how to climb multi-pitch routes, mountain bike diverse terrain, or want to get certified in wilderness medicine, Red Rock Rendezvous is your one-stop shop (in the form of an incredibly fun event) where all of those opportunities are available…and then some! Check out a full list of clinics here.
- We’re thrilled that our very own Krista Park, pro mountain biker racer, will be leading a variety of clinics for all skill sets. Here is Krista’s perspective on coaching clinics:
“My goal is to make myself available to anyone, at any level, to share tips, skills, encouragement, resources, or anything that will allow racers, riders, or potential riders to fall in love with the sport of cycling as I have.”
- On the climbing front we will have Majka Burhard, long-time Osprey Packs athlete, film-maker, and climbing enthusiast who has attended Red Rocks for the past few years. Majka’s enthusiasm is contagious, which makes her a damn good climbing coach and fun to be around.
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It’s November 6th. I should be traveling overland from Malawi to Mozambique. I should be squished in a long base truck with my team alongside duffels of climbing gear, insect specimen nets and enough food for fourteen people for twenty-one days. I should have my face pressed against the window with my eyes open wide saying Oooh! See that? and pointing out beautiful granite dome after beautiful granite dome to my climbing partner Kate while she does the same from the other side of the truck.
But we are not en route from Malawi to Mozambique today. We aren’t because at 7 AM on Sunday, October 27th, we awoke to news of another incidence of violence in central Mozambique. The day before, a civilian convoy of three vehicles was attacked and one person was killed. It was horrible news for families of the person killed and those injured, for the people in the Sofala region and for the country of Mozambique. Tensions had been escalating in Mozambique in the week leading up to our scheduled departure and we’d been monitoring the situation extremely closely. Following the news on Sunday morning, and in light of the rising unrest and expectations of continued escalation heading into the upcoming elections on November 20th, we made the very difficult decision to postpone the project until May/June 2014. Our cinematographer Q was at the airport check-in counter when we made the call. All of the other U.S.-based members of our team were within 4-6 hours of take off.
Coordinating a 14-person international team is never easy. But deciding that the safety of that team comes first is very easy. In the week since our decision, tensions have continued to rise with new incidents daily, including several in the towns that our Conservation Team LUPA would be traveling through en route to join us from Maputo. We — and the majority or Mozambique and the world — hope that the people of Mozambique keep the peace they have worked so hard to maintain. Most expectations point to a resolution in the time following the upcoming elections. We have chosen to postpone until May/June as that will be at the end of the rainy season and during a time when our science team can do its best work — i.e. find the maximum number of bugs and other creepy crawly things. We will continue to monitor the situation in the meantime and are in daily contact with partners and advisors in Mozambique.
It’s now been just over a week since we didn’t start our trip. It’s been just long enough to go from the shock of the decision to the excitement about what we can create with a touch more time to plan: additional scientific specialties, new collaborations and more connections and possibilities discovered every day. It’s also been just enough time to have unpacked my bags, and repacked them. 75% of what was in them is unique to the Lost Mountain. They are ready and waiting in my basement for spring.
Keep up with #LostMountain at http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/
Climbing a Granite Big Wall, Discovering New Species for Science, and Starting a New Conservation Area. Aka, Going Camping.
Right now I am supposed to tell you I am ready and that I know what I am doing. I’m neither.
Projects that matter take self-trickery to make happen. I never asked myself if it was really possible or a good idea to splice together climbing and science and conservation and Malawi and Mozambique and 14 individuals all trying to achieve a collective goal. I just set about doing it. Now it is happening. Which means now is when the panic of the reality sets in. Put another way, we’ve already climbed the high dive ladder, stood on the edge, and jumped off. Now—when there is no way to go backwards—is therefore the first time when I am finally allowing myself to look at the giant body of water which I’m heading for at full speed. It’s just the way I like to do it.
I’ve spent the majority of my life in and out of major expeditions. I was that kid who had her dolls and stuffed animals organized for imaginary camp with peanut rations and toilet paper sleeping bags. It stands to reason that I am now the adult who has the following decisions to make:
- What percentage of the poisonous snakes which we will be around have fangs that are over ½ an inch long and thus make a case for the thicker high-top leather hiking boots versus low-tops?
- Will deet from 2004 still work, and work well enough against malaria-carrying mosquitos? Chance it or change it?
- Will 33 porters be obscene or accurate? And what size T-shirts do these porters wear/should we bring for gifts?
- Is EtOH alcohol available for our scientists’ specimen vials in Blantyre, Malawi, or should they tuck it in their luggage here in the U.S. and act none the wiser?
- If the rainy season starts early will it make any difference if I bring one rain jacket or two?
My nine-year-old niece Miranda called me yesterday evening to talk about camping. She was just back from a family trip in Northern Minnesota
“How was it?” I asked her.
“Camping is cool,” she said. I laughed and agreed.
We talked about her favorite part (waterfalls) the scariest thing (the sound the rain made on the tent) and yuckiest thing (sleeping next to her brother). Once we covered the highlights I asked her if she would do it again. “Well, yeah” she said. I think she would have said “Duh, yeah” had her mother not been listening.
“You know, Miranda,” I said, “I sort of camp for a living.”
She giggled. Usually she tells me I am silly for pretty much everything I say. This time she said “You’re lucky, Auntie Majka.”
After Miranda and I hung up I went upstairs and looked at the pile of climbing gear with pieces for every possible situation known and unknown, stacks of maps and research and logistics papers, rain coats and rain pants, bug nets, gaiters, sat phones, energy bars and more. This is the highest high dive off of which I’ve ever jumped. But at a certain level, it’s also camping—something I have been doing my whole life. And if camping is cool to Miranda, it’s also cool to me. After all, the thing I’m also most worried about is too much rain on the outside of the tent.
By Majka Burhardt, Lost Mountain Project director and Osprey Athlete
#LostMountain begins October 27th; Follow along at thelostmountainfilm.com
This month, fourteen committed runners will join elite athletes Scott Jurek, Gebre Gebremariam and Werknesh Kidane for the first ever trail race in the cradle of humanity, culminating a week of shared contribution to the eye health and educational strength of Ethiopia.
Osprey athlete, climber and writer, Majka Burhardt is producing the project, called Accelerate Ethiopia. The expedition sparked as an idea for a fundraising running event to benefit the Himalayan Cataract Project, an leader in providing high-quality, low-cost eye care optimized for the developing world. Majka pulled in another nonprofit, imagine1day, which is a charity educating the next generation of leaders in Ethiopia—and together they created Accelerate Ethiopia.
As Majka prepares to leave on her journey to Ethiopia we caught up with her for a few questions…
Winter Call (Summer Ski Apology) was originally posted on Majka’s Blog.
I am not a hoarder. Or at least not of material things. But I might have to confess to being a recent hoarder of snow. And for that, I’m sorry.
Today, December 11th, 2012, I took a hike in the White Mountains and watched yesterday’s thin layer of white turn to clear liquid in the span of an hour. My skis—touring, downhill, classic and skate—are lined up in my garage ready to go. Like most of the northern hemisphere I am ready to ski. But I might be the reason why so few of us are actually getting to shred the gnar.
Here is my confession. I went south to ski and now the north is paying.
More on Majka’s Blog…
This October, a powerful, engaged and curious team is heading to Ethiopia to change the world, and change how they interact in that world. Usually, I’d be joining them. But this year I need you to take my place.
Imagine Ethiopia 2012 is the third iteration of a dream I helped create in 2009 with imagine1day. Our goal was simple: enable others to have their lives profoundly affected by Ethiopia by enabling them to profoundly experience Ethiopia. For the past two years I have co-led the trip with Sapna Dayal and a select team of other leaders. Together we have created an experience blending culture, adventure and connection along with an initiative to raise $100,000 to build schools in Ethiopia. This year’s school is in the Alose Community in Oromiya.
I can’t go on Imagine Ethiopia 2012—I will be in Mozambique for my Lost Mountain Project. But you can. Here is how…
We had a great weekend at the Red Rock Rendezvous, catching up with old friends, fitting in some climbing and mountain biking and of course soaking up the sweet, desert sun. If you couldn’t make it this year, mark your calendar for Red Rocks in 2013, they just keep getting better!
A Call to Action for the American Alpine Club Annual Dinner, where climbing is climbing.
I’m practicing owning up to my origins. Colorado used to just roll off my tongue. New Hampshire? It’s clunky, it’s two words, and it takes explaining.
Contrary to what many presume from my quick speech and intense personality, I am not an easterner and never have been. Until now. In January Peter and I packed up the van and headed east. I’ve flirted with living in New Hampshire for the past three years (read more in my Go East Article in Alpinist Magazine). Now we’re going steady.
Unless you’ve been living in a deep, dark cave… You may have noticed that there is a lot of cool stuff going on out there. So, we thought it was high-time we started rounding up some of our faves each week. We call it the Osprey Round-Up… Happy Friday!
This week has been a busy one for us here at Osprey, so we figured the best way to wrap it up was to give shout-outs to some of the folks who have us inspired this week…
Welcome home to Majka Burhardt! Majka just returned from her expedition to the Lost Mountain of Mozambique where she explored the cracks and recesses of Mt. Namuli’s 700-meter cliff face, searching for new species of life. Before that, Majka spent a few weeks in Ethiopia with the great folks of imagine1day. Thanks for all of your incredible work, Majka!
Another big welcome home to Kim Havell who came home after an epic ski expedition to Antarctica. Kim had this to say about her trip to the bottom of the Earth: “We arrived to a place with no one else, with endless first descents and up to 9,000-foot peaks straight up from the ocean. This is a backcountry skier’s dream realm…” Glad you’re home safe and stoked, Kim! To read more about an Antarctic ski adventure and to check out some beautiful photos, please visit powdermag.com.
A huge congratulations from us here at Osprey to Krista Park and other Osprey Bike team members Stephen Ettinger and Chloe Woodruff who will represent the US Mountain Biking team in the 2012 Olympics!
And because the snow is falling here in Colorado, we decided to leave you with a great short video filmed in our own backyard from our friends at Felt Soul Media. Just watch. It will have you packing up your Kode and heading up to the mountain in no time.
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