The Lost Mountain is an international venture combining rock climbing, cliff-side scientific research, and integrated conservation planning.

In May 2014, Lost Mountain founder, professional climber and social entrepreneur Majka Burhardt, along with fellow profesional climber Kate Rutherford, led a team of biologists, conservation workers, and filmmakers in an exploration of Mozambique’s Mt. Namuli and Malawi’s Mt. Mulanje. The expedition spent a month conducting scientific and conservation fieldwork, using rock climbing to access previously unexplored habitats. The successful expedition wrapped in June 2014 and will be featured in the forthcoming Lost Mountain Film, due out in 2015.

The Lost Mountain Project, bolstered by the film, continues in 2015 and 2016. During that time Additive Adventure by Majka Burhardt and Mozambican conservation lead LUPA will work in tandem to create targeted, measurable conservation and human livelihood gains on Mount Namuli and scale this approach to other mountain regions and communities.

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. Biologists and conservationists from around the world have identified Mt. Namuli as a global hotspot: a place of critical biodiversity and an opportunity to model a new vision for wildlife preservation that integrates the wishes and needs of local people.



  • RESEARCH: Discovery of one new snake species, the southernmost record of a Caecilian in the world, plus 40 ant genera and 27 herpetological specimens, dozens of which have yet to be identified– all of which will link this fragile and vital mountain to the evolution of East Africa’s wildlife.
  • CLIMB: Establishment of the first technical climbing route on Mozambique’s Mt. Namuli by Majka Burhardt and Kate Rutherford: Majka and Kate’s Science Project (5.10-, IV, 12 pitches).
  • CONSERVE: Completion of the first ever integrated conservation plan for Mt. Namuli, led by Mozambican NGO LUPA, with a priority focus on human livelihood advancement in concert with natural resource management to support a thriving future for one of the world’s most precious biodiversity hotspots.


  • Implementation of a multi-tiered Mount Namuli Conservation Plan to create meaningful and lasting conservation and development gains for Namuli.
  • Creation of innovation-based practices for conservationists (derived from the Namuli experience) that can be used in other locales and environments.
  • Hosting of two international “Disruptive Conservation” events to increase local and global multidisciplinary dialogue and action. Join the first in 2015 and stay tuned for news of the 2016 event.


  • Completion of The Lost Mountain Film: Two women push the bounds of friendship, climbing conventions, and scientific research on the 2,000-foot granite face of Mozam­bique’s second highest mountain, Mount Namuli. A documentary film about the spirit of exploration and what happens when adventure becomes a nexus for art, science, and global change. Due out 2015.
  • Completion of the Positive Tracks Next Gen Lost Mountain Short:An adapted 5-7 minute short of the full film featuring the Positive Tracks Next Gen ambassadors. This short carries a targeted message for young people about the power of collaboration, following one’s passion, and having an impact through physical activity. This short is produced in partnership with Additive Adventure and Positive Tracks a national nonprofit that encourages youth philanthropy through sports and adventure.


Majka Burhardt (Project Leader) and Kate Rutherford
Flavia Esteves (California Academy of Sciences, USA), Harith Farooq (Lurio University, Mozambique), and Caswell Munyai (University of Venda, South Africa)
LUPA (Associação para o Desenvolvimento Comunitário)
Paul Yoo, Sarah Garlick, Rob Frost, James Q Martin, and Jacob Bain

See the Music Video | Meet the Team | Read the Press | See our Next Gen Initiative for Youth


Why the “Lost” Mountain?
Over 3,500 people live on the flanks of Mt Namuli. The mountain and its riches are anything but “lost” to these people and to those who’ve had the fortune to visit Namuli or live in sight of the 7,936-foot granite massif. But to many of the rest of us, Namuli has been “lost” because it lived off the map of the global scientific and conservation consciousness. As one scientist put it, Namuli was the dot on the question mark of the Eastern Afromontane—not thought to be linked to the other mountains, but crucial to understanding their full impact. After all, what would a question mark be without its emphatic dot? Our project, and our film, is about the edge between “lost” and “found” and how exploring that edge, with passion and collaboration, can hopefully lead to change and opportunity.

Matching Giving to The Lost Mountain
Want to DOUBLE Your Donation to the Lost Mountain? Our partner, Positive Tracks, is a national, youth-centric nonprofit that helps young people get active and give back using the power of sport and adventure that matches your fundraising dollars up to $20,000! read more…

The Lost Mountain Project and Film are made possible by a grant from the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF) — a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. Additional support and funding from the following companies and organizations. Join the team and become a member of an already successful funding alliance, a project dedicated to leading a global conversation about conservation in the 21st century.




The Lost Mountain is a nonprofit partner of: