The Lost Mountain http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com Climb. Research. Conserve. - Mt. Namuli, Mozambique Tue, 11 Nov 2014 22:08:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Road is Kind: The Lost Mountain Music Video http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/08/19/road-kind-lost-mountain-music-video/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=road-kind-lost-mountain-music-video http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/08/19/road-kind-lost-mountain-music-video/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 02:07:29 +0000 http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/?p=1260 This music video is in honor and support of the Lost Mountain Positive Tracks Next Gen Initiative: youth philanthropy through physical action in the outdoors. Featuring our Positive Tracks Ambassadors Charlie Harrison (19) and Grant Bemis (23).

We released it this week because Charlie starts Williams College next week. And instead of driving the 160 miles to school, he's hiking (inspired by his time on the Lost Mountain Team). You can read about it on The Lost Mountain blog. The song behind the music video was written and recorded by musician Jacob Bain on the 23rd day of our 30 day expedition-- in the field on the flanks of Mt. Namuli alongside a surprise visit from the Queen of Macunha (story below). These examples, I now understand, are the power of the Lost Mountain.

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This music video is in honor and support of the Lost Mountain Positive Tracks Next Gen Initiative: youth philanthropy through physical action in the outdoors. Featuring our Positive Tracks Ambassadors Charlie Harrison (19) and Grant Bemis (23).

We released it this week because Charlie starts Williams College next week. And instead of driving the 160 miles to school, he’s hiking (inspired by his time on the Lost Mountain Team). You can read about it on The Lost Mountain blog. The song behind the music video was written and recorded by musician Jacob Bain on the 23rd day of our 30 day expedition– in the field on the flanks of Mt. Namuli alongside a surprise visit from the Queen of Macunha (story below). These examples, I now understand, are the power of the Lost Mountain.

Charlie and Grant are currently finishing a fundraising initiative to support the next steps of the integrated conservation future for Mt Namuli. We’re currently deep in strategic planning for the next steps for Namuli with LUPA (our Mozambican Conservation Lead). Our goal is to be implementing the conservation plan by next year– right when the Lost Mountain Film comes out.

You can read more about their commitment and join them (it’s tax-deductible) here.

The Story Behind The Road is Kind

On day 23 of the Lost Mountain’s 30-day expedition in Mozambique, the Queen of Macunha wanted to know just what exactly we were up to on the southeast face of Mount Namuli. We’d met her on our first day on Namuli and received her blessing for our team of scientists, conservation workers, climbers, filmmakers, students, and volunteers, and detailed our plan to explore and document the ecological diversity and conservation potential in the region. But like anyone I’ve ever told about this complex project, she wanted to understand just what exactly it all meant. She walked two hours from her home to our high camp for a visit, and instead of meeting our 18 person team, met a one person representative, musician Jacob Bain.  Jacob was in camp writing and recording a song inspired by the trip. See and hear it above in our New Lost Mountain Music Video.

The Queen’s visit was unplanned. Kate Rutherford and I were 1,300′ up what would be our new route on Namuli’s Southeast face, our science team was sifting soil and peering under rocks in the flanks of the Ukalane Forest, and our conservation team was working in the nearby Carruca community. Jacob was the only one home at camp. And so he and the Queen watched Kate and I climb through the binoculars, drank coffee, and grooved to the new tune.

Filmed by Rob Frost and James Q Martin | Music and Editing by Jacob Bain | Backup Vocals by Majka Burhardt

The Lost Mountain film drops in 2015 | Trailer coming this winter

Join the Positive Tracks Youth Fundraising Challenge and Support Charlie and Grant: http://bit.ly/LMNextGen

 

 

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Eclectic Emprise: An Adolescent’s Experience With Innovative Research on the Lost Mountain http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/08/15/eclectic-emprise-adolescents-experience-innovative-research-lost-mountain/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=eclectic-emprise-adolescents-experience-innovative-research-lost-mountain http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/08/15/eclectic-emprise-adolescents-experience-innovative-research-lost-mountain/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 17:04:21 +0000 http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/?p=1185 If Charlie Harrison had followed a traditional timeline for a 19 year old, he would have spent this May finishing up his freshman year of college. Instead, Charlie spent May doing the second ascent of a 2,000’ rock climbing route up Mozambique’s second highest mountain, catching frogs by headlamp on nighttime science river explorations, and ...

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Charlie Harrison on summit day on Mt. Namuli, Photo by Peter Doucette.

If Charlie Harrison had followed a traditional timeline for a 19 year old, he would have spent this May finishing up his freshman year of college. Instead, Charlie spent May doing the second ascent of a 2,000’ rock climbing route up Mozambique’s second highest mountain, catching frogs by headlamp on nighttime science river explorations, and listening to the community of Carruca speak about their vision of a future on the flanks of Mt Namuli.

And Charlie, a Positive Tracks Youth Ambassador on the Lost Mountain Expedition, isn’t done yet. Positive Tracks, a national, youth-centric nonprofit that helps young people get active and give back using the power of sport and adventure, awarded a youth fundraising challenge to Lost Mountain with the promise to match every dollar raised for Lost Mountain by Next Gen climbers, ages 23 and under. Charlie starts Williams College on August 25th. Williams is 160 miles away from his home in Etna, NH. Charlie is hiking to school over the span of a week and raising money for the next steps of the integrated conservation future for Mt Namuli.

JOIN CHARLIE:

(By clicking above you’ll be taken to a PayPal site to make your tax-deductible contribution to the Lost Mountain via our fiscal sponsor, Filmmakers Alliance, a 501c3)

We’ve just released a Music Video in honor and support of the youth fundraising effort:

Come 2015, you can catch Charlie in the upcoming Positive Tracks Next Gen Youth Video Short, as well as the full Lost Mountain Documentary.

In the meantime, what follows is Charlie’s new blog and photos sharing his interpretation of the expedition and what it meant to him to be a part of the Lost Mountain Team:

Eclectic Emprise: An Adolescent’s Experience With Innovative Research

2014_05_29_Day_24_5DM3_Q_Photos_89My name is Charlie Harrison, and earlier this year I was given the opportunity to take part in a remarkable expedition. The Lost Mountain Film Project proved original in creation, wild in execution, and will hopefully prove monumental in influence. This one-of-a-kind adventure combined diversity with experience and aptitude into one group of individuals that worked tirelessly together to accomplish multiple goals. These motives stretched from exploring the frontiers of rock climbing on Mt. Namuli to achieving biological discoveries in remote areas to perpetuating the socioeconomic growth of the communities surrounding Namuli in a sustainable fashion. To say that these goals were all met over the course of our team’s month-long expedition in Malawi and Mozambique would be an understatement, but the Lost Mountain is far from complete. Even though we wrapped up all of our in-field work by the end of May, the most important aspects of the project have yet to come. Through the production and distribution of media shot on spot of the project, we are aiming to share our crazy adventures and discoveries with the masses.

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Videographer Rob Frost captures the unique fauna of Namuli. Photo by Lost Mountain Positive Tracks Next Gen Ambassador Charlie Harrison.

Being in the midst of the digital age allows for novel discoveries and ideas such as these to be spread both efficiently and effectively, and this is exactly how we intend to inspire people like you. From the minute you delve into the depths of Lost Mountain, you will be enthralled by the ease with which such diverse people from so many backgrounds and fields can come together and tackle world issues. By immersing yourself and others in all that this project has to offer, you will be moved, but most importantly, you’ll be making a difference. I would be honored if you join Positive Tracks and me in fundraising for the continuation of this awesome project. Make your tax-deductible contribution using the link in the introduction above and help me meet my challenge.

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Descending sedges, not edges, on the flanks of Mt. Namuli. Photo by Lost Mountain Positive Tracks Next Gen Ambassador Charlie Harrison.

So, to explain a little more about who I am and my role in this project, I am a nineteen-year-old male on the tail end of a gap year that I spent hoping to learn something about myself by gaining real-world experience outside my niche. For the last 12 years of my life, I have been competing as an alpine ski racer, and for the last five I have been doing it at a very high level that requires year-round on-snow training and physical preparation. Needless to say, my schedule was so centered on this athletic pursuit that I found it nearly impossible to get in touch with or nurture any of my other interests in life. During my senior year of high school, I came to the realization that skiing wasn’t my sole purpose, nor was it my most valued one, and so I decided to take a year in which I would still ski, but would also be able to fill up my spare time with novel experiences in the absence of school. That was when I found out about Lost Mountain.

I’ve only known Majka Burhardt (the founder of the Lost Mountain) for about a year now, but I have known her husband Peter Doucette for much longer — he was my initial connection to the project. Being the incredible mountain man and rock guide that he is, I had the opportunity to climb with him several times prior to learning about what his wife had planned for the fall of 2013. When I was emailing Peter to see if he had any free days to go climbing in November between two of my ski camps, he told me that he would have to be working full-time while Majka was out on this crazy adventure in Africa, so probably not. I asked him a bit more about this “adventure,” which he filled me in on, only to remark at how bummed he was that he couldn’t go on it himself. I felt bad for him, and I was very also interested in what this trip had to offer, but being the non-creative person that I am, it never even crossed that this was my opportunity to get involved until I informed my mother (thank you Mom). She came up with the idea that we could employ Peter to guide me as a part of this team since I wouldn’t be able to hold a professional position on it (which works well as he is an IFMGA Mountain Guide). That way he gets to immerse himself in his wife’s most notable brainchild to date, and I get to have the gap-year experience of a lifetime. It was a total win-win, and within a week we had it all set up with Majka: I was to come along for the Mozambique portion of the trip and grant my energy and enthusiasm to all aspects of the project in exchange for what would become the most meaningful experience of my teenage years.

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Elios Faustino leading me (Charlie) to the rainforest. Photo by Lost Mountain Positive Tracks Next Gen Ambassador Charlie Harrison.

So, after being delayed six months due to domestic unrest in Mozambique, we finally made our way across the Atlantic to the southeast side of the African continent this May. Within my first day of arrival (after nearly 36 hours of travel), I was already being thrown into a circus of events to prepare for our two-week stay in the field. I had missed out on portion of the trip that had taken place on Mt. Mulanje in Malawi the week prior, and with a rare combination of jet-lag, culture shock, and being in the midst of my recovery from clinical depression, I was moving at best about half the speed of my fellow teammates including Peter, who flew over with me (the guy never seems to fatigue), as we ran about the streets of Blantyre shopping for every last item followed by packing (and re-packing, multiple times) and navigating all the other logistics of our trip to the mountain. By some miracle, we made it out of there and up into our high camp a week later after a series of equally, if not more hectic days that included extremely rough road travel, flat tires, impassable bridges, more repacking, motorbikes, porters, and lots of Pringles to keep everyone happy and lively through it all. Although it was difficult, the travel turned out to be one of the most satisfying parts of the trip for me once it was complete. I have this vivid memory of myself sitting on the back of a motorbike driving up a hillside in the twilight as I munched on some sugar cane, and first seeing Mt. Namuli come into view, producing in me an overwhelming sense of relief, understanding, and euphoria as we cruised along. From that moment on, I knew this incredible mountainside was going to change my life.

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Sunrise in Heaven- aka Mt Namuli. Photo by Lost Mountain Positive Tracks Next Gen Ambassador Charlie Harrison.

For two weeks, I continually caught glimpses of my future as I navigated the cliffs with the climbers, the forests with the scientists, and the cameras with the media team. There were many important moments throughout it all, which you can read about in more detail in the Lost Mountain press release available on the web site, but I’ll give you a general sense of what was accomplished. Our team established a climbable route up the southwest face of Mt. Namuli, introduced and planned an integrated conservation study with the local community, and demonstrated the biodiversity of the region by logging many new species into the books for both Namuli and the greater area of Mozambique/Southern Africa. Not to mention the fact that much of this was caught on film. I got to experience monumental discoveries, see the beauty of the world in its purest of forms, and venture into the unknown, all on a daily basis. I sincerely hope that the upcoming films and media to be released will encourage people to branch out and get a sense for what these experiences feel like. I strongly believe that the resulting sensations I felt will prove more and more important in a modernizing world that simultaneously calls for protection.

For me, the Lost Mountain was ideal; it was a period of my life filled with passion, opportunity, and wildness. Plus, over the course of those three weeks, I have never felt a greater sense of worth, purpose, and genuine interest in what I’m doing. I could not have asked for a better experience on my year off and I thank each and every person who gave up their time for our cause, from the people I met along the way who inspired me to the friends and family who donated to our cause, but most importantly the team itself.  I have never been surrounded by such hard-working, passionate, selfless, and enjoyable people as you all. To you all I say: You guys are the future, you are the most incredible group of individuals I have ever met, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for every little thing that you taught me along the way. I will always view this trip as a major turning point in my life, and I can honestly say that I attribute this reality to you more than anything else. Keep it real y’all, and Majka, if you ever decide to make a sequel, you can count me in!

(See more photos below)

-Charlie Harrison, August 15th, 2014

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A “sick” day in tent city. Photo by Lost Mountain Positive Tracks Next Gen Ambassador Charlie Harrison.

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Peter Doucette stands below the final headwall covered in rare aloe Photo by Lost Mountain Positive Tracks Next Gen Ambassador Charlie Harrison.

 

 

 

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Fuzzy Wuzzy. Photo by Lost Mountain Positive Tracks Next Gen Ambassador Charlie Harrison.

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Charlie’s Friend, the Skink. Photo by Lost Mountain Positive Tracks Next Gen Ambassador Charlie Harrison.

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Beastly female orb spider (notice the not-so-beastly male in the background). Photo by Lost Mountain Positive Tracks Next Gen Ambassador Charlie Harrison.

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New Song Release: The Road Is Kind http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/08/04/music-video-montage/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=music-video-montage http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/08/04/music-video-montage/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 14:09:36 +0000 http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/?p=1164 We’re thrilled to announce and share two media pieces in the field by our media team during the 30-day expedition in Mozambique and Malawi: The Road is Kind (Song by Jacob Bain) Listen below | Download here     Old Man Ray (Video by Rob Frost and James Q Martin, Song and production by Jacob ...

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We’re thrilled to announce and share two media pieces in the field by our media team during the 30-day expedition in Mozambique and Malawi:

The Road is Kind (Song by Jacob Bain)

Listen below | Download here

 

 

Old Man Ray (Video by Rob Frost and James Q Martin, Song and production by Jacob Bain)

OLD MAN RAY from Majka Burhardt on Vimeo.

 

 

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Gen Next Report from The Field: Grant Bemis http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/07/23/gen-next-report-field-grant-bemis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=gen-next-report-field-grant-bemis http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/07/23/gen-next-report-field-grant-bemis/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:42:07 +0000 http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/?p=1147 A month ago I finished up my time volunteering on the Lost Mountain Project in Mozambique and Malawi. My time in Africa was a compilation of intense, non-stop, awe-inspiring experiences; difficult to appreciate all of it while it was happening. I was there as a volunteer, and an ambassador for Positive Tracks–a national, youth-centric nonprofit ...

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Herpetologist Harith Farooq (with snake hook) and Grant Bemis in the sedge community on the the lower flanks for Mt. Namuli, Mozambique. Photo by James Q Martin.

A month ago I finished up my time volunteering on the Lost Mountain Project in Mozambique and Malawi. My time in Africa was a compilation of intense, non-stop, awe-inspiring experiences; difficult to appreciate all of it while it was happening. I was there as a volunteer, and an ambassador for Positive Tracks–a national, youth-centric nonprofit that helps young people get active and give back using the power of sport and adventure (I raised money for a Positive Tracks Youth Fundraising Challenge which is still going- click here to get involved).  What stands out to me most from the whole adventure is not the beautiful sights, the grueling hikes, or the amazing accomplishments, but the people that made all of these events and experiences possible. Our very eclectic group of wildly talented individuals made the Lost Mountain Project a success, and was the highlight of the entire trip.

Grant Bemis making use of a stream bed as a thoroughfare through the forest. Photo by James Q Martin.

Grant Bemis making use of a stream bed as a thoroughfare through the forest. Photo by James Q Martin.

Our group included elite climbers, world class videographers, international scientists and environmentalists. At first, I was a little concerned how everyone was going to get along, as each of us was so different from every other. To my relief, by the end of our first day on Mt. Mulanje in Malawi, any worry I had was gone. I quickly found that we all shared highly adventurous spirits and that we all liked to have fun. This, plus plenty of helpful, directional guidance from our leader, Majka Burhardt, made for a truly awesome expedition. Although we were only able to spend just over a month together, the friends made on the Lost Mountain will never be forgotten. In such a short amount of time we lived a lifetime of memories and made life long friendships. These great people and my time spent with them were life changing, and I am thankful for the opportunity.

On the prowl on Mt. Namuli. Photo by James Q Martin.

On the prowl on Mt. Namuli. Photo by James Q Martin.

There are so many projects worldwide to participate in, I encourage anyone interested in making a difference to follow their dreams.  The Lost Mountain dream isn’t over for any of us yet, either– the media team is putting together a full documentary film as well as a Positive Tracks Gen Next Short Film to share the story.  I’ll be involved in those as well.  I’m also designing my next great adventure as we speak, inspired by all that I learned on this one.  What’s in store for me down the road is still a work in progress, but I am liking the direction things are heading.

Join in: Positive Tracks and Funding Partners double your contribution when you join the Lost Mountain Positive Tracks Youth Fundraising Challenge and send Grant and fellow youth ambassador Charlie Harrison to their goal.

Trading a cap and gown for a harness and helmet: Grant’s Lost Mountain Take off Story

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Big Wall Science http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/07/16/big-wall-science/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=big-wall-science http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/07/16/big-wall-science/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 21:15:46 +0000 http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/?p=1106 In a former life I was a full-time climbing guide. That means I would normally know better than to introduce people to climbing for the first time on vegetated granite slabs interspersed with dirt and bush-choked chimneys.

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The Lost Mountain Climbing and Science teams celebrating success on the summit of Mt Namuli. Photo: James Q Martin.

In a former life I was a full-time climbing guide. That means I would normally know better than to introduce people to climbing for the first time on vegetated granite slabs interspersed with dirt and bush-choked chimneys. But the rules are different when you’re mission is a mash-up of scientific research, conservation action, and the establishment of the first technical climbing route up a mountain in Africa.

A blog in conjunction with Lost Mountain Sponsor Petzl.

This May, I led a team, including scientists Dr. Flavia Esteves (California Academy of Sciences, USA) Harith Farooq (Lúrio University, Mozambique) and Caswell Munyai (University of Venda, South Africa) up the 2,000-foot southeast face of Mt. Namuli, in Mozambique, as part of the Lost Mountain Project. The objective was to access, via the vertical granite that forms the Namuli massif, never-before-sampled hanging forests and vegetation pockets in search of new species of ants, beetles, spiders, skinks, snakes, and more. I was not a scientist; our scientists were not climbers. Good thing we had each other.

Kate Rutherford setting off on pitch four of Majka and Kate’s Science Project (IV 5.10-), Mt. Namuli, Mozambique. Photo: James Q Martin

Kate Rutherford setting off on pitch four of Majka and Kate’s Science Project (IV 5.10-), Mt. Namuli, Mozambique. Photo: James Q Martin

To get the scientists and our film and support team up into the vertical, my climbing partner Kate Rutherford and I employed every technique and technical set-up in our arsenal. We taught the scientists how to climb to increase efficiency on lower-angle terrain. We fixed lines to the bottom half of our 12-pitch route and taught the team to ascend and descend ropes, allowing them independent access for specimen collection.

Harith, our herpetologist, climbed with his snake hook. Flavia and Caswell, both entomologists, climbed with dozens of pre-filled vials of ethanol, blow tubes, and microscopes for the ants. In the end, we chose a line that threaded up the sedge-covered face, linking scientific points of interest with beautiful, albeit run out, slab climbing. At one point, we had 16 people dotting Mt. Namuli’s southeast face.

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Members of the Science team learning the ropes with Majka (left).  Photo: James Q Martin.

 

Light and fast is the trend in modern climbing, but light and fast was not our objective on this trip. Instead we were focused on scientifically relevant and culturally impactful. It took more gear. It took more people. It took faith in a collective vision formed from the passions of many. And in the end, we did it: the scientists left with over 3,000 ants and 27 different herpetological species; Kate and I have a new route on Mt. Namuli under our belts; and our conservation team completed the first ever conservation study of the Namuli region, quite literally putting this unique mountain on the map for conservation action.

 

Stay tuned for The Lost Mountain film, coming in 2015.

 

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Team of Rock Climbers, Biologists, and Conservation Workers Wrap Successful Expedition to Mozambique’s Second Highest Mountain http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/06/04/team-rock-climbers-biologists-conservation-workers-wrap-successful-expedition-mozambiques-second-highest-mountain/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=team-rock-climbers-biologists-conservation-workers-wrap-successful-expedition-mozambiques-second-highest-mountain http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/06/04/team-rock-climbers-biologists-conservation-workers-wrap-successful-expedition-mozambiques-second-highest-mountain/#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 11:58:31 +0000 http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/?p=999 Gurue, Mozambique –June 4, 2014 –An international team of rock climbers, entomologists, and herpetologists gathered on the summit of Mt. Namuli, Zambezia, Mozambique on May 27th at the culmination of the 30-day, 18-member Lost Mountain expedition. Three of the team members reached the summit via a new technical rock climbing route (Majka and Kate’s Science ...

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The Lost Mountain Team, Mt Namuli, Mozambique

The Lost Mountain Team, Mt Namuli, Mozambique

Gurue, Mozambique June 4, 2014 An international team of rock climbers, entomologists, and herpetologists gathered on the summit of Mt. Namuli, Zambezia, Mozambique on May 27th at the culmination of the 30-day, 18-member Lost Mountain expedition. Three of the team members reached the summit via a new technical rock climbing route (Majka and Kates Science Project IV 5.10-) and ten team members via a variation on the existing hiking route on the mountain’s east ridge. On May 28th, the group visited the village of Curruca, near the base of Mt. Namuli, to join local community members and representatives from LUPA, the Lost Mountain’s Mozambican conservation partner, for a celebration of dance, music, and presentations about the science, adventure, and conservation findings of the expedition.

“It was incredible to stand on the summit of Mt. Namuli with so many of our team members. Seeing 360-degrees of the majesty of the region spread out below us was the perfect realization of a four-year dream and the crazy hard work and commitment it took everyone to accomplish it,”expedition leader Majka Burhardt said.

Entomologist Caswell Munyai with a new ant find on Mt. Namuli, Mozambique

Entomologist Caswell Munyai with a new ant find on Mt. Namuli, Mozambique (Photo by James Q Martin)

“One of the highlights of this expedition were the sounds that came out of the woodwork,”musician and sound recordist for the Lost Mountain expedition Jacob Bain said. “From sharing moments with local musicians in Malawi and Mozambique, to recording the sounds of nature on the mountain, to the stories that each of the members of the team and the Curruca community shared, there is magic in the melodies and words of Mt. Namuli.”

The Lost Mountain is an international venture combining rock climbing, cliff-side scientific research, and integrated conservation planning. Led by author and professional climber Majka Burhardt, the purpose of the Lost Mountain project is to establish and document the ecological diversity and conservation potential in a region of isolated granite domes in eastern Africa. The team explored Malawi’s Mt. Mulanje and Mozambique’s Mt. Namuli, conducting scientific- and conservation-focused fieldwork, and using rock climbing to access previously unexplored habitats.

Kate Rutherford on pitch 9 of her and Majka Burhardt's new route Majka and Kate’s Science Project IV 5.10-, the first-ever technical climbing route on Mozambique's Mt Namuli

Kate Rutherford on pitch 9 of her and Majka Burhardt’s new route Majka and Kate’s Science Project IV 5.10-, the first-ever technical climbing route on Mozambique’s Mt Namuli (Photo By James Q Martin)

Days before the team gathered on the summit of Mt. Namuli, Majka Burhardt and fellow professional climber Kate Rutherford completed the first ascent of a new technical climbing route on the southeast face of the mountain.

“The climbing route was established to connect scientifically interesting zones on Mt Namuli,”Burhardt said. “Our team of scientists—Dr. Flavia Esteves, Caswell Munyai, and Harith Farooq—prioritized a hanging pocket forest at 1,600 meters, a vegetated chimney above, and the higher altitude sedge communities near the 2,418 meter summit.”

The climbers first established technical access to the hanging forest and then linked the other features to the sedges on the high slab ridges stretching to Namuli’s summit. The resulting climbing route, Majka and Kates Science Project (5.10-, IV, 12 pitches), is the first technical route on Mt Namuli and was established both in the name of research and with the intent to create a compelling climbing line up Namuli’s southeast face.

Carruca Community Celebration with the Lost Mountain Team in Zambezia Province, Mozambique (Photo By James Q Martin)

Curruca Community Celebration with the Lost Mountain Team in Zambezia Province, Mozambique (Photo By James Q Martin)

Over the span of two weeks, the whole team used technical access to explore the pocket forest and ridge, Dr. Esteves also joined Majka and Kate to collect ants on Majka and Kates Science Project, and LUPA conducted interviews and surveyed natural habitat impact with the Carruca community to create a baseline integrated conservation report for Namuli’s future.

Summary of the preliminary expedition outcomes:

 

Science

  • Discovery of the second record of a Caecilian in Mozambique, the southernmost recording of a Caecilian in the world.
  • First-ever comprehensive ant collection on Mulanje and Namuli massifs.
  • 40 ant genera collected (species yet to be identified).
  • Collection of the rare ant genus Promyopias on Mulanje massif — the second record for the genus in Malawi, after 101 years after its first collection, and the seventh for Africa. It will be the first specimen available for DNA extraction within this genus, and an unique opportunity for better understanding relatedness of some ant lineages.
  • 27 different species collected by herpetologist Harith Farooq with several yet to be identified.
  • Extensive additions to the resulting diversity checklist for Mt Namuli.

Conservation

  • Completed first ever integrated conservation study of Mt Namuli.
  • Data collection on: agricultural practices and potential; natural resource management; health, civil society and infrastructure capacity and needs.
  • Integrated conservation report forthcoming.

Climbing

  • Establishment Majka and Kates Science Project (5.10-, IV, 12 pitches), the first technical route on Mt Namuli by Majka Burhardt and Kate Rutherford.
  • Bolted on lead with additional protection added at the end of the expedition to increase the safety for future climbing parties on the route.
  • Peter Doucette and Positive Tracks Youth Ambassador Charlie Harrison completed the second ascent of the route during the trip.

 

Documentary, Mozambican-radio broadcasts, and articles forthcoming.

 

For more information, please visit www.thelostmountainfilm.com or contact Majka Burhardt: mb@majkaburhardt.com or Sarah Garlick: sarahgarlick@gmail.com.

 

 

EXPEDITION TEAM

 

Lost Mountain Project Founder and Director

Majka Burhardt (Intervale, New Hampshire).

Science Team

Flavia Esteves (California Academy of Sciences, Brazil and USA); Harith Farooq (Lúrio University, Mozambique); Caswell Munyai (University of Venda, South Africa).

 

Climbing Team

Majka Burhardt (Professional Climber, USA) Kate Rutherford (Professional Climber, Vashon, Washington); Peter Doucette (IFMGA Guide, Intervale, New Hampshire)

 

Conservation Team

Geraldo Palalane (LUPA/Namuli Project Director, Mozambique); Canisio Macamo (Mozambique); Castigo Manhique (Mozambique).

 

Positive Tracks Youth Ambassadors:

Grant Bemis (Golden Valley, Minnesota); Charlie Harrison (Etna, New Hampshire).

 

Media Team

Robert Frost (Director of Photography, Boulder, Colorado); James Q Martin (Cinematographer, Flagstaff, Arizona); Jacob Bain (Sound Recordist, Vashon, Washington).

 

Local Field Support

Luis Cotxane (Mozambique); Alex Momade (Mozambique); Solorino Samuquela (Mozambique)

 

Volunteer Crew

Richard Halsey (Cape Town, South Africa); Eric Wilburn (Tumwater, Washington)

 

Additional USA-based Production Team

Ukalene Productions: Sarah Garlick (North Conway, New Hamsphire), Paul Yoo (Los Angeles, California)

 

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Old Man Ray- Video and Song Field Produced on Mt Mulanje http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/05/18/old-man-ray-video-song-field-produced-mt-mulanje/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=old-man-ray-video-song-field-produced-mt-mulanje http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/05/18/old-man-ray-video-song-field-produced-mt-mulanje/#comments Sun, 18 May 2014 21:40:17 +0000 http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/?p=1021 “The trick to growing old, is a healthy dose of obsession mixed with a lot of physical activity.” – At 81 years old, Entomologist at heart, Ray Murphy is one of the characters and dreamers with us here in Africa whose passion is making the Lost Mountain Project possible. Stay tuned for more original beats, ...

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“The trick to growing old, is a healthy dose of obsession mixed with a lot of physical activity.” – At 81 years old, Entomologist at heart, Ray Murphy is one of the characters and dreamers with us here in Africa whose passion is making the Lost Mountain Project possible. Stay tuned for more original beats, tasty visuals, and grimey stories from the field… (shot by our amazing media team in the field on Mt Mulanje, Jungle style with Jacob Bain leading the musical charge and video footage by Rob Frost Media, and James Q Martin.

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Meet Geraldo Palalane, the head of our Conservation Team http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/05/16/meet-geraldo-palalane-head-conservation-team/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=meet-geraldo-palalane-head-conservation-team http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/05/16/meet-geraldo-palalane-head-conservation-team/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 16:39:07 +0000 http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/?p=978 This is Geraldo Palalane, he is the head of our Conservation Team for the Lost Mountain project. He's the project officer at LUPA (Associacao para o Desenvolvimento Comunitario), has 16 years experience in conservation and tourism management, is a former member of Mozambique national handball team, the father of two-up-and-coming swim racers, and this week, he is about to go one full mile higher in elevation than he's ever been before on Mt. Namuli with his conservation partners and our science and climbing crews. Teamwork at great heights

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Geraldo Palalane LUPA

 

This is Geraldo Palalane, he is the head of our Conservation Team for the Lost Mountain project. He’s the project officer at LUPA (Associacao para o Desenvolvimento Comunitario), has 16 years experience in conservation and tourism management, is a former member of Mozambique national handball team, the father of two-up-and-coming swim racers, and this week, he is about to go one full mile higher in elevation than he’s ever been before on Mt. Namuli with his conservation partners and our science and climbing crews. Teamwork at great heights. Photo by Rob Frost.

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My big wall frog catching kit: Kate Rutherford http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/05/05/big-wall-frog-catching/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=big-wall-frog-catching http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/05/05/big-wall-frog-catching/#comments Mon, 05 May 2014 14:49:17 +0000 http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/?p=974 Today I packed my big wall frog catching kit. I have a triple set of most cams, and I hope I actually have a crack to put them in. This adventure for me is inspired by rock climbing, a 2,000 foot granite wall, called Mt. Namuli, but it’s the flora and fauna that is actually motivating me to fly to Africa. Tomorrow I launch on an expedition to Mozambique and Malawi that I’ve spent 3 years referring to as a “big wall science project.” (By Kate Rutherford)

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By Kate Rutherford

Today I packed my big wall frog catching kit. I have a triple set of most cams, and I hope I actually have a crack to put them in. This adventure for me is inspired by rock climbing, a 2,000 foot granite wall, called Mt. Namuli, but it’s the flora and fauna that is actually motivating me to fly to Africa. Tomorrow I launch on an expedition to Mozambique and Malawi that I’ve spent 3 years referring to as a “big wall science project.” Clif Bar is helping, all our sponsors and beyond have contributed to make this a reality and I feel epic pressure to make it rad.

Kate's big wall frog catching kit

12 hours later; it is overwhelming that I am still packing, there are still things on the list and I am now I’m on the plane… The logistical battle is in play, I put the box cutter away, I finished all my jewelry making work, the bag wrestling has begun and I am honestly exhausted. And I know the rest of the team (19 people including Majka Burhardt, James Q Martin, Rob Frost, and 4 scientists) are too.

But this Lost Mountain Project is so intriguing that I am totally ready to down another double espresso Clif Shot, smile hard and banter with the generous Ethiopian airlines people, and pour my heart in to this extraordinary opportunity to take my passion for climbing in to the new world of science. (I brought my ice tools just in case we have a lot of grass runnels to climb, I hope I don’t impale a frog.) Keep tabs on our project by following along on our social media and blog thelostmountainfilm.com and #lostmountain #bigwallscience.amphibian-bg-1680x1050

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Ready, Set, Go: The Lost Mountain Takes Off http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/05/01/ready-set-go-lost-mountain-takes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ready-set-go-lost-mountain-takes http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/2014/05/01/ready-set-go-lost-mountain-takes/#comments Thu, 01 May 2014 14:41:10 +0000 http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/?p=961 A blog in conjunction with our amazing sponsor Osprey Packs. 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, ...

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Prep time in Mozambique, Photo by Erik Eisele

Prep time in Mozambique, Photo by Erik Eisele

A blog in conjunction with our amazing sponsor Osprey Packs.

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.

Back in 2008, I saw a few photos of mountains in Mozambique. I wanted to know more. More came in droves. Pretty soon I had a project partner, Sarah Garlick, and our two-person team found the root of its fascination in one mountain in particular: Mt Namuli. It had 3,500 people living on its flanks; a fascinating vertical biological playground on its 2,000’ southwest granite face; and a mythology steeped in human origins.

Moz-1020975_2

Golden Orb Spider– it won’t kill you, but you might wish it did given the pain. Photo by Erik Eisele

Fast-forward four years. The Lost Mountain is an international project and film with the backing of grants, sponsors, and a successful Kickstarter campaign, and our team has multiplied by a factor of 10. This is easily the most exciting, intense, and insane thing I have ever undertaken. That might explain my trouble sleeping recently.

Last week I flew into Maputo, Mozambique, and, after 48 hours of cars, cabs, hotels, and planes, I went from the airport directly into a meeting with Geraldo Palane. Geraldo is the leader of our conservation team from LUPA (Associação para o Desenvolvimento Comunitário). We’ve been working together remotely for almost three years. This was our first opportunity to sit face-to-face. We finally got to laugh together, in person, about audaciousness of our shared project vision. After our meeting I checked in to my hotel room and pulled up my email for the first time in two days. I watched dozens of well-wishing emails from our team of supporters fill my inbox. I read emails from each of my teammates with ideas, questions, and excitement. Then I started crying. I blamed the jetlag, but now I know better. That same emotion has stuck with me since then. It’s the fullness that comes from trying this hard and seeing a team form from nothing into something powerful. It’s being humbled and awed and… ready.

We’re off. It’s happening. We’ll keep you posted.

Follow and Share #LostMountain for daily updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and at http://bit.ly/QmLOk1

Camping this summer? Join The Lost Mountain When You Do
Buy a yummy Backpackers Pantry Meal Kit for $30 and 100% of proceeds are donated to the Lost Mountain- that’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert! Thanks Backpackers Pantry!

 

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