OUR TEAM OF ROCK CLIMBERS, BIOLOGISTS, AND CONSERVATION WORKERS WRAP SUCCESSFUL EXPEDITION TO MOZAMBIQUE’S SECOND HIGHEST MOUNTAIN

JUNE 4, 2014

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 Carruca, 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)

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The Lost Mountain Project

My big wall frog catching kit:

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.

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the 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.

LM facebook_Banner_144dpi

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 #thelostmountain #bigwallscience.

frog

 

 

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Turkey! Geyikbayiri, sport climbing paradise

It was awesome to get a little sun after the alpine season.

It was awesome to get a little sun after the alpine season.

Why Turkey? Climbing is an excuse for me to see the world. And Turkey was high on the list of epic rich cultures that I wanted to experience. I just needed an invite.

spring. fragrant. limestone

spring. fragrant. limestone

Basically my job is to say yes to any thing we can dream up. So when Majka Burhardt asked if I wanted to join in on a spring sport climbing trip, I said of course. Continue reading

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Patagonia flight search!

In an attempt to choose a flight back down to Patagonia this year, I have been getting so excited! The photos have been revisited for inspiration, the old friends in El Chalten contacted and primed for good times to come. And in this I realized I never summed up my last season here on my blog. The whirl wind of my life kept raging after the summit of Cerro Torre, not a moment to post photos and tell the story, and all of a sudden it is time to go back. Here is the recap to inspire us all for the season to come!

The summit of Cerro Torre, a place I never imagined going. And to see Fitz Roy glowing. I had just been there too. What a huge year.

The summit of Cerro Torre, a place I never imagined going. And to see Fitz Roy glowing. I had just been there too. What a huge year.

The 2013 Patagonia season was mind blowing. Madaleine Sorken and I flew down to El Calafate together in early January and settled in to my favorite Argentine town, El Chaletn. It was perfect timing to hike a load to a base camp in really nasty weather, and then a perfect forecast allowed us to climb “Mate, Poro y Todo lo Demas” on the North Pillar of Cerro Fitz Roy. It was a pretty big climb for us!

Colin Hailey chases (and catches us) on the huge North Pillar of Fitz Roy

Colin Haley chases (and catches us) on the huge North Pillar of Fitz Roy

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Climbing in Armenia video!

splitters galore. only basalt offers this incredible honeycomb of roofs.

splitters galore. only basalt offers this incredible honeycomb of roofs.

watch the video!

what should we name this one, so many new routes! 'Mister Gabe' this route name honors our awesome photograper

what should we name this one, so many new routes! ‘Mister Gabe’ this route name honors our awesome photograper

 

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Mate, Porro y Todo lo Demas! Princesses up on the Fitz Roy!

Just back to El Chalten after a breath taking climb up Mate Poro on the North Pillar of Fitz Roy. Madaleine Sorkin and I had yet another Princess Cruise together. Pretty inspiring to climb a really big mountain with a great girl friend! Excellent hand jams were plentiful, and the Gringos Perditos variation was great fun, super cool sculpted holds. Lucky for me the 3 bivis were so much warmer then most I have had in this part of the world, and we had plenty of food!

The summit! Fitz Roy’s top is a very special place. I am humbled by its magnitude and feel proud to have witnessed it. Madaleine is feeling stoked standing tall next to the Torres.

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Vote the Environment! Please!

The leaves are falling, golden and slow off the trees here in Colorado, which means it is perfect temps for climbing, as well as election season. There are huge challenges we face every day. Yesterday mine was flight logistics for the next climbing adventure in Armenia, it took hours. Most of the world population have really big challenges everyday. Clean water, food, and air are not an inalienable right for most people. What can we do about that?

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Ukraine!! spring adventure sport climbing!

Brittany Griffith and I headed for the train station Kiev, Ukraine. Most photos by Mikey Schaefer

train stuff

we arrive in Simeiz on a dark and stormy night

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Tiempo Para La Playa, a new route on Aguja Innominata, in Argentine Patagonia

At the end of a wild Patagonia season Mikey Schafer and I packed our packs for one more climb. There had been so much warm weather that it had created crazy rock fall and we were scared for our lives on our previous new route up St Exupery. The temps had cooled, and solidified the rock a bit. Our time there was wrapping up so headed out hoping to do a new route on the steep clean North Face of Aguja Innominata (also known as Aguja Rafael Juarez).

moon setting between near the base of Aguja Innominata

We left Niponino basecamp in the Torre Valley before the light, and as the moon set and sun rose we ascended the gully in fresh snow.

finally to the base of Innominata

This is one of Patagonia’s small mountains, it sits low in the Fitz Roy skyline, but is also hosts some of the steepest walls in the region. I was especially excited when Mikey spotted a line on this peak, since it is one I had never climbed before.

Mikey follows low on the route

Mikey generously gave me the first block. Otherwise I (and probably everyone else) end up freezing cold after all that hiking, and then just standing there to belay. Burr. I scampered up, scraping a bit of snow and ice off the first pitch, but as the wall steepened the climbing improved and it was clean and dry.

I'm headed for that ledge at the base of the splitter.

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waiting for the weather, Patagonia 2012

blowing trees painting

The last three weeks have been proper ‘patagonian’ weather.  Could have been worse, mostly windy, and just a little rain, Noah didn’t have to come and build an Ark or anything … Here are some photos of how I have kept from going crazy…

we have been helping out at the Chocolataria

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