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.
In May 2014, Lost Mountain Project founder and director Majka Burhardt, along with fellow professional climber Kate Rutherford, led a team of biologists onto Mt. Namuli’s unexplored 2,000′ granite cliff face. An international cadre of conservationists, global adventurers, and filmmakers completed the team. The successful expedition wrapped in June, 2014 and the Lost Mountain team is currently finishing work on the Lost Mountain Film.
Expedition Success (full details in the post-expedition Press Release)
- 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.
- 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.
- CLIMB: Establishment of the first technical climbing route on Mozambique’s Mt. Namuli: Majka and Kate’s Science Project, 5.10-, IV, 12 pitches, F.A. Majka Burhardt and Kate Rutherford, May 2014.
Namuli Integrated Conservation Plan Implementation and Completion of Lost Mountain Film: 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.
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.