Majka Burhardt is a professional climber, certified climbing guide, conservation entrepreneur, author, and filmmaker; she is also the founder and executive director of the international conservation and development organization Legado and the author of More: Life on the Edge of Adventure and Motherhood, released in 2023.
Majka currently lives with her 6 year old twins and her husband, the internationally certified mountain guide Peter Doucette, in Jackson, New Hampshire.
About the Book: More: Life on the Edge of Adventure and Motherhood.
An intense and emotional epistolary memoir by one of the world's top ice climbers, born at the confluence of motherhood, adventure, career, and marriage.
As one of the world’s leading female professional rock and ice climbers, Burhardt and her husband led globe-trotting, adventure-seeking lives. When she learns that she’s pregnant—with twins—Burhardt at first tries to justify her insistence on pursuing extreme risk in the face of responsibility. But she is ultimately forced to grieve the avalanche of emotions that accompanies any major life transitions along with the physical changes in her own body.
Based on the letters and journals Burhardt diligently kept over the course of those six years, More takes the reader on an around-the-world journey as Burhardt explores the transformative, identity-shifting experience of motherhood and its irreversible impact on career, identity, marriage, and self.
In the early weeks of her children's lives, Burhardt immerses herself in adoration for her twins and grappling with the tremendous guilt and struggle around having to return to risk-laden work and that ever elusive balance mothers everywhere seek amidst it all.
As the newness of her twins fades into a permanent reality, Burhardt turns her attention towards her marriage and the collateral damage as she and her husband, Peter, struggle to navigate their new normal. As anger and resentment threaten the foundation of her family, Burhardt courageously looks to her past—and her own mother's tumultuous and confusing history of success, violence, and ragged divorce—to better understand her own way forward. How will she break free from the legacy of her own childhood to start fresh with her own family?
Raw, candid, and galvanizing, More is a passionate and poignant testament to the enduring power of love and our lifelong journey to understand ourselves as we strive to always pursue more.
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Who is Majka
Living in Jackson, New Hampshire
Her early years growing up
Being very sporty and adventurous
The toughen up Majka campaign
Doing a 45 day canoe expedition in the Arctic
Her love for being on trail
Mentors and role models
Kitty Calhoun - Alpinist & Activist
Getting into climbing at at 15/16 years old and how it started gradually
Taking a year off from college to climb full time
Feeling drawn to ice climbing
Wanting to make climbing her job
Writing for climbing magazines to make money and to combine her passions
Climbing in Ethiopia, Africa
Climbing a first ascent - The Sandstone Towers of Tigray, in northern Ethiopia.
Book: Vertical Ethiopia published by Shama Publishing, an Ethiopian Publisher.
Brining in scientists to climb around the vertical granite terrain on Mount Namuli in Mozambique
Shifting the focus of Legado from being a conservation organisation to one that activates climate justice with indigenous people and local communities throughout the world
Working in Mozambique, Kenya and Peru to help create a thriving future
Motherhood and not being sure if being a mum was part of her agenda
Meeting her partner, Peter in 2008 in New Hampshire at an Ice Climbing Festival
Getting pregnant and finding out it was twins
Trying to hold onto her career during pregnancy and motherhood
Working with Patagonia
Micro moments of balance
Training and exercise during and after pregnancy
The impact of pregnancy on her core
Getting outside and adventuring with the children
Writing the book and reflecting back over that time
Focusing on showing up and being as present as possible
Practical advice and tips for new mothers
The importance of friends and community
Dividing up domestic labour and having systems
Waking up at 5.30am
Rest and recovery
Mantra and words of empowerment
Being a warrior goodness
How to connect with Majka
Final words of advice to encourage women to go after their own dreams
Legado Activates the Power of Legacy - So that people and nature can thrive together - now and into the future.
Buy the book: More: Life on the Edge of Adventure and Motherhood
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