MAJKA BURHARDT: BIO



Majka Burhardt has a passion for creating unusual connections. As a professional climber, social entrepreneur, author, mother of twins, and filmmaker Majka has spent more than two decades leading multi-stage international ventures focused on current issues of environmental and cultural significance spanning Africa, Europe, South, and North America.

Majka is the Founder and Executive Director of Legado, an international organization working to help secure Thriving Futures for both people and the wild places they call home. Legado originated in 2011 during a pioneering climbing and conservation research expedition to Mozambique and is supported today by some of the world’s most influential conservation funders and decision-makers.

As an author, Majka’s first book Vertical Ethiopia: Climbing Toward Possibility in the Horn of Africa (2008) was short‑listed for the Banff Book Award. Her second book, Coffee Story: Ethiopia, was released in August 2011 and featured by Starbucks in 2013, and re-released as a second edition in 2018. In 2010, Majka produced Waypoint Namibia and the film was featured at international film festivals and shown on NBC’s Universal Sports. Majka was nominated for an EPIC Emerging Artist Award for her work as the Executive Producer.  Her 2016 film Namuli was released to acclaim at over 50 international film festivals and across the US on PBS. Namuli tells the story of Majka’s climbing and conservation research Mount Namuli, Mozambique’s second highest mountain and a critical target for conservation in southeast Africa— and of the origins of Legado.

Majka is the author of the forthcoming epistolary memoir, More: Life at the Edge of Adventure and Motherhood. Slated for release by Pegasus Books in the Spring of 2023, More is an intense and emotional journey born at the confluence of motherhood, adventure, career, and marriage. 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.

As a keynote speaker, Majka addresses a diverse group of organizations and companies. Her clients have included Google, Nespresso, the Commonwealth Club, Banff Film and Book Festival, Colorado Environmental Coalition, universities and colleges throughout North America, and many others.

Her work and projects have been featured in The Economist, Outside Magazine, The Weather Channel, NPR and many other major international media outlets. Majka’s articles have appeared in publications including Afar, Men’s Health, Skiing Magazine, Backpacker, Patagonia, Alpinist, Women’s Adventure, The Explorers Journal, and Climbing, where her column “Whipped,” ran for six years.

Concurrent with her role as Executive Director of Legado, Majka is a professional climber and ambassador with top outdoor company Patagonia. She is an American Mountain Guides Association Rock Guide and also former two-term member of the organizations’ Board of Directors. Majka is a Mulago Foundation Henry Arnhold Fellow for her work in conservation entrepreneurship, graduated from Princeton University cum laude, and received a MFA in Creative Writing from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.

Majka lives in New Hampshire with her husband, Peter Doucette, and their twin children.


More: Life at the Edge of
Adventure and Motherhood

Forthcoming in Spring 2023 – Pegasus Books

Pre-Order Now
  • “Majka gives a heartfelt and honest account of the questions and inner dialogue so many people face with motherhood and what comes next. For anyone questioning the balance of adventure and parenthood and marriage, More is a book that offers a sincere look into how to unwrap the past, present and future.”

    – Beth Rodden, top American rock climber

  • “How do you, as a diehard climber and mountain guide, navigate the maelstrom of being a new parent and sustaining a marriage when both partners are also wedded to a life of adventure? As Majka Burhardt reveals in her searing honest memoir, you don’t. You simply make it up as you go and hope to survive, much like you would on a serious alpine climb. More portrays this whole messy reality—with humor, beauty, and an unsparing eye for the visceral details. As a fellow climber and parent myself, I couldn’t put the book down: It resounds with deep echoes of the human experience, and reveals the tightrope walk between risk and stability.”

    – Matt Samet, former editor of Climbing Magazine

  • “Majka gives a heartfelt and honest account of the questions and inner dialogue so many people face with motherhood and what comes next. For anyone questioning the balance of adventure and parenthood and marriage, More is a book that offers a sincere look into how to unwrap the past, present and future.”

    – Beth Rodden, top American rock climber

  • “As a professional rock climber and mother, I can certainly relate to Majka’s thoughts and feelings about balancing motherhood with her relationships, marriage, work, and her passion for climbing. Her writings not only made me laugh out loud, but I was impressed by her willingness to share her most vulnerable inner thoughts and fears as a mother during this critical time of political, social, and environmental turmoil. This series of letters to her twins throughout pregnancy and their first four-and-a-half years of life, offer an insightful perspective about how the intense love for our children, can enable us to do what’s best in the face of all the challenges of life and the sometimes messiness of motherhood.”

    – Lynn Hill, climbing luminary

Pre-order Now

       

Photo: Fredrik Clement