Format Hardcover
Publication Date 03/07/23
ISBN 9781639363490
Trim Size / Pages 6 x 9 in / 304

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Life on the Edge of Adventure and Motherhood

Majka Burhardt

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.

Majka Burhardt is a professional climber, conservation entrepreneur, author and filmmaker.  She is the Founder and Executive Director of Legado and the author of Vertical Ethiopia: Climbing Toward Possibility in the Horn of Africa, which was short-listed for the Banff Book Award. Her work and projects have been featured in The Economist, Outside Magazine, The Weather Channel, NPR and more, and her articles have appeared in publications including Afar, Men’s Health, Skiing Magazine, Backpacker, Patagonia, Alpinist, Women’s Adventure, The Explorers Journal, and Climbing. Majka is a climber and ambassador with Patagonia,  an American Mountain Guides Association Rock Guide and Ice Instructor.  She graduated from Princeton University cum laude and received a MFA in Creative Writing from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.  She and her husband, Peter Doucette, an internationally certified (AMGA/IFMGA) mountain guide, live in Jackson, New Hampshire with their twin children.

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Endorsements & Reviews

"Aside from the loss of a loved one, there may be no transition in life more abrupt than parenthood. Majka‘s vulnerable yet visceral journey of reflection is as graceful, brave and calculating as the accomplishments of her climbing career. It will inspire anyone faced with hardship to look within."

Jenni Lowe-Anker, mother of three and author of Forget Me Not
“A professional rock climber shares the challenges of maintaining her career after becoming a mother. In this epistolary memoir, Burhardt relays the emotional challenges of becoming a mother while attempting to retain a sense of her own identity. Raw, passionate, and stinging.” Kirkus Reviews
"In a series of journal entries spanning from her early pregnancy in 2015 through the first four-and-a-half years of motherhood, Burhardt describes with heartrending candor a dilemma many of us will face: How do you maintain a core identity while embracing all-encompassing life changes? Both adrenaline seekers and armchair enthusiasts will admire Burhardt’s raw honesty and marvel at her incredible achievements." Booklist
"Everything about this book takes my breath away. Makja's honesty, her heart, and her fearlessness knows no bounds. I am in awe." Natalie Baszile, author of Queen Sugar and We Are Each Other's Harvest
"An insightful, honest, and heartfelt view of what mothering looks like for an ambitious outdoor athlete. Written in the form of a journal for her kids, More is an entertaining read for anyone, and a must-read for anyone considering parenthood." Tommy Caldwell, professional climber, environmental activist and New York Times bestselling author of The Push
"More is an intimate, frank, first-person account of the abrupt transition to motherhood, in the middle of a life already full of incredible risk, beauty, and passion. Parenthood changes everything, and it’s fascinating to accompany Majka Burhardt as she negotiates this new route and finds a deeper sense of herself along the way." Chelsea Conaboy, author of Mother Brain: How Neuroscience Is Rewriting the Story of Parenthood
"This is a deeply affecting book. It's a must read for anyone who has struggled through the feeling of losing yourself to parenthood and (hopefully) finding another version on the other side." Emily Oster, author of Expecting Better, Cribsheet and The Family Firm
"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