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Len Necefer

Aaron Mike before the couloir he skied on Dibee Nitsaa, Dinetah, with fellow Dine/Navajo mountaineer Len Necefer. [Photo] Isaiah Branch-Boyle

Sounds of Ceremony: The Future of Sacred Landscapes

“The Future of Alpinism,” is the theme of Alpinist 75–which is now on newsstands and in our online store. This special issue includes 18 essays from authors around the globe, along with comments and quotes from many others on the topic. We are sharing eight of these essays online, including this one by Len Necefer, titled “Sounds of Ceremony: The Future of Sacred Landscapes.” He writes: “Alpinism has provided me with a means to grow deeper roots into my own personal identity and the long-standing bonds with mountains of my Navajo heritage…. Within cultures around the world, the existence of mountain landscapes serves as an intergenerational reminder of the sacred. In our shared future of climate change, we must all ensure that we steward mountain landscapes for the generations ahead–to keep intact the many ways they nourish ecosystems and societies, but also to preserve the varied connections that we each maintain with them.”

Pictured here at sunset, Dook'o'oosliid, or Humphreys Peak (12,633'), is the highest point in Arizona. Dook'o'oosliid was once part of a much larger stratovolcano that erupted hundreds of thousands of years ago. [Photo] Chuck Lawsen

Water is Life

In this Wired story from Alpinist 71–which is now available on some newsstands and in our online store–Dine climber Len Necefer journeys to the sacred peaks to find new ways to meld his ancestral cultural ceremonies and the mountain sports he loves while the world around him increasingly grapples with uncertainty and the threat of climate change.