Do you ever chase the horizon? Those oh so special places of wind blasted landscapes and wonderful wide skies — the playing ground of the gods themselves. Do you lose yourself in the mountains, stroll over clifftops high and wander through valleys low. There really is some incredibly special, yet virtually intangible quality of these distant places… Know what we are talking about? Then you just might be a montivagant.
According to the Dauntless Jaunter montivagant refers to ‘a thing which is wandering over hills and mountains’. The French word ‘mont’ means ‘mountain’, and ‘-vagant’, meaning ‘to wander’, sharing the same etymology of vagabond.
These concepts and themes that make up the word montivagant are best encapsulated by Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog.
A man wearing a dark green overcoat gazes out at a world draped in fog; his hair caught in the wind, a cane by the right hand, left leg one step ahead, totally faceless but there are emotions when we look at the wanderer in Friedrich’s painting. According to Mountains of the Mind: A History of a Fascination author and historian Robert McFarlane, mountain wandering and a return to an untamed state of nature is a common theme of the Western Romantic Movement — one that is of self-reflection and the uncertainness of the future.
Like Friedrich’s wanderer, the _montivagant_is one that lets himself be lost and guided by the mountain’s secrets — it could be a spectacular view of a landscape below, the clear constellations at night, the diverse foliage tucked within the forests, or even a sea of fog. Being a montivagant would mean you are often captivated by the natural mysteries of the mountain.
Perhaps you can recreate your own version of this powerful painting by taking your own picture from your next hike.
Upload your most montivagant portrait when you take your next mountain conquest in your LomoHome.