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Soft Mountains X Arc'teryx

In celebration of International Women's Day, the founder of Soft Mountains, Ziwei Longhong, together with Wen Qi and Luo Jing, went on the journey, "Her Path, Her Power,” invited by the high-end outdoor brand Arc'teryx. This adventure took them across high-altitude along Ancient Tea Horse Road, exploring the power of nature's gentle side and finding connections with women from the local ethnic minorities.

Founder of Soft Mountains : Ziwei Longhong
Being in the mountains brings me unparalleled peace. On this special invite from Arc'teryx, I ventured back to my roots in Yunnan, tracing the paths of Ancient Tea Horse Road. It reminds me that my origins lie in the Xiao Liangshan of Lijiang, Yunnan, a place where my ancestors were across from the Great Liangshan. The legacy of the Nuosu (Yi) people, to which I belong, just as the endless mountains stretch across both time and space, defining the bonded generations.

As a kid, my playground was the mountain wilderness—I sipped from the natural springs and was in awe of the stars above. Growing up led me through various cities for education and career, leaving me little opportunity in these mountainous retreats. Only on rare occasions, when sourcing inspiration and crafts for Soft Mountains, could I revisit these natural sanctuaries that shaped my early years.

For me, hiking is like having a deep conversation with nature. Living in the city can sometimes distance me from the natural world, and returning to it offers much-needed balance to life. This trip with Arc'teryx, is challenging me with high altitude and extensive trails, but every step brings irreplaceable encounters with the wild, making every challenge worth the sake of discovery along the way.

As the day fades, standing on the top, I watch the sunset over the mountains. The wind is chilling, and the sky full of stars reminds me of my childhood. It is a nourishing moment. 

Reflecting on that moment makes me realize that such instances of pure beauty are rare treasures in life, but worth holding onto. The mountains, with their divine and majestic presence, make everyone feel humbly small within nature. 

During the shoot, we met ethnic minorities in Dehong. As someone from the Yi community, I feel a strong connection with the local ethnic minorities. Despite different ethnicities, our cultures share many similarities, like inspiration from nature. The attire of the De'ang and Dai women, with their admirable accessories and colors adorning the rich cultural traditions, brought me so much joy. 

For Soft Mountains, my goal goes beyond just sharing Yi culture; but to connect different ethnic minorities. I deeply admire women from different ethnic backgrounds for their resilience and wisdom in facing nature.

"Soft Mountains" isn’t just a singular peak; it is about forming the bonds across them, mirroring the way acts of kindness from one person to another can lift us up when we are feeling most vulnerable. This might well lie at the heart of "Her Path, Her Power"—it's about the journeys that connect women, and the strength we find in each other.

Our special 'Fireworks' Necklace collaborated with Arc'teryx 

Campaign: Arc'teryx / Photography: Ziwei Longhong 

Written by Soft Mountains Team

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