Can you imagine yourself flying over to 27 million years volcanic formation? Well, Tucker Gott flew his paramotor around the majestic Shiprock and today we want to share with you his experience. Don’t miss this video and pay attention to the whole story behind Shiprock. Is awesome!!
Ship Rock is a dramatic 7,177-foot-high (2,188-meter) rock mountain located in northwestern New Mexico about 20 miles southwest of the town of Shiprock. The formation, a volcanic plug, rises 1,600 feet above a barren desert plain south of the San Juan River. Ship Rock is on Navajo Nation land, a self-governing territory of 27,425 square miles in northwestern New Mexico, northeastern Arizona, and southeastern Utah.
The badlands of New Mexico epitomise the raw, stark beauty of the Wild West. Vast mountain ranges and plateaued mesas stand impassive in the desert haze. Ragged gorges, carved out by the Rio Grande River, rip into the land like an open wound. Rows of aspen trees turn to a chemical yellow in the relentless southwestern sun, spotlighting the rolling ranches that are home to cattle and horses.
Ship Rock is called Tsé Bitʼaʼí in Navajo, which means “rock with wings” or simply “winged rock.” The formation figures prominently in Navajo Indian mythology as a giant bird that carried the Navajo from the cold northlands to the Four Corners region. Ship Rock, when viewed from certain angles, resembles a large sitting bird with folded wings; the north and south summits are the tops of the wings.
The formation was originally called The Needles by explorer Captain J. F. McComb in 1986 for its uppermost pointed pinnacle. The name, however, didn’t stick since it was also called Shiprock, Shiprock Peak, and Ship Rock, which is its name on a map from the 1870s, because of its resemblance to 19th-century clipper ships. The town nearest to the rock mountain is named Shiprock.
Climbing Ship Rock is illegal, There were no access problems for the first 30 years of its climbing history but a tragic accident that resulted in a death in late March 1970 caused the Navajo Nation to ban rock climbing not only on Ship Rock but on all Navajo lands. Prior to that, Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly and The Totem Pole in Monument Valley were closed in 1962. The Nation announced that the ban was “absolute and unconditional,” and was due to “the Navajo’s traditional fear of death and its aftermath, such accidents and especially fatalities often render the area where they occur as taboo, and the location is sometimes henceforth regarded as contaminated by evil spirits and is considered a place to be avoided.” Climbers have, however, continued to climb Ship Rock since the ban, often obtaining permission from the local grazing holder.
Ship Rock is a sacred mountain to the Navajo people that figures prominently in Navajo mythology. The primary legend tells how a great bird carried the ancestral Navajos from the far north to their current homeland in the American Southwest. The ancient Navajos were fleeing from another tribe so shamans prayed for deliverance. The ground beneath the Navajos became a huge bird that transported them on its back, flying for a day and a night before landing at sunset where Shiprock now sits.
The people, climbed off the Bird, which rested from its long flight. But Cliff Monster, a giant dragon-like creature, climbed onto the Bird’s back and built a nest, trapping the Bird. The people sent Monster Slayer to combat Cliff Monster in a Godzilla-like battle but in the fight, the Bird was injured. Monster Slayer then killed Cliff Monster, cutting off his head and heaving it far to the east where it became today’s Cabezon Peak. The monster’s coagulated blood formed the dikes, while grooves on the Bird drained the monster’s blood. The Bird, however, was fatally injured during the great battle. Monster Slayer, to keep the bird alive, turned the bird to stone as a reminder to the Diné of its sacrifice.