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Quotes about climbing


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I like these two, they concisely express some of the deeper pyschological reasons for climbing. Any others?



"If the conquest of a great peak brings moments of exultation and bliss, which in the monotonous, materialistic existence of modern times nothing else can approach, it also presents great dangers. It is not the goal of "grand alpinisme" to face peril, but it is one of the tests one must undergo to deserve the joy of rising for an instant above the state of crawling grubs. "


Lionel Terray (following the ascent of Mount Huntington in Alaska in 1965.)


"The wall, the climbs, inanimate objects, so often personified, are never really conquered. Man can only conquer his weakness, exceed his self estimates, and fail to yield as his very soul begs that he retires." -Don Davison (1974)


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sobo said:

"Experience is the result of employing good judgment, good judgment is the result of surviving bad judgment."


Not sure, but I think it was Mark Twight or John Roskelly, but I could be wrong on both counts

That quote is older than either of those fellows, but I can't recall who it was who first said it. He was British, no doubt.
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'If I woke up in the middle of the night and saw my partner fingerpainting with his poop on a rock in the moonlight, I'd take all the best gear and leave.'


Al Errington, SMR, opening comments to a group of beginning climbers who had just sat through a much too enthusiastic lecture about back country waste disposal methods.

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hikerwa said:

"H, i'm not gonna leave you H."


Taylor Brooks

K2 (1992)


That movie was so suck in terms of realism (or lack thereof). A snow peg holds a tentful of people in an avalanche chute. And then, oh yeah, a Huey makes the save somewhere waaaaaaaay above its 10k-foot ceiling. Yeah yeah yeah. That's it.


Almost as bad as totin' along a case or two of nitroglycerine on your next 8k-meter summit bid.


WITF does Hollywood come up with this crap?

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A little "pointy-headed", but interesting:


Modern sociologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi outlines "flow theory" to describe the experience of climbing.


Flow refers to the holistic sensation present when we act with total involvement. It is a kind of feeling after which one nostalgically says: "that was fun," or "that was enjoyable." It is the state in which action follows upon action according to an internal logic which seems to need no conscious intervention on our part. We experience it as a unified flowing from one moment to the next in which we are in control of our actions, and in which there is little distinction between self and environment; between stimulus and response; or between past, present, and future."





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From the same source...


In "A Near View of the High Sierra" Muir describes a dangerous situation nearing the summit of Mount Ritter. He was brought to a dead stop, with arms outspread, clinging close to the face of the rock, unable to move his hands or feet either up or down.


My doom appeared fixed. I must fall....When this final danger flashed upon me, I became nerve-shaken for the first time since setting foot on the mountains, and my mind seemed to fill with a stifling smoke. But this terrible eclipse lasted only a moment, when life blazed forth again with preternatural clearness. . . . The other self, bygone experiences, Instinct, or Guardian Angel, -call it what you will, -came forward and assumed control. Then my trembling muscles became firm again, every rift and flaw in the rock was seen as through a microscope, and my limbs moved with a positiveness and precision with which I seemed to have nothing at all to do. Had I been borne aloft upon wings, my deliverance could not have been more complete.

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sobo said:

iain said:

Ignorance is the mother of adventure


Now that's a good one. thumbs_up.gif Did you come up with that on your own, iain?


It's on the back of the helmet of someone in Portland Mountain Rescue, not sure who said it but pretty funny.

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