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Favorite/best climbing literature quotes
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Aug 19, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Brass monkey
Did a search and couldn't find an already existing thread on this which kind of surprised me. There is lots of climbing related literature out there, some awesome, some well, full of choss lets just say. What has been a quote or passage that you really liked or made an impact on you? Can be anything in print really.

I'll start it with a well known line from Scrambles Amongst the Alps

“Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end.”
Brassmonkey
Joined Jan 19, 2012
115 points
Administrator
Aug 19, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Me
Brassmonkey wrote:
“Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end.”


That has been one of my favorites as well. I wish more mountaineering writers could write like Whymper.
Jon Nelson
From Bellingham, WA
Joined Sep 17, 2011
5,133 points
Aug 19, 2016
"Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion."
Anatoli Boukreev


"You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know."
René Daumal
jdejace
From New England
Joined Sep 20, 2013
7 points
Aug 19, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down the first crux pitch, Ellingwood Ledg...
What was it Hillary said? ... It only counts if you make it down alive ... docsavage
From Albuquerque, NM
Joined Dec 21, 2011
977 points
Aug 19, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Leading "Chunky Chimbly" at sunset
Not from climbing specifically, but this always struck me as one of my favorite passages, it has come to mind a few times in the mountains

"It is not the way of the Wild to like movement. Life is an offence to it, for life is movement, and the Wild aims always to destroy movement. It freezes the water to prevent it from running to the sea; it drives the sap out of trees till they are frozen to their mighty hearts; and most ferociously and terribly of all does the Wild harry and crush into submission man- man who is the most restless of life, ever in revolt against the dictum that all movement must in the end come to the cessation of movement
...
But under it all they were men, penetrating the land of desolation and mockery and silence, puny adventurers bent on colossal adventure, pitting themselves against the might of a world as remote and alien and pulseless as the abysses of space."
-Jack London, White Fang
Nolan Huther
From Clarkson University
Joined Dec 26, 2014
650 points
Aug 19, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Red Rock
"Because it’s there" -George Mallory ViperScale
Joined Dec 22, 2013
201 points
Aug 19, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: We shall continue with style
Anderl Meier: You’re very good. I have really enjoyed climbing with you.

Dr. Jonathan Hemlock: We’ll make it.

Anderl Meier: I don’t think so. But we shall continue with style.



"Are you healthy?”,
“Shall I turn my head and cough?”
“No known infections?!?”
“Only the usual: syphilis, running sores and clap. :D
BigB
From Red Rock, NV
Joined Feb 18, 2015
311 points
Aug 19, 2016
I actually started making a list of quotesblike these a few months ago. In no particular order from my list:

Climbing was all about spirit, being in nature, walking away from the comforts of society based on consuming the earth and plundering its resources... Alpinist#53 p58.

The best journeys answer questions that in the beginning you didn't even think to ask. 180* South. Jeff Johnson

I’m a slow walker, but I never walk back. Abraham Lincoln

Discovery of "virgin" islands was mostly just European ignorance exposed. Jeff Long, Alpinist #54
DrApnea
From Wenatchee, WA
Joined May 24, 2011
318 points
Aug 19, 2016
"you can't rape the willing"

It may not be in any climbing literature but it should be
CTB
From Cave Creek, AZ
Joined Jul 30, 2015
161 points
Aug 20, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Pea...
"Twight wanted desperately to climb the Eiger, while I wanted to have climbed it."

Jon Krakauer
Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
1,669 points
Aug 20, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Find these and enjoy some new routes!
Regarding the passion and allure of travelling virgin paths up into the unknown:

I, too, throbbed with emotion as I gazed at Beauty and the mystery...of Beauty...

Emile Javelle, after his FA of the Tour Noir, Aiguilles Dorées, about 1870
Matthias Holladay
From Durango, Colorado
Joined Jul 8, 2007
5,383 points
Aug 20, 2016
"You can't belay a man who's falling in love."

Ed Abbey
Jordan Marvel
From Tempe, AZ
Joined Oct 6, 2014
6 points
Aug 20, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up P5 of the Original Route 5.11a R
I believe it is Royal Robbins who says it in Valley Uprising:

"The beautiful thing to me about climbing is that you can't justify it. It doesn't pretend to be anything useful."
Josh Lipko
From Charlotte
Joined Jun 17, 2014
11 points
Aug 20, 2016
There are times in life, you can count them in minutes, when you expereince an awareness far greater than you usually find in a whole year.
~ F.M. Dostoevsky
timinthehouse
Joined Jun 17, 2016
0 points
Administrator
Aug 20, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Me
Anyone have some good Warren Harding quotes?

I recall enjoying his "Downward Bound" book, but don't have a copy.
Jon Nelson
From Bellingham, WA
Joined Sep 17, 2011
5,133 points
Aug 20, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Birds and Beards
I'm partial to Robbin's "fail falling"

Teaching kids to toprope they inevitably say "I can't do it!" My response is always, "prove it."
kevin deweese
From Oakland, Ca
Joined Jan 14, 2007
304 points
Aug 21, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: bouldering
I seem to be able to relate to "feeding The rat" Nick Goldsmith
From Pomfret VT
Joined Aug 23, 2009
352 points
Aug 21, 2016
Prove the impossible DMarti
From custer,sd
Joined Jun 18, 2012
1 points
Aug 21, 2016
This quote runs through my head often "It is not an adventure until something goes wrong"....yvon chouinard beensandbagged
From R.I.
Joined Oct 20, 2013
16 points
Aug 21, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Smile for the camera.  Me topping out of Pice of C...
'5.8 my ass!'

As said by my buddy Conrad as he squirmed his way through an off-with section.
Chad Miller
From Grand Junction, CO
Joined Nov 8, 2006
149 points
Aug 21, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: First trip to the Creek
Love threads like these. I'll try to limit myself.. I have a list going that's a few pages long by now. An entire page devoted to Twight.. hahah. Man can write.

"There are a dozen reasons for climbing, some bad, and I've used most of them myself. The worst are fame and money. Commonly people cite exploration or discovery, but that's rarely relevant in today's world. The only good reason to climb is to improve yourself."
-Yvon Chouinard

"Confidence in your abilities is earned."
-Mark Twight

"Some people see no more in climbing than an escape from the harsh realities of modern times. This is not only uninformed but unfair...there can be an element of escapism in mountaineering, but this should never overshadow its real essence, which is not escape but victory over your own human frailty."
-Walter Bonatti

“Hardship is inevitable."
-Tommy Caldwell
B.S. Luther
From Yorba Linda, CA
Joined Dec 3, 2009
78 points
Aug 21, 2016
It's not originally a climbing quote but it's associated with Mason's antarctic expedition.

 “Just have one more try—it’s dead easy to die,

It’s the keeping-on-living that’s hard.”

Robert Service
Tommy Barker
Joined Sep 29, 2013
76 points
Aug 21, 2016
Nick Goldsmith wrote:
I seem to be able to relate to "feeding The rat"


That phrase is attributed to world-scale alpininst Mo Anthoine. How many people have read the book by that name? Written by Gunks first ascensionist Al Alvarez.
Gunkiemike
Joined Jul 29, 2009
2,618 points
Aug 21, 2016
Tommy Barker wrote:
It's not originally a climbing quote but it's associated with Mason's antarctic expedition.  “Just have one more try—it’s dead easy to die, It’s the keeping-on-living that’s hard.” Robert Service


Or Dirty Harry's take on it: "Dying ain't much of a livin', boy."
Gunkiemike
Joined Jul 29, 2009
2,618 points
Aug 21, 2016
"That night I drove into town and got a bottle. The next day, while Bachar went for an El Cap day (three thousand feet, solo, of course), I wandered through dark desert corridors, scouting for turtles, making garlands from wildflowers, staring up at the titanic sky—doing all those things a person does on borrowed time."

A pitch-perfect final sentence to a true classic of climbing literature, John Long's "The Only Blasphemy".
Derek Doucet
Joined Apr 26, 2010
207 points
Aug 21, 2016
Gunkiemike wrote:
Or Dirty Harry's take on it: "Dying ain't much of a livin', boy."


Or another Eastwood quote:

"A lot faster than you'll ever live to be."



FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Joined Nov 19, 2009
279 points


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