"We were two men in a land of stone and we walked toward the same star. I was happy to be on the drus, but here as elsewhere, my happiness was to lead a companion. What would a guide be without someone to lead? Good weather, bad weather, easy, difficult, I need to sing the same tune as he. That was the gift of our mountains. Climbing to the summit, one man does his job, another is on vacation and the luxury of their efforts is friendship."
"Consider what you want to do in relation to what you are capable of doing. Mountaineering is above all a matter of integrity."
"The man who climbs only in good weather, starting from huts and never bivouacking, appreciates the splendor of the mountains but not their mystery, the dark of their night, the depth of their sky above. . . How much he has missed!"
"Man may be doomed to loss, sorrow, and desolation, but if he tries his strength and will, however briefly, upon the indifferent vast hostility of the elements, he rages against futility and asserts his right of being"
"They do not signify, these landscapes of the mind, with their shocking instants of awareness. They merely resonate, like the chemistry of lovers, throughout our solitary lives"
The rules of the game must be constantly updated to keep up with the expanding technology. Otherwise we overkill the classic climbs and delude ourselves into thinking we are better climbers than the pioneers.
"The devotion of the greatest is to encounter risk and danger, and play dice for death."
"And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you."
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. (1965, in his account of the first ascent of Alaska's Mt. Huntington)
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
"Fear... the right and necessary counterweights to that courage which urges men skyward, and protects them from self-destruction"
"Climbing mattered. The danger bathed the world in a halogen glow that caused everything - the sweep of the rock, the orange and yellow lichens, the texture of the clouds - to stand out in brilliant relief. Life thrummed at a higher pitch. The world was made real."
Robert Falcon Scott
Captain, Royal Navy
Who died returning from the South
Pole 1912 with A E Wilson, H R
Bowers, L E G Oates, E Evans.
I do not regret this journey which
shows that Englishmen can endure
hardships help on another and meet
death with as great fortitude as
ever in the past. (Scott's diary)
From Scotts statue in Christchurch NZ
"From studying the outcomes of past expeditions, he (Shackleton) believed that those that burdened themselves with equipment to meet every contingency had fared much worse than those that had sacrificed total preparedness for speed"
"By endurance we conquer" - family motto
Other Miscellaneous Quotes
"About the only challenge left on Everest is whether somebody can climb it using 1924 gear, with woolen clothing and hobnail boots like Mallory and Irvine."
Dr Steve Boyer, quoted in the Oregonian