We’ve been reading a LOT recently, about Nepal, climbing, climbers, the mountains… Every now and again you come across a quotation that strikes a chord, or expresses your feelings more adequately than you can do it yourself. We’ve collected a few below.
This quote grabbed Krista’s attention and was the one that started the collection.
I find it fascinating that our planet still has areas where no modern technology can save you, where you are reduced to your most basic – and essential – self. This natural space creates demanding situations that can lead to suffering and death, but also generate a wild interior richness. Ultimately, there is no way of reconciling these contradictions. All I can do it try to live within their margins, in the narrow boundary between joy and horror. Everything on this earth is a balancing act.
Jean-Christophe Lafaille, French Mountaineer (March 31, 1965 – January 17, 2006 (presumed))
Whilst neither of us relish going to places where our welfare is solely in the hands of the gods, the phrase wild interior richness resonated utterly. Why do we enjoy getting out into the wilderness, going where other people go? How do you describe the feeling of satisfaction that you get from climbing a mountain, paddling a river or spending a night in the forest? I think that phrase describes it really well.
There have been joys too great to be described in words, and there have been griefs upon which I have not dared to dwell, and with these in mind I say, climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are naught 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.
Edward Whymper, after the Matterhorn tragedy in 1861
Compare the above quote against the below…
The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously.
I really love this quote from Ranulph Fiennes. It exemplifies the attitude of “stop complaining and find a way”, and I can imagine him delivering it with a classic British ex-military stiff-upper-lip.
There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes
And a couple of funny ones to lighten the tone…
[In response to being asked what the hardest thing is about climbing Everest…]
Pissing through 6 inches of clothes with a 3 inch penis!
Anonymous Everest summiteer
The three great levellers of human society are the fact that each of us needs to eat, shit and sleep and no amount of money, status or ego will ever change that.