Climbing Quotes

The rock is a field of battle between our weakness and our strength.-Royal Robbins


I don't think of myself as a grading barometer and I doubt if any climber could be one.-Fred Nicole


This is the essential thing, simply being away, struggling with a Wall in the best way we can, finishing what we started, then looking back and remembering the place and the meaning.-Tom Higgins


Now I approach climbing differently. I have learned less effort and energy, less obsession, and more feeling, as with piano, more emphasis and less frenzy.-Pat Ament


We choose to believe that the granite is alive. If life is movement, then rock – with its atoms flying around like stars in cosmos – is alive.-Yvon Chouinard


At its best, climbing becomes a life focus around which everything else must orbit and at its least is an excellent diversion from the real world.-Todd Skinner


When I climb, concentration must be present. With it, there is familiarity and sometimes possibility to look deep down into your soul. Because there, there are no more lies. There is only truth.-Beat Kammerlander


They say every man needs protection, They say that every man must fall. Yet I swear I see my reflection, Somewhere so high above this wall.-Bob Dylan


I wonder if one can view risk like a drug, beneficial to the organism in the proper dose. Too much or too little may be harmful...-Tom Hornbein


The whole idea of comparing climbers is ludicrous.... It would be like sitting Van Gogh down with Rembrandt and saying, "Ready, get set, go".-Pat Ament


Climbers are a universal tribe: we share the knowledge that things are not important. Experience is important. Feeling is important.-Steve House


You're not a master until you've become a good teacher. And I'm teaching the world to fucking ice climb at the moment.-Steve Haston,


He liked to play chess and do intelligent things, and I was a serious drinker and nonthinker.-Warren Harding


You will die before your Verve pants do.-Unknown


I'm somebody who finds something to focus on some goal and then I work toward that. And climbing is perfect for that.-Tommy Caldwell


Climbing is so fun and such a good experience, that I think it's important not to take it too seriously. It's not the end of the world or the entire world either.-Chris Sharma


If there's only one thing I would like to say, this is: enjoy the process. Don't worry about the result. Climbing must be fun.-Marc LeMenestrel


The ancient Greeks asked oracle for answers; Native Americans fasted in the desert; I go climbing.-Steph Davis


You know your life is over when you own a lawnmower.-Todd Skinner


When I wonder what I'm doing up there, cold, exhausted and terrified, I remember the words of Winston Churchill: 'When you are going through hell, keep going'. He must have been a climber.-MarieOdile Meunier Bouchard


Climbing does not mean just competition and performance. It has other qualities that are important: going on trips, meeting people, seeing other cultures...-Wolfgang Güllich


I have remained a kid at heart and appreciate the gamble involved, and the pleasure of the unknown.-JeanMarc Boivin


Like it or not taking risks, by a total commitment to the mountain and the vagaries of the weather, is essential for the greater satisfaction to be derived from mountaineering.-Doug Scott


Before the deed comes the thought. Before the achievement comes the dream. Every mountain we climb, we first climb in our mind.-Royal Robbins


It’s a wonderful feeling to push even a tiny piece of the planet down beneath one’s feet. If it’s overhanging plastic, it’s going to pump your arms like bloated sausages; if it’s a steep snowslope at , feet it’s going to deaden the legs and make the lungs like overworked bellows. Either way, the challenges are obvious.-Adrian Burgess


During the sixties, all the risktype sports were very popular, because everybody was rebelling against their parents, or rebelling against the whole system. But those days are over. This is the day of conservatism.-Yvon Chouinard


When I go to the mountains, I intuitively know my place in the world much better through these experiences. The more intense they are, the better I know myself, and the more I am able to challenge myself.-Galen Rowell


I think I am a dangerous person. When I climbed K, I didn't consider anything except reaching the summit. It was a crazy thing, but many people do that.-Naoe Sakashita


Now I don't worry about falling but I'm not different from any of those women: I'm not bold, I'm not brave; in fact, I'm a total chickenshit.-Shelley Presson


After the climb, you should feel no trace of tiredness; on the contrary, it is then that you should be really fresh. Then you will have found the correct measure of your abilities.-Hermann Buhl


When you die it negates the whole game: you haven't just fucked yourself, you've hurt lots of other people that's when it becomes irresponsible and tragic.-Greg Child


I believe people should always strive to do climbs in the best style they think possible, but never criticize others for what they choose to do.-Tommy Caldwell


I live not in myself, but I become portion of that around me; and to me high mountains are the feeling, but the hume of human cities torture.-Byron


Expeditions tend to disrupt your personal life, your financial life and your health. The more you go on expeditions, the more chance there is of repeating all those things.-Jack Tackle


The climbing and soloing aren’t worth dying for, but they are worth risking dying for.-Todd Skinner


My ambition was to become the best climber and I never did. I think that goal was a wrong goal. A better one is to put more emphasis on enjoyment and on getting a rounded experience and on things like friendship, rather than on sheer achievement.-Royal Robbins


I look at climbing not so much as standing on the top as seeing the other side. There are always other horizons in front of you, other horizons to go beyond and that's what I like about climbing.-Chris Bonington


If the routes stayed the same, but the gradings were suddenly all switched around, it would be interesting to see which routes people would be trying.-Jim Holloway


I think anything that you put your life's energy into becomes part of your identity. It would be difficult for the Rolling Stones to not play rock and roll anymore, because that's their image of themselves. When you've convinced everybody that that's who you are, that's who you are.-Jim Bridwell


I think risk is important. I don't care if it's a great financial risk or a physical risk. You only get out of something what you put into it and the fact that you are willing to risk something means that you are going to get a lot more out of it.-Yvon Chouinard


Occasionally in my life I have come to places where the way divided. Always I have chosen the one that led back into the mountains, even when a woman stood in the other road.-Anderl Heckmair


It's been said that a good mathematician must be lazy, because only then will he find the most elegant way to solve something. That's how I feel about climbing; I'm happiest if I can do something with the minimum amount of effort.-Raphael Slawinski


I say the last percent of the way to perfection takes so much of your life that it isn’t worth the effort. This overzealous attitude is what creates religious fanatics, body Nazis, and athletes who are exceedingly dull to converse with.-Yvon Chouinard


Through climbing, I learn, little by little, every day, who I am. I am still learning and I’ve been climbing years. There are many different aspects of such learing – knowing your body, knowing your spirit. For me, climbing is one of the ways to learn living.-Patrick Edlinger,


If you’re concentrating on climbing , you can’t be concentrating on money and cars and houses and wives and boyfriends. And when you come back to deal with them, you have a better view of their reliative importance. Climbing puts things in perspective again.-Jeff Lowe


The champion will quickly learn that it is much easier to become one than to remain one. It's never crowded at the top, but the queue is long and others are banging at the door.-John Long


In high school, I'd take girls climbing, instead of on dates. There was one girl in particular who'd have made a brillant climber. But she was disappointed when we went climbing instead of dating. She never returned my calls after that; maybe she had another ideas about how the ropes should be used.-Paul Piana


Every day I go out and climb, like a dancer works on his dance. He probably has some goals, some pieces he would like to perform, but his main goal is to work on his dance. This is how he expresses himself. Both he and I are interested in the same thing. It’s the dance that counts.-John Bachar


I got a big sponsor; my mom. She doesn't charge me rent, she even kicks me a free meal every now and again. She's loaned me money on a pretty liberal payback plan.-Hans Florine,


I don't actually care what I climb, only how it affects me. Which means the summit doesn't matter as much as the emotional process.-Marc Twight


The best thing about coffee is that if you drink enough of it, you have to do something, even if you feel like doing nothing.-Christian Griffith


My advice for climbers or photographers is to really tune into your own passions and not just what other people are doing or aren't doing. Figure out what works for you, what turns you on, what gives you the greatest amount of energy and feeling of satisfaction.-Galen Rowell


It's difficult for me to understand why people believe that climbing is not competitive... The reason people are stretching the limits, soloing, doing things without protection, is that they're being pushed by other climbers; Competition is good for sport.-John Roskelley


If we ever have children and they become climbers I'll tell them, "Stay away from expeditions. They'll make you poor and neurotic".-Greg Child


The public demands heroes, and you can’t have heroes – it is much easier to have one or two, and those are the people who get to the top.-Martin Boysen


Death is a gift. Without it we wouldn't value life.-John Bachar


My market value increases with every outside critisism. Therefore, the frequently raised contention that I am the most highly critisized mountaineer does not disturb me in the slightest.-Reinhold Messner


Himalayan climbing is about putting one foot in front of the other and breathing whilst doing so.-Roger BaxterJones


If I got a motorbike, I'd probably kill myself. I know it sounds like a bit of cliché but I think people who know me would agree with that.-Tim Emmett


In order to climb properly on big peak one must free oneself of fear. This means you must write yourself off before any big climb. You must say to yourself, ‘I may die here.’-Doug Scott


I can't climb just a little. I need to crank like a bastard.-Klem Loskot


When a woman hunts for a partner, she is instinctively looking for one who would provide her with a good strong gene pool... If he has a tendency to hang from cliffs by his fingertips... it's pretty safe bet he's fit and healthy.-Cosmopolitan Magazine,


We are missing some fine routes by not being light enough to climb clouds.-Wade Mills


If you’re totally motivated to be a professional climber, that’s great – as long as you go about it in a fair and honest way. You don’t go out chipping routes, overgrading, lying and bulshitting to receive publicity.-Jerry Moffatt


I think I got him hooked on climbing when I gave a slide show at Darmouth. So there’s probably another mother out there who hates me.-Jim Bridwell

I like people who are good because they’ve tried hard. People like Dave Graham are annoying because they’re so good and haven’t even had to try. Dave did b+ in his first year of climbing!-Danny Cattell


The aim of the mountaineer, if he wishes to be an artist in the full sense of word, is neither escape nor "the search for the absolute" as some have claimed, but rather seek that place where "the mystic remains silent and the poets start to speak towards men".-Bernard Amy


Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb.-Greg Child


What is behind you is forgotten. You can't remember danger and difficulty when it is behind you.-Wanda Rutkiewicz


Newspapers ascribe the word "climber" to any person who falls in the mountains or off a rock. To refer to anyone who falls in the mountains as... a climber... is as factual as to say that anyone who sits down at a piano is a pianist.-Pat Ament


When we started we made stuff for ourselves and a few friends. Things haven't changed much in the last years we just have more friends.-Patagonia advertisement


The ultimate stage of the spoken word is silence. The ultimate stage of climbing is not to climb.-Bernard Amy


You never climb the same mountain twice, not even in memory. Memory rebuilds the mountain, changes the weather, retells the jokes, remakes all the moves.-Lito TejadaFlores


I cannot imagine a sport other than climbing which offers such a complete and fulfilling expression of individuality. And I will not give it up nor even slow it down, not for man, nor woman, nor wife, nor god.-Chuck Pratt


For me an adventure is something that I can take an active part in but that I don't have total control over.-Peter Croft


If climbing the ers is highaltitude hillwalking, then why don't [people] go and do it! I mean, it may mostly be Scottish III, but try that when you can't breathe.-Alan Hinkes


It drives me nuts when people tell other people what to do. People should allow others to climb the way they want – just be specific when reporting their achievements.-Steph Davis


If you're going climbing with young people, you get very, very used to seeing your climbing partner as a tiny little dot.-Chris Bonington


Soloing is the most beautiful way of climbing; no material contstrains, just you and the rock, the sun, nature; a kind of school for courage, willpower and selfconfidence.-Alain Robert


I don’t think I would become a climber if I were young man now [...] What is freedom to a bird if it is in the middle of a flock?-John Gill


Sometimes the best gear for a climb is a good excuse.-John Sherman


I've always been incapable of accepting fate, and I've always refused to die, and that has helped me to survive.-Walter Bonatti


Never noticed a female monkey not climbing as well as a male have you?-Catherine Destivelle


I remember all the moves of every problem I've ever done. This is what keeps me up at night.-Dave Graham


I accept the consequences of all that I do. No matter what we do with our lives, our bodies are temporary. We're all going to die, and I'd rather die climbing than doing anything else.-John Bachar


We mountaineers always live with the feeling that we came on the scene too late.-Galen Rowell


I'm not interested in nice days and pleasant climbs. If I'm not close to the edge, I just don't see the point.-Andy Kirkpatrick


Climbing is individual thing, it's a reflection of yourself. When you put up a route you're looking at yourself. If you chisel holds, it's your responsibility, nobody else's.-Ron Kauk


Is climbing, as a passion and as a sport, better off now than it was in the past? We can do harder climbs now in faster times techniques are more refined and equipement more sophisticated but are we really any better off?-Yvon Chouinard


There are so many aspects to the sport. It never gets boring because you always do something different. Maybe you train really hard on a sport climbing and get tunnel vision for a while, but as soon as you burn out a bit, you concentrate on another aspect, like traveling. You see the world through the vehicle of climbing.-Wolfgang Güllich


At its finest moments climbing allows me to step out of ordinary existence into something extraordinary, stripping me of my sense of selfimportance.-Doug Scott


When I was I could not see myself still climbing at . When I was I could not see myself still climbing at . But now I have reached , I know that old habits die bloody hard and that if I am able I will still be climbing at !-Joe Brown


There is probably nothing finer than to climb free and unencumbered by equipement, reveling in the gymnastic upward movement, like Preuss or a Dulfer before you, relying only upon yourself, keeping a sharp eye on things, feeling the rock beneath your feet and fingertips.-Hermann Buhl


In many climbing cultures, it seems that dirty ethics and poor style are acceptable. In mine they are not.-Leo Houlding


You have to remember this was the ‘s, when climbing was dangerous and sex was safe.-Yvon Chouinard


When I stripped myself completely of pressure and thoughts of sponsors and realized I only love to climb, that’s the day I did it.-Ron Kauk


After thirty years of alpinism, my enthusiasm for climbing and for mountains is no less now than it was at the beginning. During these years certain things have changed, but that which got me started in the first place and kept me climbing all this time has not. I still love to climb; the mopvement of the body during climbing seems perfect to me. Alpinism takes place outdoors, and surviving in nature attracts me immensly. Alpinism provides me an opportunity to learn about the nature, to challenge and admire it. Then, there are the friends. Alpinism has helped me build some very strong friendships, including with my wife Marija and my brother Marko.Andrej Štremfelj


Maybe Himalayan climbing is just a bad habit, like smoking, of which one says with cavalier abandon, ‘must give this up some day, before it kills me.-Greg Child


The terrible thing about free soloing difficult routes that are within one’s capacity, is the chance that faced with ultimate danger and need for ultimate selfcontrol, one’s nerve might fail and cause an error. That’s irony of it – that fear could shortcirciut skill, that one would die as a direcy result of being afraid to die.-Royal Robbins


Climbing is about pioneering new routes, exploring new ground, facing the unknown. Those hooked on climbing the normal routes on the eightthousanders will miss all theat. They are wasting the best years of their climbing lives.-Doug Scott


Milton, when he went blind, declared that he could now begin the real work of his life. Similarly, with the merciless passage of time reducing my phisical strengh, I find myself less able to explore the outer world, but better prepared to explore the inner.-Doug Scott


Why climb? For the natural experience; for the danger that draws us ever on; for the feeling of total freedom; for the monstrous drop beneath you. It is like a drug.-Hermann Buhl


Everybody freesolos. When you walk to the store, you're freesoloing. It's just a matter of the difficulty of the route.-John Bachar


Good climbing and good company often go together: each is essential to the enjoyment of the other.-Tom Patey

Last modified 07-Sep-2011 7:56 AM