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"My life is a vast inconsequential epic." - Jack Kerouac

"A man is a sucess if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night, and in between does what he wants to do." - Bob Dylan

"No man's knowledge here can go beyond his experience." - John Locke

"I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." - Ayn Rand

"I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me - shapes and ideas so near to me - so natural to my way of being and thinking, that it hasn't occurred to me to put them down." - Georgia O'Keefe

"Social man lives constantly outside himself." - Jean Jacques Rousseau

"For certain is death for the born, and certain is birth for the dead." - The Bhagavad Gita

"What we do is never understood, but always merely praised or blamed." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself." - Jean Paul Sartre

"Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers, or a bottle of Jack Daniels." - Frank Sinatra

"Life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forwards." - Soren Kierkegaard

"Only through suffering can we find ourselves." - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

"When I'm gone I'll be remembered as the workin' man who put his point across with a right hand full of knuckles." - Johnny Cash

"I went on vacation to a full-time job once, do NOT drink the water." - Choncho

"It was a misunderstanding... between me... and the alcohol." - Andrew Bennett

"My witness is the empty sky." - Jack Kerouac

"That all men are equal is a proposition to which, at ordinary times, no sane human being has ever given his assent." - Aldous Huxley

"Man is a rope, tied between beast and superman - a rope over an abyss." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"...and while ambition sleeps inside of me I content myself with memories of glitter and despair." - Mark Twight

"I know and do not know what I am searching for." - Adrienne Rich

"Who dares nothing, needs hope for nothing." - Johann Von Schiller

"Hear and forget. See and remember. Do and understand." - Ancient martial arts dictum

"Hell is other people." - Jean Paul Sartre

"Motives are causes experienced from within." - Arthur Schopenhaur

"There is no such thing as exaggerated art. There is salvation only in extremes." - Paul Gaugin

"Yet nature cannot be contravened, but preserves a fixed and immutable order." - Benedict Spinoza

"I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark." - Thomas Hobbes (last words)

"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat." - Winston Churchill

"There are two things that are more difficult than making an after-dinner speech: climbing a wall which is leaning toward you, and kissing a girl who is leaning away from you." - Winston Churchill

"There more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude." - Aldous Huxley

"It is those who get lost, who find the new ways." - Nils Kjaer

"In nature there are no rewards or punishments, there are consequences." - Mick Halligan

"There are only 3 real sports: bull-fighting, car racing, and mountain climbing. All the others are mere games." - Ernest Hemingway

"Near the foot of the mountain we visited a yogi who dwelled in a hollow tunnel beneath a boulder. He pondered our notion of climbing Shivling and said: First travel, then struggle, finally calm." - Greg Child

"I know now that most people are so closely concerned with themselves that they are not aware of their own individuality, I can see myself, and it has helped me to say what I want to say in paint." - Georgia O'Keefe

"Like every man of sense and good feeling, I abominate work." - Aldous Huxley

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately. To front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." - Henry David Thoreau

"Many years ago, I climbed the mountains, even though it is forbidden. Things are not as they teach us; the world is hollow, and I have touched the sky." - a dying Star Trek character

"One does not climb to attain enlightenment, rather one climbs because he is enlightened." - Zen Master Futomaki

"Remember that time spent on a rock climb isn't subtracted from your life span." - Will Niccolls

"If I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." - Sir Isaac Newton

"...this is the Voidness - So shut up, live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry." - Jack Kerouac

"I see drawings and pictures in the poorest of huts and the dirtiest of corners." - Vincent Van Gogh

"It's a round trip. Getting to the summit is optional, getting down is mandatory." - Ed Viesturs

"If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being?" - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

"The only real progress lies in learning to be wrong all alone." - Albert Camus

"An intellectual is a person who's found one thing that's more interesting than sex." - Aldous Huxley

"When you cease to exist, then who will you blame?" - Bob Dylan

"Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing can ever be made." - Immanuel Kant

"Inconsistency, incompetence, and lies are all cut short by the ground. It will stop you if you can't stop yourself." - Mark Twight

"Each man believes only his experience." - Empedocles

"Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life." - Jack Kerouac

"The movement of the stream is distinct from the river bed, although it must adopt its winding course." - Henri Bergson

"Mountains are not fair or unfair - they are just dangerous." - Reinhold Messner

"Everyone who wants to do good to the human race, always ends in universal bullying." - Aldous Huxley

"Those that reach their goals perish." - Reinhold Messner

"The mountains will always be there, the trick is to make sure you are too." - Hervey Voge

"In this short span between my fingertips and the smooth edge and these tense feet cramped to a crystal ledge, I hold the life of a man." - Geoffrey Winthrop Young

"Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted." - John Lennon

"If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be." - Yogi Berra

"Even the knowledge of my own fallibility cannot keep me from making mistakes. Only when I fall do I get up again." - Vincent Van Gogh

"I refuse to believe in a risk free society where the thrill of living is traded for the safety of existence." - Unknown

"Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." - Yogi Berra

"Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent." - Marilyn vos Savant

There is nothing more helpless and irresponsible than a man in the depths of an ether binge." - Hunter S. Thompson

"Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way." - Dr. Seuss

"To live for some future goal is shallow. It is the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top." - Robert Pirsig

"He who loves, flies, runs, and rejoices; he is free and nothing holds him back." - Henri Matisse

"You're an idealist, and I pity you as I would the village idiot." - Stanley Kubrick

"Only last week I murdered a rock, injured a stone, and hospitalized a brick." - Muhammad Ali

"In school, I could hear the leaves rustle and go on a journey." - Clint Eastwood

"Mountains are the beginnings and the end of all natural scenery." - John Ruskin

"You cannot learn to fly by flying. First you must learn to walk, and to run, and to climb, and to dance." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"I piss on you all from a considerable height." - Louis-Ferdinand C

"I have dined with kings, I've been offered wings. And I've never been too impressed." - Bob Dylan

"It does not matter how slow you go, as long as you don't stop." - Confucius

"It is a fine thing to be out on the hills alone. A man can hardly be a beast or a fool alone on a great mountain." - Francis Kilvert

"I'm gonna love me, some me." - Terrell Owens

"How well I have learned that there is no fence to sit on between heaven and hell. There is a deep, wide gulf, a chasm, and in that chasm is no place for any man." - Johnny Cash

"My father considered a walk among the mountain as the equivalent of churchgoing." - Aldous Huxley

"Short is the little time which remains to thee of life. Live as on a mountain." - Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)

"Yesturday's just a memory, tomorrow is never what it's supposed to be." - Bob Dylan

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds, awake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it reality." - T.E. Lawrence

"The events of the past day have proven to me that I am wholly alive, and that no matter what transpires from here on in, I have truly lived." - Anonymous climber

"I have a very strict gun control policy; if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it." - Clint Eastwood

"Therefore, in the nature of this will for freedom, which freedom itself implies, I may pass judgement on those who seek to hide from themselves the complete arbitrariness and the complete freedom of their existence." - Jean-Paul Sartre

"Like a drop of water falls from the summit, that's the line I shall take." - E. Comici

"From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached." - Franz Kafka

"I scavenged for sensation, sought myself in the rewards of being out there, across the Border." - Mark Twight

"I never try anything - I just do it. Want to try me?" - White Zombie

"Pain is only weakness leaving the body." - Tom Muccia

"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"Living with the immediacy of death helps you sort out your priorities in life. It helps you to live a less trivial life." - Sogyal Rinpoche

"The devotion of the greatest is to encounter risk and danger, and play dice for death." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them." - David Hume

"We took risks. We knew we took them. Things have come out against us. We have no cause for complaint." - Scott (found in his diary after the party froze in Antartica)

"It's not advisable to drink too much strong liquors while climbing in the Alps. If, however you are going to fall over a cliff, it's advisable to be thoroughly intoxicated when you do so." - English alpinist

"To put yourself into a situation where a mistake cannot be necessarily be recouped, where the life you lose may be your own, clears the head wonderfully. It puts domestic problems back into proportion and adds an element of seriousness to your drab, routine life. Perhaps this is one reason why climbing has become increasingly hard as society has become increasingly, disproportionately, coddling." - A. Alvarez

"Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty - his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure." - Aldous Huxley

"To qualify for mountain rescue work, you have to pass our test. The doctor holds a flashlight to your ear. If he can see light coming out the other one, you qualify." - Willi Pfisterer

" Fear... the right and necessary counterweights to that courage which urges men skyward, and protects them from self-destruction." - Heinrich Harrer

"I have never turned back in my life; I shall not do so today." - Emile Rey

"I'm afraid of losing my obscurity. Genuineness only thrives in the dark. Like celery." - Aldous Huxley

"You guys going up? - "Yes, yes, we go up" - You may be going a lot higher than you think." - Don Whillans (to a Japanese party, while descending Eiger)

"I hope I die before I get old." - The Who

"You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space." - Johnny Cash

"Pucky lads, a wee bit over their heads." - Doug Scott (after encountering two climbers on Denali suffering from exposure)

"In the American Southwest, I began a lifelong love affair with a pile of rock." - Edward Abbey

"Mountains have a way of dealing with overconfidence." - Hermann Buhl

"Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Evan Hardin

"One cannot climb at all unless he has sufficient urge to do so. Danger must be met (indeed it must be used) to an extent beyond that incurred to normal life. That is one reason men climb; for only in response to challenge does one man becomes his best." - Ax Nelson

"To the sober person adventurous conduct often seems insanity." - Georg Simmel

"For us the mountains had been a natural field of activity where, playing on the frontiers of life and death, we had found the freedom for which we were blindly groping and which was as necessary to us as bread." - Maurice Herzog

"One can't take a breath large enough to last a lifetime; one can't eat a meal big enough so that one never needs to eat again. Similarly, I don't think any climb can make you content never to climb again." - Woodrow Wilson Sayre

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out where the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with dust and sweat and blood. At best, he knows the triumph of high achievement; if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt

"Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out - it's the grain of sand in your shoe." - Robert Service

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

"Ever since a small boy, I have loved just to look at the mountains, to see them in different lights and from different angles, to feel their rough rock under my fingers and the breath of the winds against my feet... I am in love with the mountains." - Wilfrid Noyce

"Unusual travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God." - Kurt Vonnegut

"No one is free, even the birds are chained to the sky." - Bob Dylan

"Great things are done when men and mountains meet; This is not done by jostling in the street." - William Blake (Gnomic Verses)

"All leaders know this anquish. That doesn't keep them acting, on the contrary, it is the very condition of their action." - Jean Paul Sartre

"I looked back at the summit of the mountain, which seemed but a cubit high in comparison with the height of human contemplation, were in not too often merged in the corruptions of the earth." - Italian poet (on the summit of Mt. Ventoux in 1335)

"On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain; either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"No one can have a peaceful life who thinks too much about lengthening it." - Seneca

"Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess." - Oscar Wilde

"To live outside the law, you must be honest." - Bob Dylan

"Never was anything achieved without danger." - Niccolo Machiavelli

"You can grunt and heave, sweat and strain, wear yourself out, and unless you simply forget about it and step up, you won't even get off the ground." - Mike Borghoff

"There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing." - Sir Rannulph Fiennes

"Vertigo I can handle alright - It's horizonto that drives me nuts." - Jim Lubell

"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered." - G.K. Chesterson

"Maybe true. Maybe not true. Better you believe." - Sherpa saying

"You learn from a conglomeration of the incredible past - whatever experience gotten in any way whatsoever." - Bob Dylan

"Climbing is not a battle with the elements, nor against the law of gravity. It's a battle against oneself." - Walter Bonatti

"Climbers have no sense of smell." - Conrad Anker's mother

"John Wayne never wore Lycra." - Ron Kauk (about why he climbs in Blue-Jeans)

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they go." - T.S. Eliot

"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

"Faith can move mountains but let them happily fall down on the heads of other people. What's the point in moving mountains when it's so simple to climb over them?" - Boris Vian (surrealist French writer and singer)

"When you get to the summit of the mountain, keep climbing." - Tibetan saying

"Once drunk, we'll sleep on the bare mountain with the sky as a blanket and the Earth as a pillow." - Li Po (Chinese poet)

"It's not in the mountains that one stumbles, but on tiny pebbles." - Anonymous

"What an odd sport we inhabit, where bits of obscure rock in remote locations are recognizeable." - Richard Pawlowicz

"I think you love rocks so much that they've replaced your brain." - Rex Pieper

"The best climber in the world is the one who's having the most fun." - Alex Lowe

"Climbing may be hard, but it's easier than growing up." - Ed Sklar

"My mother used to rock me - and she used big rocks." - Rodney Dangerfield

"Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible." - Doug Lawson

"Why? Why, why, why do I do this?" - Chuck Pratt

"Life is brought down to the basics: if you are warm, regular, healthy, not thirsty or hungry, then you are not on a mountain... Climbing at altitude is like hitting your head against a brick wall - it's great when you stop." - Chris Darwin

"My once-keen analytical mind has become so dulled by endless hours of baking in the hot sun, thrasing about in tight chimneys, pulling at impossibly heavy loads... so that now my mental state is comparable to that of a Peruvian Indian, well stoked on cocoa leaves..." - Warren Harding (...reflections on a broken down climber)

"Er, I say, are you going to be able to get me out?" - Eric Shipton (while inside a Patagonian crevasse)

"I have always thought that heroism must be rarer at dawn than in the evening - I often observed the fact in alpine huts: in the evening everyone is praying for fine weather the next day, and when the next day comes they wish that is was raining." - Rene Dittert

"One thing to remember on the Eiger, never look up, unless you know a good plastic surgeon." - Don Whillans

"I knew I was in trouble when my farts came out cold." - Edwin Drummond (recalling his rescue from high on a solo attempt of North American Wall during a 12-day storm)

"The climb will go. Get rid of the rope. It's only distracting you." - Jeff Lowe (inner voice before soloing Bridalveil Falls)

"If by protected you mean that it's 10-15 feet above that alien, then yes, yes it is protected." - Greg Kneser

"But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live. Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom. Only a person who risks is free. The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; and the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward

"A man does not climb a mountain without bringing some of it away with him and leaving something of himself upon it." - Sir Martin Conway

"The mountains have rules. They are harsh rules, but they are there, and if you keep them you are safe. A mountain is not like men. A mountain is sincere. The weapons to conquer it exist inside you, inside your soul." - Walter Bonatti

"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." - Rene Daumal

"The bizarre trend in mountaineers is not the risk they take, but the large degree to which they value life. They are not crazy because they don't dare, they're crazy because they do. These people tend to enjoy life to the fullest, laugh the hardest, travel the most, and work the least." - Lisa Morgan

"The pleasure of risk is in the control needed to ride it with assurance so that what appears dangerous to the outsider is, to the participant, simply a matter of intelligence, skill, intuition, coordination... in a word, experience. Climbing in particular, is a paradoxically intellectual pastime, but with this difference: you have to think with you body. Every move has to be worked out in terms of playing chess with your body. If I make a mistake the consequences are immediate, obvious, embarrassing, and possibly painful. For a brief period I am directly responsible for my actions. In that beautiful, silent, world of mountains, it seems to me worth a little risk." - A. Alvarez


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