Alpine Climbing Quotes

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When I read that the flash came, and I took a sheet of paper. . .and I wrote on it: I, Emily Byrd Starr, do solemnly vow this day that I will climb the Alpine Path and write my name on the scroll of fame.
L.M. Montgomery (Emily of New Moon (Emily, #1))
The simple fact is this: when you goto Alaska, you get your ass kicked.
Mark Twight (Kiss or Kill: Confessions of a Serial Climber)
Crested Butte is for spectators; Chamonix is for participants.
Mark Twight (Kiss or Kill: Confessions of a Serial Climber)
No single mountain ever came to me... so I always go to them
Erik Tanghe
Actually I do not think that there are any wrong reasons for liking a statue or a picture. Someone may like a landscape painting because it reminds him of home, or a portrait because it reminds him of a friend. There is nothing wrong with that. All of us, when we see a painting, are bound to be reminded of a hundred-and-one things which influence our likes and dislikes. As long as these memories help us to enjoy what we see, we need not worry. It is only when some irrelevant memory makes us prejudiced, when we instinctively turn away from a magnificent picture of an alpine scene because we dislike climbing, that we should search our mind for the reason for the aversion which spoils a pleasure we might otherwise have had. There are wrong reasons for disliking a work of art.
E.H. Gombrich (The Story of Art)
Socrates could enjoy a banquet now and again, and must have derived considerable satisfaction from his conversations while the hemlock was taking effect, but most of his life he lived quietly with Xanthippe, taking a constitutional in the afternoon, and perhaps meeting with a few friends by the way. Kant is said never to have been more than ten miles from Konigsberg in all his life. Darwin, after going round the world, spent the whole rest of his life in his own house. Marx, after stirring up a few revolutions, decided to spend the remainder of his days in the British Museum. Altogether it will be found that a quiet life is characteristic of great men, and that their pleasures have not been of the sort that would look exciting to the outward eye. No great achievement is possible without persistent work, so absorbing and so difficult that little energy is left over for the more strenuous kinds of amusement, except such as serve to recuperate physical energy during holidays, of which Alpine climbing may serve as the best example.
Bertrand Russell
Woolf drew on her memories of her holidays in Cornwall for To the Lighthouse, which was conceived in part as an elegy on her parents. Her father was a vigorous walker and an Alpinist of some renown, a member of the Alpine Club and editor of the Alpine Journal from 1868 to 1872; he was the first person to climb the Schreckhorn in the Alps and he wrote on Alpine pleasures in The Playground of Europe (1871). By the time he married Julia Duckworth in 1878, however, a more sedentary Leslie Stephen was the established editor of the Cornhill Magazine, from which he later resigned to take up the editorship of the Dictionary of National Biography in 1882, the year of Woolf ’s birth. Stephen laboured on this monumental Victorian enterprise until 1990, editing single-handed the first twenty-six volumes and writing well over 300 biographical entries. He also published numerous volumes of criticism, the most important of which were on eighteenth-century thought and literature.
Jane Goldman (The Cambridge Introduction to Virginia Woolf)
My approach to training echoed how I climbed. The romance of climbing didn’t interest me. I didn’t seek harps and wings. I heard no opera up there. Instead, my mountains had teeth. The jagged edge we walked up there dragged itself across my throat, and the throats of my friends and peers. I took the mountains’ indifference to life as aggression, and fought back. I armored myself against that indifference; with training, with thinking, with attitude. I trained with friends who shared a similar approach. Our mantra was dark, but it motivated us. When we ran we breathed in rhythm—no matter the speed—and that beat had words: “They all died.” We inhaled and exhaled the great alpine epics—like the tragedy that befell Walter Bonatti’s party on the Freney Pillar—to push ourselves to a place where we would never come up short, physically. The consequences of falling short made training important. I realized early that controlling the things that I could control gave me greater freedom to address the things that I could not control. And the mountains offered those in spades.
Steve House (Training for the New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as Athlete)
movements done, and at a similar speed and intensity of climbing. To a very large extent, elite-level swimmers principally swim for training, champion cyclists ride, top runners run, and world-class skiers ski. A general sport like alpinism can include more nonspecific modalities than these traditional sports, especially in the early base-building period and for less athletically mature individuals. But the biggest benefits will come from preparing for and modeling the demands of alpine climbing as closely as possible. This is the reason top climbers spend so much time climbing. As an alpinist seeking to improve your endurance
Steve House (Training for the New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as Athlete)
As an example, for a climber aspiring to climb a long technical alpine route it could be wise to choose box step-ups, a pull-up variation (like Frenchies or typewriters), overhead squat, and one-arm isometric ice ax hangs.
Steve House (Training for the New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as Athlete)
His attitude towards her changed. When they had been settled for less than a month at La Fiorita, as their villa was called, they were sitting out one night in the belvedere at the end of their pergola watching the full moon climb above the mountains of Sorrento. The night was not chilly; but fearing that Willoughby might take cold, she came down the garden with an Alpine cloak that she had bought for him in Munich. She found him rapt, gazing at the snaky track of yellow moonlight on the water. Even before he spoke she was aware of something tense and emotional in the air; but when she threw the cloak over his shoulders he did not thank her as usual. He stood gazing down at her with a look in his eyes that she had never seen before except when he was playing. She felt herself blushing beneath his gaze. Then, clasping her in his arms, he kissed her lips. It was the kiss of a lover, the like of which she had never known before, and she, with her curious, spinsterly instinct, shrank from it. “What are you doing?” he cried. “What’s the matter with you? Can’t I kiss you?” “Julian, you’re so rough. I don’t understand kisses like that.” “Aren’t you my wife?” he said. “Is there any reason why I shouldn’t love you?
Francis Brett Young (The Cage Bird and Other Stories)
I have climbed my Alpine path with years of toil and endeavor.
L.M. Montgomery
Circulation of Song after Rumi Once again I'm climbing the mountain Circle on circle like a winding rose Below me the mountains fall away like rose-petals I wish to be at the centre of the mystic rose Where I shall meet Him He shall greet me: Beloved! So long in coming -- He shall be the lonely pine tree On the flattened promontory And I, the spider clinging to Him by a mere thread, against the sun and the wind Each dawn the sunrise tinting gold the burnt Sienna houses Each dusk the alpine rosy glow on the mountain Each afternoon such darkness in the glen Fold on fold in a foliage all the shades of green: They have crept into my dream He is the air I breathe Purest mountain-air: I'm cleaned He is the lark's descant And in the evening, the nightingale He is the star's ascent and the moon's cloud-hiding He is all the circles and in this circulation of song: I read you / you read me circulating In my blood from head to heel He is the fruit of my unfulfilled life The peach pooped with juice And running with the Argentine waters, the pear In the Chinese nectarine flecked like a child's cheek with red And in the sour loquat and the sweet cherry In the fragrance of the jasmine of India And the Shiraz rose that makes the bee mad for them In the grape that becomes wine to suffuse my cheek In the olive that becomes a lamp to shine through my cupped hands In these and not only in these does He circulate Pouring from the sun at 5' o'clock as if at noon Dancing on the lake, pure honey And all the chatter over tea! But in the quiet you find me out You find me out Plucking myself from Me So that I become you The breath in my nape-nerve Sweetly saying: I bow to the God in you
Hoshang Merchant (The Book of Chapbooks (Collected Works Volume IV))
The race across the mountain continued, but the mountains still glowed when it was their time to glow. They still cried when it was time for rain. And they still told you stories, if you only knew how to listen to them. But I was no longer one of those who knew how to listen … who knew how to laugh and cry with them … I was an athlete … I was an alpinist. I spoke of walls and overhangs. I ran and trained and counted my ascents. I fell prey to the folly of categorization, adding up points, comparing myself to others and making myself poorer and poorer. I was turning into a shallow and stupid craftsman. All I saw were numbers, summit heights, sizes of walls, estimations of difficulty. I only saw Roman and Arabic numerals, commas and plus and minus signs. My hands and legs were strong and unstoppable but my head became empty and my heart no longer beat faster because it was being overwhelmed by beauty – only because of physical effort. My path was rapidly turning downhill while the curve of my success continued to rise. One climb became indistinguishable from another. I functioned like a well-oiled machine that will continue to run on empty if no one stops it. And thus the wheels of my machine kept turning without purpose, faster and faster, until my children reminded me that the birds in the forest were still singing.” Excerpt From: Bernadette McDonald. “Alpine Warriors.
Nejc Zaplotnik, Pot
Many women who become mothers continue to alpine climb, surf big waves, ski steep remote slopes, fight wildfires, and more. And why shouldn’t they?
Lilace Mellin Guignard (When Everything Beyond the Walls Is Wild: Being a Woman Outdoors in America (The Seventh Generation: Survival, Sustainability, Sustenance in a New Nature))
Actually I do not think that there are any wrong reasons for liking a statue or a picture. Someone may like a landscape painting because it reminds him of home, or a portrait because it reminds him of a friend. There is nothing wrong with that. All of us, when we see a painting, are bound to be reminded of a hundred-and-one things which influence out likes and dislikes. As long as these memories help up to enjoy what we see, we need not worry. It is only when some irrelevant memory makes us prejudiced, when we instinctively turn away from a magnificent picture of an alpine scene because we dislike climbing, that we should search our mind for the reason for the aversion which spoils a pleasure we might otherwise have had. There are wrong reasons for disliking a work of art.
E.H. Gombrich (The Story of Art)
The new alpinism comes full circle as small teams of fit, trained athletes emulate Mummery, aspire to Preuss, climb like the young Messner. Because those pioneers knew that alpinism—indeed all mindful pursuits—is at its most simple level the sum of your daily choices and daily practices. Progress is entirely personal. The spirit of climbing does not lie in outcomes—lists, times, your conquests. You do keep those; you will always know which mountains you have climbed, which you have not. What you can climb is a manifestation of the current, temporary, state of your whole self. You can’t fake a sub-four-minute mile just as you can’t pretend to do an asana.
Steve House (Training for the New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as Athlete)
There is no doubt that the GR20, traversing the rugged mountains of Corsica, is one of the top trails of the world. Its reputation precedes it, and most walkers who trek the route describe it afterwards as one of the toughest they have ever completed. Others find they are unable to complete it, having seriously underestimated its nature. The GR20 climbs high into the mountains and stays there for days on end, leading ordinary walkers deep into the sort of terrain usually visited only by mountaineers. The scenery is awe-inspiring, with bare rock and vertical lines in some parts, contrasting with forests, lakes and alpine pastures in other places. Those
Paddy Dillon (The GR20 Corsica: The High Level Route (Cicerone Guides))
Alpnizm to głównie emocje. W kilka minut można przeżyć tyle, ile na dole nie przeżyje się przez całe życie.
Krzysztof Wielicki
Climbers often espouse a purer style of ascent while readily depending on the supplies, lines, and oxygen of larger teams. This is particularly true on K2, where climbers often denounce those who join “assault”-style expeditions for not being true mountaineers, but “austere” alpine climbers often utilize, even demand, the supplies and strength of those larger, well-equipped teams when trouble hits high on the mountain.
Jennifer Jordan (Savage Summit: True Stories of the 5 Women Who Climbed K2)
But at some point in my midtwenties I abandoned my boyhood fantasy of climbing Everest. By then it had become fashionable among alpine cognoscenti to denigrate Everest as a “slag heap”—a peak lacking sufficient technical challenges or aesthetic appeal to be a worthy objective for a “serious” climber, which I desperately aspired to be. I began to look down my nose at the world’s highest mountain.
Jon Krakauer (Into Thin Air)
The Soviet authorities didn’t outlaw climbing completely; they just shifted it from an individual experience, which they categorized as a “relic of bourgeois alpinism,” to a collective endeavour that could be manipulated by the propaganda machine.
Bernadette McDonald (Freedom Climbers: The Golden Age of Polish Climbing (Legends and Lore))
Tomaz believed that 80% alpinism was mental and spiritual and that his third eye vision & openness of his mind to the language of the walls were critical
Bernadette McDonald (Tomaz Humar)
I knew you forever and you were always old, soft white lady of my heart. Surely you would scold me for sitting up late, reading your letters, as if these foreign postmarks were meant for me. You posted them first in London, wearing furs and a new dress in the winter of eighteen-ninety. I read how London is dull on Lord Mayor's Day, where you guided past groups of robbers, the sad holes of Whitechapel, clutching your pocketbook, on the way to Jack the Ripper dissecting his famous bones. This Wednesday in Berlin, you say, you will go to a bazaar at Bismarck's house. And I see you as a young girl in a good world still, writing three generations before mine. I try to reach into your page and breathe it back… but life is a trick, life is a kitten in a sack. This is the sack of time your death vacates. How distant your are on your nickel-plated skates in the skating park in Berlin, gliding past me with your Count, while a military band plays a Strauss waltz. I loved you last, a pleated old lady with a crooked hand. Once you read Lohengrin and every goose hung high while you practiced castle life in Hanover. Tonight your letters reduce history to a guess. The count had a wife. You were the old maid aunt who lived with us. Tonight I read how the winter howled around the towers of Schloss Schwobber, how the tedious language grew in your jaw, how you loved the sound of the music of the rats tapping on the stone floors. When you were mine you wore an earphone. This is Wednesday, May 9th, near Lucerne, Switzerland, sixty-nine years ago. I learn your first climb up Mount San Salvatore; this is the rocky path, the hole in your shoes, the yankee girl, the iron interior of her sweet body. You let the Count choose your next climb. You went together, armed with alpine stocks, with ham sandwiches and seltzer wasser. You were not alarmed by the thick woods of briars and bushes, nor the rugged cliff, nor the first vertigo up over Lake Lucerne. The Count sweated with his coat off as you waded through top snow. He held your hand and kissed you. You rattled down on the train to catch a steam boat for home; or other postmarks: Paris, verona, Rome. This is Italy. You learn its mother tongue. I read how you walked on the Palatine among the ruins of the palace of the Caesars; alone in the Roman autumn, alone since July. When you were mine they wrapped you out of here with your best hat over your face. I cried because I was seventeen. I am older now. I read how your student ticket admitted you into the private chapel of the Vatican and how you cheered with the others, as we used to do on the fourth of July. One Wednesday in November you watched a balloon, painted like a silver abll, float up over the Forum, up over the lost emperors, to shiver its little modern cage in an occasional breeze. You worked your New England conscience out beside artisans, chestnut vendors and the devout. Tonight I will learn to love you twice; learn your first days, your mid-Victorian face. Tonight I will speak up and interrupt your letters, warning you that wars are coming, that the Count will die, that you will accept your America back to live like a prim thing on the farm in Maine. I tell you, you will come here, to the suburbs of Boston, to see the blue-nose world go drunk each night, to see the handsome children jitterbug, to feel your left ear close one Friday at Symphony. And I tell you, you will tip your boot feet out of that hall, rocking from its sour sound, out onto the crowded street, letting your spectacles fall and your hair net tangle as you stop passers-by to mumble your guilty love while your ears die.
Anne Sexton