"A Woman's Place Is on Top." — T-shirt from first American woman's ascent of Annapurna.
The following are humorous (and sometimes serious too) quotes gathered from the Web, Usenet's personal .sig, the rec.climbing FAQ, rec.climbing itself, books (like Waterman's The Quotable Climber), Dawn's selection and other sources. Since it's all a big rip-off, I assume no copyright whatsoever. I don't even guarantee that they are accurate. Now that you've been warned, enjoy.
(OK, OK, I admit I took many of those from womenclimbing.com, hope no-one will notice...)
"Rocks make no compromise for sex... rock climbing is not like some sports, where it is made easier for women; or sports like, say, softball, which is only baseball for soft people. On a rock, everything is equal." — Beverly Johnson.
"No, she's the leader of our climb." — Colin Grissom in response to a german who asked if Kitty Calhoun was the base camp manager on the way up to Dhaulagiri.
"I taught my mother to climb. And she gets nervous sometimes. She'll yell: 'let me down'. That's a tough one. You never want to let your mother down." — Nancy Feagin.
"Non Mademoiselle, pas possible !" — 19th Century Hotel Staff to Lily Barstow after being told that she just climbed the Rothhorn without guides.
"After all, maybe sticking to a diet is easier than climbing Big Walls." — Jennifer Mariani Halfway up the Salathé Wall.
"Climb like a girl. Pee like a guy." — Julie Haas.
"They heard I had climbed a few mountains in Alaska. They said it would be a better movie if they had a girl it in." — Barbara Washburn on including her in a promotional documentary film about climbing Denali in 1947, as a gimmick to promote the Hollywood feature film, The White Tower.
"I can't remember a single time that I was prevented from doing what I wanted because I was a female, either on the rock or in the mountains." — Annie Whitehouse.
"We knew that a failure on the first women's attempt on El Cap would be a fiasco we could never live down." — Sibylle Hechtel after climbing the Triple Direct with Bev Johnson.
"I was quaking in my boots." — Lynn Hill after dropping a crucial stopper on the crux pitch during her free ascent of El Cap's Nose in a day.
"Height has nothing to do with it, it is your strength that counts." — Lynn Hill about her free ascent of the Nose.
"Of course, the first all-female ascent of Midnight Lightning was a huge coup, as Lynn was obviously aware. In fact, to make the ascent seem all the more valid, she even had her belayer (John Bachar) dress up in women's lingerie." — Kelly Rich.
"If someone were to ask me to quit climbing because they love me so much and doesn't want to lose me, I'd be out the door so fast, that someone wouldn't have time to say adios." — Inez Drixelius.
"Every critter does what feels good, I guess. Pigs roll in mud, Scott climbs, Inez rolls in mud and climbs. I think it is simple Biology." — Inez Drixelius.
"The ancient Greeks asked oracle for answers; Native Americans fasted in the desert; I go climbing." — Steph Davis.
"I did the 23 hour nose-route to the top of El Capitan in 6 hours and 18 minutes! I can make this work." — Avery Bishop (Kelly Preston) responding to Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) after calling off their engagement.
"The masculine mind, however is, with rare exceptions, imbued with the idea that a woman is not a fit comrade for steep ice or precipitous rock, and, in consequence, holds it as an article of faith that her climbing should be done by Mark Twain's method, and that she should be satisfied with watching through a telescope some weedy and invertebrate masher being hauled up a steep peak by a couple of burly guides, or by listening to this same masher when, on his return, he lisps out with a Sickening drawl the many perils he has encountered." — Mrs. A. F. Mummery.
"In common with many women, I felt that the Dolomites were made to suit me with their small but excellent toe- and finger-holds, and pitches where a delicate sense of balance was the key, rather than brute force. While it helps, of course, to have tough muscles, the prizefighter would not necessarily make a fine Dolomite climber. But the ballet dancer might." — Miriam Underhill.
"On the first morning, I took them up Middlefell Buttress: five of us, all on one rope. It was slow, cold and boring. They climbed faster than I did, surrounded with an almost visible aura of masculine resentment. So I took them to Gwynne's Chimney on Pavey Ark, and as they struggled and sweated in that smooth cleft, sparks flying from their nails, and me waiting at the top with a taut rope and a turn round my wrist, I knew that I had won. The atmosphere — when we were all together again — was clean and relaxed." — Gwen Moffat.
"Climbing is like a brain enema. It just cleans all the crap out of your head." — Emily.
"It is very important for women to climb with other women." — Zoe Bundros.
"If one more person says to me: 'Wow, you climb, and you don't have a boyfriend ?' I'm gonna hurl. What am I supposed to say in response to that: 'Well, I have a really lousy personality' ?" — Kellie.
"I came up to help you with your pack, but it looks like you don't need any help." — John Roskelley to Deborah Waterman at 17,800 feet on Denali.
"I asked her last july what she wanted to be when she grew up, and she said: 'A contortionist. And a dominatrix. And an ice climber — rock climbing is for pussies'." — ^,,^ about 10 year old Zola.
"A Woman's Place Is on Top." — T-shirt from first American woman's ascent of Annapurna.
"The essence of climbing is not limited to those out there making a name for themselves." — Lois LaRock.
"I've never noticed that being a woman is a handicap or a plus. I am a woman and there are men and we climb together. Sometimes I'm stronger, sometimes they're stronger — we motivated each other." — Robyn Erbesfield.
"It begs the question who is the one being entertained ? The guys like to look at the girls, so they think that they win, but we get to look at a whole selection of guys who are often willing to take us climbing at times and places that our experience may not merit were we just another guy." — Melissa.
"I'm climbing like the Tin Woodsman and feeling like the Cowardly Lion." — Melissa.
"I have left and retired for good unless it becomes an Olympic sport and then I'd like to make a comeback." — Robyn Erbesfield.
"I am too slow to be a good climber, so I film instead." — Wanda Rutkiewicz who has climbed many 8000m peaks, often without oxygen.
"The fact that I'm three months pregnant doesn't change anything." — Catherine Destivelle preparing to solo the Old Man of Hoy seastack.
"I can't understand why men make all this fuss about Everest — it's only a mountain." — Junko Tabei, first woman to climb Everest.
"Reaching that windswept perch, I decided, would cleanse my spirit and heal my wounds. More than that, it would send me home with a title: The First American Woman to Climb Everest." — Stacy Allison.
"Hi, this is Annie. I can't meet with you this week because I'm off to Patagonia. I decided to go just today — I'll be in touch when I get back." — Annie Whitehouse's answering machine.
Note: if you are easily offended, don't bother reading any further... But let me empathize that even though some of those quotes are insulting, the selection itself is not meant to be; at worst they show the pre-conceived idiocy of some who consider 'extreme sports' (hah!) as unsuitable for women.
"A man who wants to seduce a woman must climb over mountains, a girl who wants to seduce a man only needs to go through a wall of paper." — Chinese saying.
"If she spends more time drooling over gear catalogs than you, takes guidebooks into the bathroom to spend some quality time, blows off a friend's wedding or bridal shower to go to the Phoenix Bouldering Contest, then *maybe* she's a climber." — Rex Pieper, about girlfriends.
"> Anyone lost a gold wedding band ? I found it at the base of the Boardwalk rappel.
Lost ? Sure it was not tossed !?!" — x15x15.
"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 (1874-1965).
"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.
"A relationship is like a tough mountain climb — if you are willing to persevere through the tough spots, you will come out stronger and feel more fulfilled as you continue to confront and overcome obstacles in your way." — Steve.
"I like climbing for pleasure but wouldn't like to do it for money. Same thing than for sex." — Me about guiding.
"I heard that having big balls can help a climber make a bold lead, but that being a dick doesn't help anybody." — Karl Baba.
"Outside the Taco Bell a beautiful golden-haired woman in the driver's seat of a beautiful silver sports car turned her head, saw us, and put her hand up to brush her hair back. My partner said: 'You know what that means, don't you?' I pretended I did." — Andy Cairns.
"The Penthouse suite at the Ballagio is definitely better than the 13 mile campground !" — Eric D. Coomer about Red Rocks.
"Naked male sport climbers ? No ! I want naked male trad hogs ! Pushing 50 or over, very hairy chest and back, front tooth missing (no dental insurance), wrinkled yellow toenail fungus, sunburnt dome with long gray ponytail (sparse curls will do), fingers the size of Polish sausages, torn-off nipples due to offwidth damage...
Now there's a man, an image to behold, every climber chick's dream. And when he says: 'Hey, honey, wanna do the DNB ?' you just melt into a heap of adoring lard." — Inez Drixelius.
"I'm getting cooked on all this wall climbing slavery. I want to sit on the beach, get a tan, and look at girls !" — Pete Takeda, A rock and a hard place.
"You are a daredevil. You never care for your home. What will happen to me and the children ?" — Sherpa Tenzing's wife.
"I'd rather die on Everest than in your hut" — His reply.
"We'll climb with you and steal your women." — Todd Skinner and Paul Piana.
"There are all kind of values to be gotten out of climbing. Sometimes you can take a girlfriend up a climb and get laid for it." — Steve Wunsch.
"Climbing is no longer the best thing to do in this area." — Bernard about the nude sunbathers beneath the Calanques.
"Rock climbing, for me, is liking making Love to the Stone... for that I like to take some clothes off and be comfortable." — Karl Baba.
"Just ask any die hard climber and she'll state with confident hesitation, 'it IS love'. However, the addiction has its price: gear, plane tickets, more gear, blood, hunger, thirst, exhaustion, hypothermia, exposure, injury, risk, more risk, pissed off family members, a trail of exes you can no longer (safely) climb with and your lover on the other end of the rope freakin' out yet again while you ponder thoughtfully, 'is it love?' As you quietly slip your pocket knife back into your pack, leaving the rope intact, you mutter an irritable realization only slightly under your breath, 'yeah, it's love'... 'Belay's on, honey, climb on!'" — M. Washburn.
"Keep you current job and pick up a hobby. Take up some activity that tends to attract the young and attractive: rock climbing, say..." — From the San Fran Guardian alt.sex column by Andrea Nemerson, in answer to a bi-guy wondering which new job he should get to get laid the most...
"This is a group of people I used to go walking with. (long pause) That's me on the left. (even longer pause) On the right is the woman I married, Audrey. (very long pause, speaker looks at shoes) Which just goes to show that danger lurks where you least expect it." — Don Whillans commenting on a B&W slide showing a group of smiling hikers.
"When I first hit Yosemite in 1957, I was a mountain trooper from Colorado, as straight as a lodgepole sapling and celibate to boot. Fortunately, two derelicts then in garbage-can residence soon put me straighter with vicious amounts of Red Mountain wine. When not busy laying the groundwork for the Golden Age (that's about all they were laying), it seemed to my neophyte eye they stayed drunk. Why not ? Even many years later women were unknown to that distant world... The only thing down at Camp 4 in the Elder Days was dog shit and Tri-Delts surrounded by their betrailered parents, about as accessible as the Crab Nebula. So we had beatoff contests at the bivouac ledges, drenched our sleeping bags in semen, got drunk and indulged in towering fireside smut." — Mike Borghoff.
"Well, I'll say this: climbing can kill you, but women can destroy you. There's a big difference, y'know." — Derek Hersey.
"So, are you a climber too ?" — My pick up line. Worked great too....
"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.
"Remember when sex was safe and climbing was dangerous ?" — Chuck Pratt.
"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 relative importance. Climbing puts things in perspective again." — Jeff Lowe.
"Sitting on that first hook of the day, it's like your first time having sex. Your entire focus is on one very small object." — Kelly Rich.
"Never noticed a female monkey not climbing as well as a male, have you ?" — Don Whillans on being asked it if was possible for a woman to be a better rock climber than a man.
"Colorado... Come for the girls, stay for the climbing." — Brad B, who just left Colorado to follow a girlfriend in Utah... ;-)
"PLEASE - I ENCOURAGE YOU TO LOG OFF YOUR COMPUTER AND SELL ALL OF YOUR 'CLIP DRAWS', YOUR CLIMBING 'SLIPPERS', YOUR 9.2MM ROPE AND FIND SOME THREAD AND NEEDLE AND LEARN TO KNIT LIKE A LADY. LEAVE THE MAN FUN TO THE MAN." — Best r.c Troll: Burt Bronson.
"Men's harness come with a set of nads built in, which can come in handy on a scary lead." — Jean.
"What most male climbers want from their female partners is one thing: a good belay." — robDotCalm.
There's more sex and climbing here... And more climbing humor at the 'You might be a mountain climber' page.