Climbing Quotes

"No Guts, No Glory !"

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 Buy at Amazon.comThe 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.

On this page:

Funny, Stupid, Witty, Whatever Climbing Quotes

"A climber's day always starts at the crux: getting out of bed."
"There are only 3 real sports: bull-fighting, car racing and mountain climbing. All the others are mere games."    — Buy at Amazon.comHemingway.
"I find that rock climbing is the finest, most healthiest sport in the whole world. It is much healthier than most; look at baseball, where 10 000 sit on their ass to watch a handful of players"    — John Salathé, 1974.
"You climb for the hell of it."    — Buy at Amazon.comEdmund Hillary.
"Writing about climbing is boring. I would rather go climbing."    — Chuck Pratt.
"I don't want to write about climbing; I don't want talk about it; I don't want to photograph it; I don't want to think about it; all I want to do is do it."    — Chuck Pratt.
"Leading something that is 50/50 is is not 'my limit'. It's off route."    — Nathan Sweet.
"Where are the holds, Hector ?!?!"    — Paulina.
"There were no holds so I had to use skill."

Jugging up the Salathé Wall at night, El Capitan, Yosemite
"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.
"Getting out of this required a 5.11 Beached Whale move combined with a Bloody Scream, something they never teach in the gym."    — Lord Slime.
"Sure, some people pack more crap than others, but going dumb and naked isn't what 'Fast and light' is about either."    — Nate B.
"I love climbing because it feels so good when I stop..."    — Karl 'we're all nuts' Baba.
"One day, Seb and I will do a route that isn't a '50 chimneying classic'."    — Martin Carpenter.
"Climbers seem to forget that we said in our introduction that there were simply '50 classic routes', not 'the 50 classics'. We chose 50 from a list of about 120. Only a torturer will ever pry loose from our lips the names of those other 70 classics..."    — Buy at Amazon.comSteve Roper.
"One method of getting loved ones to look more fondly on your climbing is to tell them that since you've started climbing you hardly do drugs anymore."    — David Harris.
"It's all fun and oneness with nature until you realize you can't have diarrhea and vomit at the same time without an extra bucket."    — Nate B.
"Fucking Layton Kor... God I hate Cameron Burns. I wonder how much it would hurt if I just jumped ? Why the hell would anyone climb this hunk of dirt anyway, or anything for that matter-pointless ? How long can you be dead and still be an organ donor ?"    — Frank Stock's thoughts while on the Kor Route on Monster Tower.
"Just a reminder — a guidebook is no substitute for skill, experience, judgment and lots of tension."    — Charlie Fowler.
"That was amazing ! Five lead changes to climb 40 feet of rock ! How can they say this route doesn't look good ? This was MORE than a route — this was an EXPERIENCE !"    — Larry D.
"My definition of a desert towers is: 'Anything big enough that I just can't piss over it'. I've climbed 50 of those so far."    — Brad B.
"The best climber in the world is the one who's having the most fun."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlex Lowe.
"I've climbed with some of the best climbers in the world, more importantly, to me, they are some of the best people in the world. That's another reason why I climb."    — Buy at Amazon.comJim Wickwire.
"Climbing may be hard, but it's easier than growing up."    — Ed Sklar.
"In France, a publicly accessible climbing area without bolted lines is viewed like a publicly accessible swimming pool with sharks in it."    — David Kastrup.
"In most parts of France, they climb 'French Free'. In Chamonix they climb 'French Expensive'."    — Tim.
" > i'm going on holiday to france has anyone ever done any rock
 > climbing there and can they suggest good climbs
— could you give us more information like where in france you're going and when and what kind of climbing you're looking for and and at what level whether you have done any research yourself or are just bugging us and anyway why should we take the time to help you when you can't be bothered to even use any punctuation or provide basic information much less actually do any leg work yourself so I am going to guess that you belong in a gym try murmur in paris but just boulder because i have friends there and i would rather you not belay them."    — Frederick 'Fritz' Weihe.
"There is no difference between religion and politics. Both involve lies and fanatical beliefs that generally defy logic... Just like rock climbing."    — Dave Schuller.
"Ancient greek word of the day: αιγιλιψ, 'devoid goats'; hence, incredibly steep, to the point at not even goats can climb it — goatforsaken."
"My mother used to rock me — and she used big rocks."    — Buy at Amazon.comRodney Dangerfield.
"Little primates known as Loris have been observed urinating on their hands and feet — it is thought that they do this to improve their grip while climbing."

Jenny on the demented corkscrew summit of Ancient Art, Utah
"Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible."    — Buy at Amazon.comDoug Lawson.
"They say you can't do it, but sometimes it doesn't always work."    — Casey Stengel.
"Those who say it can't be done should get out of the way of those who are doing it."   — Unknown.
"On était toujours à fond, et de temps en temps on accélérait."    — Agostino Martinelli after traversing the Alps in ski in 5 days.
"> I am working on a research paper. My topic is: How Do Glaciers Move? Can you please tell me what you know about the movement of glaciers ?
Glaciers feel best when they have one movement per day. Some glaciers do just fine with fewer movements, but when they don't have movements for a long time the result can be quite bad. Glaciers which move much more frequently tend to have loose and soft terminal moraines (also called rock piles).
Glacial movement is almost always associated with the release of water. But sometimes glaciers release water without experiencing a movement."    — Mike Garrison's answer.
"If you want to climb it badly enough, you will. So... why bother ?"    — Buy at Amazon.comDoug Scott.
"Yoga is a system, scientifically proven to boost your climbing ability significantly. Why do you think you always see that Guru figure sitting on the top of the mountain? You think he/she got there by enlightenment ?"    — Lg.
"Breaking into a new area of climbing while remaining safe is probably sort of like practicing religion. There's no best way to do it, and if you screw up, you're going down..."    — Nate Beckwith.
"Alcohol, firearms and a 4 wheel drive can go a long ways towards making a rain day into a fun rest day."    — Frank Stock.
"Hey Brother, You're not fat Dude, you're just bomber !"    — Karl Baba, reassuring Geoff on his % of body fat.
"The argument suggests that additional weight carries best on the climber, distributed naturally in sebaceous deposits by selective overgrazing. On the climber's body, body fat rides close to the center of gravity, moving in consonance with each effort, instead of dangling and swinging with each move, like some drilled out 11 hexcentric. This 'RC corollary'™ thus states that:
'A pound on the rack is worth five in the ass'
Climbers are urged to trim the rack first, and continue to enjoy quality dining."    — Guido.

Here comes the Rock Warrior, Red Rocks, Nevada.
"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.
"Why ? Why, why, why do I do this ???"    — Chuck Pratt.
"Climbing would be a great, truly wonderful thing if it weren't for all that damn climbing."    — John Ohrenschall.
"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.
"I suggest going out to the nearest pub and getting completely, and utterly, wasted. Make sure you smoke at least 1 pack of unfiltered Camel's. Get the full ashtray, pour a drink in it and then pour the mixture into a water bottle.
When you get home (ideally around 3:30am) stick the vile mixture into your freezer. Put on your best goretex and thermal layer. Climb in. At 5:30am, get out, drink (chew?) the mixture and go run the biggest flight of stairs you can find. Run until your heart threatens to explode.
Your dehydration caused by the alcohol should adequately simulate what you may experience at higher altitudes. Your lung capacity should be sufficiently impaired by the smokes to simulate a oxygen poor environment. The freezer episode should adequately replicate a bivy. Drinking the booze/butt mixture should simulate your lack of appetite.....
Oh — once your finished your workout, go to work (to replicate the long walk out)."    — Greg Hamilton suggesting an altitude training methodology.
"The best training was to go to the pub, drink 5 quarts of beer, and talk about climbing."    — Ron Fawcett.
"The distinguishing mark of true adventures, is that it is often no fun at all while they are actually happening."    — Buy at Amazon.comKim Stanley Robinson.
"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."    — Buy at Amazon.comSir Rannulph Fiennes.
"The difference between a mountain and a molehill is your perspective."    — Al Neuharth.
"He's the type who makes mountains out of molehills and then sells climbing equipment."
"How do you distinguish between being off-route and putting up a first ascent ?"    — Bruce Bindner.
"I didn't actually want coffee, but I poured myself a cup, just because the pot was there. I guess I'm a lot like George Mallory, who had similar motivation for climbing Mount Everest."    — Chuck Bonner.
"The only way you can do something in the style of the FA is by climbing something new."    — Patrick.
"As a member of an escorted tour, you don't even have to know the Matterhorn isn't a tuba."    — Temple Fielding.
"I may not be able to pull on the smallest of holds, but those I can pull on I can pull on all day long."    — Jimmy Jewel.
"You can't be here: it's public land !"    — A snowplow driver at the base of Lincoln Falls (Colorado).
"I climb as hard as anyone on earth. I just do it on easier routes."    — Mad Dog.

Facebook climbing pictures (from XKCD).
"Vertigo I can handle alright — It's horizonto that drives me nuts."    — Jim Lubell.
"Real Programmers don't play tennis, or any sport that requires you to change clothes. Mountain climbing is OK, and real programmers always wear their climbing boots to work in case a mountain should suddenly spring up in the middle of a machine room."    — From Real programmers don't write specs.
"Prior Planning   Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance."    — The 7 Ps of the SAS.
"No one is completely useless — They can always serve as a bad example."    — Anonymous.
"Q: What's the difference between a large pizza and a mountain guide ?
A: A pizza can feed a family of four !"
"Climb Now, Work Later."    — DMM slogan. Does it apply to their own employees ?
"The earth is the largest rock that any of us will ever stand on. So I've never understood rock climbers. By standing on the Earth, you have stood on the biggest rock. You are done. You have peaked. You don't have to keep climbing rocks. Unnecessary."    — Roxi Horror.
"Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together."    — Carl Zwanzig.
"Q: How is mountain climbing like receiving oral sex from Whoopi Goldberg ?
A: You should never ever look down !"
"Where does all the white go when the snow melts ?"
"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible."    — Buy at Amazon.comGeorge Burns.
"They say that if the Swiss had designed these mountains they'd be rather flatter."    — Buy at Amazon.comPaul Theroux (1941- ), US-born writer, referring to the Alps.
"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered."    — Buy at Amazon.comG.K. Chesterson.
"If climbers used the word 'beta' the way most software houses do, we'd all be dead."
"How can you tell Santa is a climbing bum ?
He's got a beard, always wears the same clothes, and only works one day a year."
"Being a climber in Florida is like being in Seatle without a raincoat."
"Once, I was lost in the wilderness, and I was forced to eat a dog to survive ! Later I realized I was just in the back yard, but boy, was my mom pissed !"    — C. Rostan.
"Sport climbing is neither."    — Found on a poster at the gendarme in Seneca rocks.
"Dear Lord, please don't let me fuck up."    — Attributed to Buy at Amazon.comAlan Shepard, the first American astronaut (makes a good rappelling prayer)
"Maybe true. Maybe not true. Better you believe."    — Sherpa saying.
"Found the following in a local post by someone describing what they look for in a resume when hiring a person for a computer programming job: Flowery action words can't hide a lack of accomplishment in life. I like it when someone lists things like 'mountain climbing' in their resume, because it means he's geeky enough to feel it's necessary to prove that he's not a geek, yet not so geeky that he's anal retentive."    — Paul Hess.
"Life is so fragile. You think someone is doing ok, and then the next moment they're getting really into rock climbing."    — Kevin Farzad.
"As far as I'm concerned, if someone eliminates the mental part of climbing, then we might as well all go play miniature golf."    — Greg Opland.
"Snowshoeing is more extreme than rockclimbing. I mean, it would take something pretty extreme to get me to go slog around in the snow like that."    — Karl Baba.
"Snowshoeing is a perfect example of technology gone bad. Just imagine if those companies had applied all that energy and money into products that were fun to use."    — Malcolm.
"rok iz gud."    — Climer.
"C'est pas de l'alpinisme, ça, c'est la guerre."    — Buy at Amazon.comArmand Charlet (à propos de la face nord des Grandes Jorasses, 1930)
"A la Verte on devient montagnard."    — Buy at Amazon.comGaston Rébuffat (1921—1985).
"L'alpiniste est un homme qui conduit son corps là où, un jour, ses yeux ont regardé. Et qui revient."    — Buy at Amazon.comGaston Rébuffat (1921—1985).

Vincent leading the runout slab of Crest Jewel Direct, Tuolumne.


"Artificial climbing: knack of appearing to climb by talking about it. This technique is best employed far from actual climbing areas, which tend to be hazardous. Small taverns and pizza parlors with an impressionable clientele are excellent sites for artificial climbing."
"Blood /n./ substance commonly used to mark a climbing route."
"El Capitan /prop. n./ expedition leader in a spanish speaking country."
"Mud bat /n./ usually heard from up on El Cap as part of: 'MUD BAT!! MUD BAAAAAT!! INCOMING!!'."
"Foot jam /n./ offensive accumulation between the toes, caused by wearing the same socks for several days."
"Gorp /interj./ mealtime sound made by a hungry alpinist.
Rurp /interj./ sound made by a climber after downing a hasty lunch."
"Layback /n./ what a climber looks forward to at the end of a day."
"Line of weakness: long involved explanation for not attempting a route."
"Matterhorn /n./ trumpetlike musical instrument favored by swiss mountaineers."
"Mountaineering /n./ slow walking uphill while not feeling very well."
"Offwidth crack /n./ remark made in a smartass manner."
"Volcano /n./ A mountain with hiccups."
"Wilderness /n./ archaic word used to refer to the space that once existed between urban areas and which is now used as a proving ground for 4-wheel drive vehicles."
"Wilderness travel /n./ art of avoiding snowmobiles, four wheel drives and oil wells."


"Gravity is a myth, the Earth sucks."
"If gravity warps space-time, do grave thoughts warp your mind ?"
"We can lick gravity, but the paperwork's a bit tougher."    — Buy at Amazon.comWerner von Braun.
"Climbing is the only cure for gravity."
"Without gravity you wouldn't have a sport."    — Matthew Ketterling.
Gravity /n./: one of four fundamental forces in nature that affect skiers. The other three are the strong force, which makes bindings jam; the weak force, which makes ankles give way on turns; and electromagnetism, which produces dead batteries in expensive ski-resort parking lots.
"The law of gravity is strictly enforced."
"Climbing is not a battle with the elements, nor against the law of gravity. It's a battle against oneself."    — Buy at Amazon.comWalter Bonatti.

Mt Sunflower, highest point in Kansas

Online climbing

"I climb much harder in my posts than I do in real life."    — Geoff Jennings.
"The first in a series of challenging, thrilling and dangerous outdoor adventure games that lets kids experience the realism, excitement and achievement of going Beyond the Limit. Ultimate Climb lets kids experience the thrill and challenge of a real mountain climbing adventure."    — Excerpt from the cover of the Microsoft game 'Buy at Amazon.comBeyond the Limit: Ultimate Climb'.
"If you want the big rewards, you gotta tackle the hard problems. If not, well, I hear there's a good climbing game you can play on your computer."    — Lord Slime.
"Reading reviews on Amazon is like looking for adulation for climbing 5.11 on rec.climbing."    — Jason L.
"We wouldn't have this problem if it weren't for the cretins who popularize the classic routes on their web sites !"    — Gary Clark, about overcrowded routes.
"This [rec.climbing] thread reminds me of why the Silent Partner was invented."    — Rex Pieper.
"Here's the thing. You'd like to talk about yourself and what swell stuff you've climbed lately. Well, who wouldn't ? As it turns out, we have a format in which that sort of spray is acceptable. It's called a TR. In a TR, every other word can be 'I' and the words in between can be numbers representing how rad you are, though it's a time-honored tradition to throw in a few sentences about how afraid you were that you *weren't* going to [insert heroic deed here] before getting to the part about how you do.
Your trouble is that you're trying to disguise your spray as RFIs or attempts at actual human conversation and no one is fooled. It is quite possible to say 'Now that I climb outside so often I find that I absolutely suck at gym climbing and since I'm having a miserable time there, what with everyone snickering at me and falling off of things I think I should be able to do, I'm asking myself why I spend the money on a gym membership when I can go to rec.climbing and get snickered at for free' without mentioning a single number."    — Dawn Alguard.
"Well in my opinion there are no hard rules for climbing a route, only for talking about it later."    — Peter Boyle.
"Nevertheless, it's worth hanging on in here to catch the meaningful discussions we occasionally have about stoves, pies, the importance of failure and keeping a stiff upper lip and why no-one posts here any more. Once in a while some headstrong fool posts about climbing they've done, and we all seek to reassure ourselves that what they did wasn't that hard really, we would have done it ourselves if we hadn't (or had) been old, infirm and unfit and if we did it once ourselves many years ago it was probably a mistake and we should seek to discourage others from doing the same."    — Tony Buckley on uk.rec.climbing.
"Wow, I have rec.climbing age and experience. That can't be a good thing."    — Kellie.
"Wow, talk about ascending Mt Uberstupid..."    — nafod40.
"Gravity would be softer were its acceleration not as fast."    — Eugene Miya.

Jenny doing a foot stand atop a pillar at Eagle Lake, Lake Tahoe, California.

Climbing is Hard Work

"The difference between climbers and normal workers is that climbers are glad of the Mondays, so they can rest."    — Me.
"I think climbers should get credit just for remembering what their jobs are on Mondays."    — Gary Clark.
"The next time you curse the fact that it's Monday, just think of it as proof that you made it through another weekend without killing yourself by doing something stupid."    — Phil Garding.
"My girl said she tired of us not doing anything on weekends, so I planned a whole weekend of activities starting with rock climbing at 6am on Saturday followed by golf, tennis, ice skating, blacksmithing, paint &smp; sip, axe throwing, shooting range & fishing. She says 'Ewww no'."    — Achilles de Flandres.
"Climbing is more interesting than my other daytime activity, which closely resembles the million monkeys theory applied to software development."    — Amanda Tarr.
"Welcome to the employee rock-climbing seminar. You'll learn valuable teamwork skills by doing dangerous things unrelated to your jobs."    — Buy at Amazon.comDilbert (1997/8/3).

Grades & Ratings

"You can't buy a 5.12."    — Rob Robinson.
"I've seen 5.11 divided into 11 different grades of increasing difficulty, as follows: 5.11a, 5.10d, 5.11-, 5.11b, 5.11, 5.11c, 5.9 squeeze, 5.11+, 5.10 OW, 5.12a, 5.11d"    — Brutus of Wyde.
"Has to be 5.8+, I don't climb harder than that."    — Brutus of Wyde.
"Routes rate me, not the other way around."    — Andy Cairns.
"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.
"In fact, I think you should add your body fat to the rating of the climb, to get a true measure of your inner climber. So climbing a 5.7 with 22% body fat is way harder than climbing a 5.14 with 3% body fat."    — Mike Yukish.
"The Puking Gecko, Grand Wall, *** S9 5.12d/e 712m
An intimidating and salacious climb. The final pitch is so exposed, tricky, and continuously strenuous that it is impossible to even contact the rock at any point. Better than making passionate love on top of a Japanese Bullet Train. Superbly magnificent and grimly brilliant."    — Andy Cairns.
"Anyone need advice on making the transition from 5.12 to 5.11 ?"    — Andy Cairns.
"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 8b+ in his first year of climbing !"    — Danny Cattell.
"I did get upset once, when we were hiking between pitches 15 and 16. Two women and a dog were trying to find their way down through the maze of trails below the First Summit and they asked us: 'Are you on the trail?' I let my indignity show: 'NO, we're on a CLIMB!'"    — Andy Cairns.

Yosemite & Big Wall Climbing Quotes

Note: many of those quotes are from Steve Roper's excellent book Buy at Amazon.comCamp 4. BTW, don't just read the quotes, go take a look at my pictures and adventures from Yosemite.

"This valley is the only place that comes up to the brag about it, and exceeds it."    — Buy at Amazon.comRalph Waldo Emerson about Yosemite.
"The tide of visitors will float slowly about the bottom of the valley as harmless scum collecting in hotel and saloon eddies, leaving the rocks and falls eloquent as ever."    — Buy at Amazon.comJohn Muir about Yosemite.
"To apply human standards of measurements to this monarch of mountains is sacrilege. To attempt by mere words and figures to convey some idea of its stupendous massiveness, its nobly-defiant impressive individuality, is rankest folly."    — Buy at Amazon.comHerbert Earl Wilson, about El Cap, 1926.
"It is a crest of granite... perfectly inaccessible, being probably the only one of the prominent points about the Yosemite which never has been, and never will be, trodden my human foot."    — California Geological Survey report about Half Dome, 1865.
"It's so good and wonderful and so other-earth-other-sky transcendentally different in Yosemite that I could spend a dozen karmic cycles there and not exhaust the place."    — Mike Borghoff.
"I couldn't catch a ball or any of that stuff. I could do only what required brute stupidity."    — Buy at Amazon.comWarren Harding (1925—2002).
"Screwing is more enjoyable than drilling bolt holes !."    — Buy at Amazon.comWarren Harding (1925—2002).
"I continued with whatever 'qualified climbers' I could con into this rather unpromising venture."    — Buy at Amazon.comWarren Harding (1925—2002), about the Nose.
"As I hammered in the last bolt and staggered over the rim, it was not at all clear to me who was the conqueror and who was the conquered. I do recall that El Cap seemed to be in much better condition than I was."    — Buy at Amazon.comWarren Harding (1925—2002).
"I was spent up. I sure grabbed that girl of mine."    — Buy at Amazon.comWarren Harding (1925—2002), after summiting the Nose.
"If mankind doesn't kill himself first (on a mountain or with a bomb) he may just learn how to inhabit the Earth as god planned."    — Editorial in News after the ascent of the Nose.
"Our ascent, of course, does not end the possibility for new accomplishments on El Capitan. The day will probably come when this climb will be done in five days, perhaps less; and a younger generation will make a new route on the west face."    — Buy at Amazon.comRoyal Robbins, after the 2nd ascent of the Nose, 1960 (the record is now about 4h17).
"If the answer is 13 RURPs and a bat hook, what was the question ?"    — Joel Wiley.

El Capitan reflected in the Merced river, Yosemite.
"Actually, we're just glorified flagpole sitters."    — Buy at Amazon.comWarren Harding (1925—2002).
"I started climbing when men were men... and we nailed 5.8."   — TM Herbert.
"Anyone who says that they are having fun up here is flat out lying !"    — Russ "The Fish" Walling.
"Even the descent was fraught with sucking."    — Adams, describing his first big wall.
"Being out on lead is like having a loaded gun pointed at your head all day !"    — Russ 'The Fish' Walling.
"Anyone who climbs walls is certifiably insane."    — Russ "The Fish" Walling.
"The reason it was so scary was that there was only one climber capable of rescuing us, and that was Layton Kor, and he was in Colorado."    — Buy at Amazon.comYvon Chouinard, on the first ascent of North American Wall.
"The best part is getting to the top 'cause the pain's all over."    — Buy at Amazon.comDan Osman.
"As we unloaded packs at the parking lot, two young ladies approached us to ask if we were THE Yosemite climbers... They asked if it were true that Yosemite climbers chafe their hands on the granite to enable them to friction up vertical walls. We assured them that the preposterous myth was true."    — Chuck Pratt, 1965.
"The climbing as a whole is not very esthetic or enjoyable; it is merely difficult."    — Buy at Amazon.comYvon Chouinard (1963, on Yosemite).
"Just why is Yosemite climbing so different ? Why does it have techniques, ethics and equipment all of its own ? The basic reason lies in the rock itself. Nowhere else in the world is the rock so exfoliated, so glacier-polished and so devoid of handholds. All of the climbing lines follow vertical crack systems. Every piton crack, every handhold is a vertical one. Special techniques and equipment have evolved through absolute necessity."    — Buy at Amazon.comYvon Chouinard, 1963.
"I strode among giants, friends tell me now, though at the time I felt more like a misfit associating with oddballs."    — Steve Roper, Introduction to Buy at Amazon.comCamp 4.
"Many have questioned the quality of this sort of achievement, deploring the use of pitons, tension traverses and expansion bolts, but the record speaks for itself. This is a technical age and climbers will continue in the future to look for new routes. There is nothing more satisfying than being a pioneer."    — Buy at Amazon.comAllen Steck, justifying the 1st ascent of Sentinel's north face, 1950.
"Writing this last chapter has been difficult and painful. It involves do's and don'ts, obligations and responsibilities. Most climbers are individuals who love freedom — they climb because it makes them feel free. We may expect then, that having others suggest how they ought to climb will rub wrong. There used to be so few climbers that it didn't matter where one drove a piton, there wasn't a worry about demolishing the rock. Now things are different. There are so many of us, and there will be more. A simple equation exists between freedom and numbers: the more people the less freedom. If we are to retain the beauties of the sport, the fine edge, the challenge, we must consider our style of climbing; and if we are not to mutilate and destroy the routes, we must eliminate the heavy handed use of pitons and bolts."    — Buy at Amazon.comRoyal Robbins, Basic Rockcraft, 1971.
"I had the unique experience the next day: placing sixteen bolts in a row. It was just blank and there was no way around. But it was a route worth bolting for, and after a time I began to take an almost perverse joy in it, or at least in doing a good job."    — Buy at Amazon.comRoyal Robbins, Tis-sa-ack ascent, 1970.
"He liked to play chess and do intelligent things, and I was a serious drinker and nonthinker."    — Warren Harding about Royal Robbins.
"To practice for the Steck-Salathé, crawl across asphalt parking lots in the summer, on your knees and elbows."    — Dingus Milktoast.
"My next climb is going to be a tourist troll in a wheelchair."    — Buy at Amazon.comAllen Steck to John Salathé during the 1st ascent of the north face of Sentinel Rock.
"Oh, shit !"    — Jim Madsen when he rappelled off the end of his rope on El Cap's Dihedral Wall in 1968.
"Goddamn it ! His parka doesn't fit me !"    — Buy at Amazon.comSteve Roper, after reaching the body of Irving Smith in the Lost Arrow Chimney.
"I wouldn't go there if I were you. They steal from the store and they smell and they wear rags and even piss right outside their tents. I tell you, it's like a leper colony, that place."    — Yosemite Lodge bellman trying to dissuade a girl from visiting Camp 4, 1962.
"Climbers have no sense of smell."    — Buy at Amazon.comConrad Anker's mother.
"John Wayne never wore Lycra."    — Buy at Amazon.comRon Kauk about why he climbs in Blue-Jeans.
"At either end of the social spectrum there lies a leisure class."    — Eric Beck.
"I became so desperate that I considered throwing Eric [Beck] off the ledge. I thought I could get down and then lie about what had happened. To my addled brain, this was plausible. Then I came to my senses and woke Eric up and told him that either he had to retreat or I'd throw him off. We went down and I never climbed again for a quarter of a century."    — Dave Cook about a new route on the Sentinel.
"There was a climber named Bridwell
On grade I's he did well.
But on grade VI, he got into a fix
and rappelled to the talus and hid well."    — Eric Beck.
"It is better to retreat off a good climb than to succeed on an indifferent one."    — Chris Jones, 1971.
"Excluding Buy at Amazon.comRoyal Robbins (who is in a brilliant class all by himself, a Stirling Moss, an index of perfection) Valley climbers are brooding misfits who know only too well what awaits them down in the San Joaquin Valley and beyond."    — Mike Borghoff.
"He was skinning a bear. I was terrified at first, because the corpse resembled a naked man quartered between two trees. He'd created a deadfall trap over some big talus blocks and the bear had fallen in. He used the skin for something and jerked the meat. If it wasn't astonishing enough behavior in a national park, the next day he made donuts, using bear fat for grease ! Surely, by now, he's created an empire somewhere in the world..."    — Dave Cook.
What do bears eat ?
"In light of the rising frequency of human/grizzly bear conflicts, the Department of Fish and Game is advising hikers, hunters, and fishermen to take extra precautions and keep alert for bears while in the field. We advise that outdoors men wear noisy little bells on their clothing so as not to startle bears that aren't expecting them. We also advise outdoors men to carry pepper spray with them in case of an encounter with a bear. It is also a good idea to watch out for fresh signs of bear activity. Outdoors men should recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear droppings. Black bear droppings are smaller and contain lots of berries and squirrel fur. Grizzly bear droppings have little bells in them and smell like pepper."    — Grizzly bear notice.
"When hiking, the early bird gets the face full of spider webs. Bring a tall friend and let them lead."    — National Park Service.
"I so much enjoy waking up to garbage truck 'back up' beepers in the morning at Yosemite. It makes me feel like I'm in New York city !"    — athayer999.
"My once-keen analytical mind has become so dulled by endless hours of baking in the hot sun, thrashing about in tight chimneys, pulling at impossibly heavy loads, freezing my ass off.... so that now my mental state is comparable to that of a Peruvian Indian, well stoked on coca leaves..."    — Buy at Amazon.comWarren Harding (1925—2002), Reflections on a broken down climber.
"Here I was working away and always this mumbling and bitching from below, and finally the shocking ejaculation 'This is a lot of shit'. From then on I felt I was battling two opponents, the wall and Peterson."    — Buy at Amazon.comRoyal Robbins, Tis-sa-ack.
"I was once bouldering in solitude in the Needles, when a young female walked up and introduced herself and asked who I was. I told her and continued bouldering. She turned and walked away after a few minutes, saying over her shoulder: 'you can't be John Gill. He climbs much better than that'."    — John Gill, Buy at Amazon.comMaster of rock by Pat Ament.
"I've tried many sports, but climbing is the best. The beauty of this sport is that no matter how good you get, you can always find a way to challenge yourself."    — Buy at Amazon.comRandy Leavitt.
"Gee, in the old days people used aid to make things easier, nowadays they use aid to make things harder."    — Juanita Donini.
"I'm an expert at torturing people on different levels of the Yosemite Crack Circuit. The key to torture is don't kill the victim all at once !"    — Karl Baba.
"It lasted but a year of two, till all the routes were done. The pace so fast that most forgot that climbing could be fun."    — Buy at Amazon.comJohn Sherman.
"The future of Yosemite climbing lies not in Yosemite, but in using the new techniques in the great granite ranges of the world."    — Buy at Amazon.comYvon Chouinard, 1963.
"Personally, I would rather climb in the high mountains. I have always abhorred the tremendous heat, the dirt-filled cracks, the ant-covered foul-smelling trees and bushes which cover the cliffs, the filth and noise of Camp 4 (the climbers' campground), and worst of all, the multitudes of tourists which abound during the weekends and summer months."    — Buy at Amazon.comYvon Chouinard, 1961.
"Climbing for speed records will probably become more popular, a mania which has just begun. Climbers climb not just to see how fast and efficiently they can do it, but far worse, to see how much faster and more efficiently they are than a party which did the same climb a few days before. The climb becomes secondary, no more important than a racetrack. Man is pitted against man."    — Buy at Amazon.comYvon Chouinard.
"Every time I go out and do something, Hans panics and starts trying to beat me. He's like a dog humping your leg."    — Dean Potter.
"Vy can't ve chust climb !"    — John Salathé.

Bouldering Quotes

"Boulder /n./ place close to the ground to practice falling. When climbers aren't climbing, they like to sharpen their skills by bouldering on large rocks located in places frequented by impressionable tourists. Because bouldering is done without protection, the rule is never to climb higher than you'd like to fall. That is why so many climbers stand around discussing boulder problems instead of climbing them."
"If you do spell check on Denali, you come up with denial... Bouldering turns up blundering and piolets becomes piglets !"
"To be a full-fledged boulderer, you need to be able to do two things: climb way harder than I can, and shout 'You got it, dude !' with convincing enthusiasm every time someone leaves the ground, continuing until their return."    — Dawn Alguard.
"Sometimes I'm soloing and then someone calls me 'bro' or tells me to 'go big' and suddenly i'm bouldering."    — Tico.

Bouldering at the ROtary Park, Fort Collins.
"The hardest thing about Buy at Amazon.comFontainebleau is spelling it."    — John Black.
"If smoking dope can turn you into a reborn christian boulderer, I'm quitting today !"    — Greg.
"Take your chiseled, over-bolted routes and puny boulder problems and go have an epic finding a vegan meal in Thailand."    — Clyde Soles.
"I boulder with a rope. It's for body recovery."    — nafod40.
"Sit Down Starts SUCK ! No self respecting climber is going to make a habit of sitting on her ass to go climbing."    — DMT on bouldering.
"Beware the boulder start."    — Sue.
"Igor, one as you know that real man need not pad. Pad is for woman and only man who have not the ball."    — Greg.
"Bouldering is like masturbation: not as good as the real thing but you don't need to worry about your protection."    — Scott Grimes & David Kastrup.
"Il bouldering e un puo il coit interroto dell'arrampicata..."    — Jennifer Mariani.
"Q: À Buy at Amazon.comFontainebleau, qu'est-ce que la parade Espagnole ?
A: Lorsque le grimpeur au dessus tombe, son compagnon qui a une main sur la hanche et l'autre en l'air paume ouverte lance: 'Olé !'."

Ice and Alpine climbing quotes

"If you can bang a pin in with your ice axe without anyone yelling at you and you packed the whiskey 'cause it is the only thing that won't freeze, you're probably alpine climbing."    — Christian.
"Get into good physical conditioning by training (unless you are English)."    — Buy at Amazon.comChouinard's advice for ice climbing.
"All ice is dangerous.
Grade 4 pillars are pumpy.
Grade 5 pillars are pumpy and dangerous.
Except for certain rare days of triple-high biorythms and favorable planetary alignments, grade 6 is beyond reach."    — Dougal McDonald.
"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, 1998.
"While ice is not really alive, it is certainly animate. It exists in an dynamic state of perpetual vibration, flux and movement. Enjoy its existence, and its safe passage in the mountains."    — Will McCarthy.
"Early season or new ice is often little more than unconsolidated icicles stuck together with the climber's optimism."    — Will Gadd.
"La glace c'est quand même un sport de con."    — Vincent R. after an accident ice-climbing.
"As in any alpine region, the weather is changeable, protection questionable, route-finding bewildering, rockfall frequent and descents tedious. In short, it's everything you could ever ask for."    — From the Canadian Alpine Journal, 1993.
"If the ice is good, you don't need pro, if the ice is poor and you need pro, you can't get it in anyway."    — Jay Smith.
"Er, I say, are you going to be able to get me out ?"    — Buy at Amazon.comEric Shipton while inside a Patagonian crevasse.
"Alps /n./ cries for assistance, most commonly heard in alpine areas of Great Britain."
"Snow bridge /n./ card game played on a glacier. As in other alpine endeavors, tricks are common, and there is always a dummy."
"Terminal moraine /n./ the last glacier you'll ever climb."
"1 — High pain threshold
2 — Bad memory
3 —I forget the third."    — The three attributes of a good (mountaineer/ice climber/big waller).

South-west couloir of Arguille peak, Belledonne.
97 Ice Axes,
5 Cases Dynamite,
7 Cans Nitroglycerin
...."    — From Mark Twain's 'Buy at Amazon.comA Tramp Abroad' (1880), a snippet of the gear list for the ascent of the Riffleberg.
"One other very important question I have is are there firearms allowed in the park as for protection and does one need to technically climb — ropes and grommets — or can one hike to the summit of Mt. Mckinley ? My last question is, is Mt McKinley usually covered with snow around the first of June ?"    — Prospective climber's letter to Denali National Park.
"Remember: if you take bivouac equipment along, you will bivouac..."    — Buy at Amazon.comYvon Chouinard.
"Bivouac /n./ French for 'mistake'."
"In times like these, it is helpful to remember that there have always been times like these."    — Buy at Amazon.comPaul Harvey.
"10 March... 0 hours climbing. Write 5 pages to my mother in law. Getting desperate."    — Dave Johnson's journal entry while stormbound in Alaska.
"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 it was raining."    — Ren´ Dittert.
"A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave 5 minutes longer."    — Buy at Amazon.comRalph Waldo Emerson.
"— You guys going up ?
— Yes, yes, we go up
— You may be going a lot higher than you think !"    — Buy at Amazon.comDon Whillans, to a Japanese party, while retreating off the north face of Eiger in a storm.
"One thing to remember on the Eiger, never look up, or you may need a plastic surgeon"    — Buy at Amazon.comDon Whillans.
"Greg, we gotta do this thing tomorrow. We're almost out of booze."    — Jim Donini to Greg Crouch beneath Mt Bradley on the Ruth Glacier.
"— We are going to make it...
— I don't think so, but we will finish in style..."    — Clint Eastwood, Buy at Amazon.comThe Eiger Sanction.
"Summits in the Alps go through 3 steps:
— impossible !
— the hardest climb of the Alps
• a lady's walk"    — Buy at Amazon.comGeorge Leigh Mallory.
"Someone asked me what I did this weekend like I'm some sort of mountain climber.
I'm 50 years old Conner, I was on a heating pad eating nachos."    Tracie Breaux.
"You put up with the grind of work or school as long as you can or is required. But then, one day, the phone rings one too many times, or the line at the gas pumps seems unending. The air smells bad. The food foul. 'Enough of this' you cry. You grab your ice tools and are gone."    — Buy at Amazon.comDuane Raleigh.
"Head for the Mountains."    — Anheuser-Busch beer commercial.
"Seattle's pretty rainy, yeah, but the nearby mountain peak is Rainier."    — Lore Sjoberg.
"Ouray is proof that God is an ice climber."

Himalayan Quotes

"Well, we knocked the bastard off !"    — Buy at Amazon.comEdmund Hillary, on first climbing Mount Everest.
"We reached the summit almost together."    — Join press statement of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, 1953.
"If it is a shame to be the second man on Mount Everest, then I will have to live with this shame."    — Tenzing Norgay.
"Wouldn't Mallory be pleased if he knew about this ?"    — Buy at Amazon.comEdmund Hillary, while descending off Everest.
"Mount Everest is very easy to climb, only just a little too high."    — The Observer, 25 Jan 1953.
"It's all bullshit on Everest these days."    — Sir Edmund Hillary.

Moonlight on Cho-Oyu and the kitchen tent, Himalaya.
"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.
"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.
"When I die, throw me on Mt. Everest so it looks like I was trying to do something."    — Kelly.
"I'd let Depends sponsor me if it meant I could give Everest a go."    — BenignVanilla.
"I soon learned that Everest wasn't a private affair. It belonged to many men."    — Buy at Amazon.comThomas Hornbein.
"Pissing through 6 inches of clothes with a 3 inch penis !"    — Anonymous Everest summiteer when asked what was the hardest thing about climbing Mt Everest.
"Himalayan climbing is about putting one foot in front of the other and breathing whilst doing so."    — Roger Baxter-Jones.
"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.
"Nobody climbs mountains for scientific reasons. Science is used to raise money for the expeditions, but you really climb for the hell of it."    — Buy at Amazon.comEdmund Hillary.
"As far as I knew, he had never taken a photograph before, and the summit of Everest was hardly the place to show him how."    — Edmund Hillary, referring to the Buy at Amazon.comSherpa Tenzing Norgay.
"I had climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life."    — Buy at Amazon.comSherpa Tenzing Norgay.
"If climbing the 8000ers is high-altitude 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.
"Climbing is about pioneering new routes, exploring new ground, facing the unknown. Those hooked on climbing the normal routes on the eight-thousanders will miss all theat. They are wasting the best years of their climbing lives."    — Doug Scott.
"Worship any mountain you like. But understand that the really popular holy mountains are going to get all the attention."    — Anne in NYC.

Looks like a tough climb.
"I was just reading a news headline and I thought it said 'double amputee conquers Everquest' and i was like whoa... But it said Everest which is far less impressive."    — Shaft.
"If Everest is the cake, Trango is the topping."
"The 1953 Everest expedition with Hillary led by Hunt had a mortar for the avalanches."
"Because it is there."    — Buy at Amazon.comGeorge Mallory (1886—1924), answer to the question 'Why do you want to climb Mt. Everest ?'.
"The first question which you will ask and which I must try to answer is this, 'What is the use of climbing Mount Everest ?' and my answer must at once be, 'It is no use'.
There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behavior of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron. We shall not find a single foot of earth that can be planted with crops to raise food. It's no use.
So, if you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won't see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for."    — Buy at Amazon.comGeorge Leigh Mallory, 1922 (last seen near the summit with Irvin).
"No one remembers who climbed Mount Everest the second time."    — Na Nook.
"Been there, done that."    — Buy at Amazon.comGreg Child about Everest.
"This is the fucking life, no ?"    — Jean Afanassieff, first frenchman on Everest (on the summit of which he smoked a cigarette waiting for the others).
"How is it Mac that you can climb so well, when you are so decadent ?"    — A Russian climber to Ian McNaught-Davis who was smoking on the summit of Peak Communism.
"Lorsque vous avez été pendant de nombreuses années en montagne, vous pouvez finir par oublier que ce n'est pas un monde pour l'homme. Chaque jour, je dois me souvenir que ce n'est pas un monde pour l'homme. C'est la seule façon sûre de l'aborder. Sinon c'est comme quand un boxeur baisse sa garde, ça peut s'arrêter très vite."    — Nicolas Jaeger, last words before disappearing on the south face of Lhotse.
"I was just reading a news headline and i thought it said 'double amputee conquers everquest' and i was like whoa. But it said Everest which is far less impressive."    — Shaft.
"You've climbed the highest mountain in the world. What's left ? It's all downhill from there. You've got to set your sights on something higher than Everest."    — Buy at Amazon.comWilli Unsoeld.
"I have not had to buy lunch since."    — Buy at Amazon.comStephen Venables about how climbing Everest changed his life.
"What we get from this is adventure and just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life."    — George Leigh Mallory, Buy at Amazon.comClimbing Everest: A history.
"Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top — it is the willpower that is the most important. This willpower you cannot buy with money or be given by others — it rises from your heart."    — Buy at Amazon.comJunko Tabei after becoming the first woman to climb Everest in 1975.
"Together we knew toil, joy and pain. My fervent wish is that the nine of us who were united in face of death should remain fraternally united through life."    — Buy at Amazon.comMaurice Herzog, Annapurna 1950.
"I told him of my concern about avalanche danger on the route but Peter was full of confidence. He had watched the face on many occasions, he told me, and had never seen an avalanche sweep down. I argued no longer. I too had never actually seen an avalanche falling down the face, although they must come down sometimes, I felt, judging from the debris at the bottom. I don't think there is anything very clever about killing yourself off, or even about having a fall and surviving."    — Buy at Amazon.comEdmund Hillary, advising his son Peter on intended ascent of the West Face of Ama Dablam, which ended with an avalanche.
"None of the books or photographs studied before leaving home had even slightly prepared me for such majesty. Truly this is something that does have to be seen to be believed, and that once seen must be continually yearned for when left behind, becoming as incurable a fever of the spirit as malaria is of the body."    — Buy at Amazon.comDervla Murphy upon seeing the Himalaya.
"It seemed as though our first view of the Himalaya was to be indefinitely postponed. Again the great cloud screen rose tall above the curve of the world. I was about to turn away disappointedly when a wild thought made me raise my head higher. They were there, an arctic continent of the heavens, far above the earth and its girdling clouds: divorced wholly from this planet. The idea of climbing over such delicate and distant tips, the very desire of it, never entered my heart or head. Had aI been born amoung or in sight of them, I might have been led to worship the infinite beauty they symbolized, but not to set boot on their flanks, or axe on a crest."    — Buy at Amazon.comW. H. Murray upon seeing the Himalaya.
"During the qualifying round I heard the contestant ahead of me introduced: 'Hardest redpoint: 5.14b, hardest on-sight: 5.13c' (Geoff Weigand). The contestant after me: 'Hardest redpoint: K2' (Buy at Amazon.comGreg Child)."    — Andy Cairns.
"From Everest Base Camp, you can walk four hours and you're lounging on grass, drinking beer with trekkers. K2 stands absolutely on its own. The approach is hard. The base camp feels like the moon. The mountain itself looks utterly impregnable, and there's no easy way up the thing. And all this hits you between the eyes when you see it for the first time. It's like that famous Munch painting. You know the one — The Scream — Except, of course, you're the one doing the screaming."    — Buy at Amazon.comJim Curran.
"No photograph can do justice to 13,000 feet of vertical relief."    — Buy at Amazon.comJim Wickwire about K2.
"We want clean expeditions more than we want clean-up expeditions."    — Mr Shresta, Nepalese minister of Tourism.
"Slug mode is when you lay in your tent with nothin' to do, maybe not even a book to read, maybe not even nothin' to eat. I can do it pretty well."    — Kitty Calhoun.
"Q: What's cold and black and lies at the bottom of the wastebasket ?
A: A Himalayan climber's toe."
"Every climber loses a finger or toe once in a while. This is a small but important reason for Polish climbers' success. Western climbers haven't lost as many fingers or toes."    — Buy at Amazon.comWanda Rutkiewicz.
"He who dies with the most toes, wins."    — Greg Mushial.
"In Ukraine, we have enough climbers without fingers and toes — the only problem is to change bootsize."    — Roman Coval.
"Frostbite ? I consider that a failure."    — Buy at Amazon.comMarc Twight.
"I stared blankly at my fingertips. The ends were black and desiccated, hard to the touch."    — Buy at Amazon.comEd Webster, before losing fingers on Mt Everest.

Safety first mouse (Boeri helmet advertisement)

Climbing Gear and Technique Quotes

"Technique is our protection."    — Chuck Pratt.
"Knowledge is one of the lightest, most valuable things a person can take up a climb."    — Brutus of Wyde.
"A short ice slope separated us from the crest, but we decided to abandon one of our bags, and the wine and major part of the supplies. Lightened by such drastic measures, we spiritedly attacked the rock teeth."    — Buy at Amazon.comAlfred Mummery, on the Zmutt ridge of Matterhorn, 1894.
"Sometimes the best gear for a climb is a good excuse."    — John Sherman.
"Bolts are the murder of the impossible."    — Buy at Amazon.comReinhold Messner.
"There are too many bolts by Yosemite standards; but let's respect the FA. If we don't remove bolts from tightly bolted routes, it'll be easier to defend the runouts on other classics from future parties who will want to add bolts."    — Greg Barnes.
"Every time significant tools have been developed in alpinism, making the extant cutting-edge climbs into mainstream classics, there have been those who have decried the developments, claiming that such tools take the adventure out of the sport. Other individuals, with perhaps more vision or imagination, or perhaps just a greater need for the new tools, have taken the tools, developed skills and techniques beyond the old school, and opened up whole new worlds of the possible.
To which of these two camps of thought belongs the greater sense of adventure? That new technology can and will be used to bring the mountains down to a low but democratic mean; Or that enchantment with the improbable, the search for the barely-possible, is furthered with each stride forward into the unknown ?"    — Brutus of Wyde.
"So if you're gonna argue about bolts on crags, dump the elitist attitude. People who crag a lot, and care about what happens to their crags, are not going to listen (and should not listen!) to someone who considers their sport to be mere training for something bigger and better."    — Lord Slime.
"In the absence of catastrophic evidence to the contrary, experience takes on the appearance of wisdom."    — Craig Connally, the Buy at Amazon.comMountaineering Handbook.

Indoor climbing center for cats
"Fixed gear isn't fixed in time. It gets progressively less and less reliable. It's like a dirt road that's gotten more and more rutted and overgrown over the course of time. What are you preserving by letting it continue to fall into decay ? No one is proposing a four-lane highway, but I appreciate people who go to the effort of smoothing out the dirt road again. Yeah, it may be different than the rutted road, but then, so was the original."    — Theresa Ho.
"And if your pro is 1/4" bolts, don't fall. Don't even hang on them. Sometimes, if you look at them funny they just might pop out on you (a new bolt pulling technique that we are developing)."    — Greg Barnes.
"Stacked nuts are a really good reason to buy more cams."    — Nathan Sweet.
"I don't own a helmet, but the North Chimney is the one place I wanted one. A lot of stuff falls off that cliff."    — Paul Wolf about the Diamond of Longs Peak.
"Climbing rule number xxx — Always leave at least a swallow of water in your partners water bottle, even if they say 'kill it'. Trust me on this."    — Dingus Milktoast.
"I don't know what i dreamed about last night, but i don't feel any better at chimney/OW than i did yesterday evening."    — Anthony.
"— I love the smell of napalm in the morning.
— Huh... It was my MSR..."
"Artificial aids have never been popular with us. If a climber does not feel safe in descending, he ought to practice on rock which he can climb, not spoil rock which he cannot with blacksmith's leavings.
Pegs should never be left as memorials.
When fixed irons are placed with fixed ropes attached, as on the Matterhorn or the Dent du Geant, they spoil the climber and the climbing alike. They attract feckless folks on to the peaks, and torment them with the rock-barrages of pantechnicon parties or the stonier sharp-shooting of daft solitary scramblers."    — Buy at Amazon.comGeoffrey Winthrop Young, Mountain Craft, 1921.
"If the climbing of Everest is, as we've been told, an important stage in the victory of mind over matter, then let every conceivable method be adopted to ensure success. Let dynamite be taken to excavate a better platform for the tents at the highest camps; let the climbers be in sufficient numbers to be always at hand to help an exhausted man; let pitons be taken, cables fixed, and oxygen dumped at various points. It is by these mechanical inventions that the superstitious terrors of the natives will be destroyed, far more than by sacrifice of life or health. And let everything possible be done to facilitate the ascent of future parties; otherwise there will be an appearance of withholding from others the benefits that an ascent of Everest confers."    — RLG Irving.

Anti climb paint applied. What, say that again ?!?
"Nothing illustrates the basic irrationality of climbers better than the code that says you don't leave good equipment behind. Rappel points are set up with the very pitons and sling rope that you consider too cheap and unsafe for climbing. To use expensive equipment for this is deemed an ostentatious display of wealth, a cowardly act or inexcusably bad planning."    — Buy at Amazon.comNick Clinch.
"I don't have any friends, and my nuts are too small."    — Climber on a bad day.
"Love a climber, they use protection."    — Seen on a T-shirt.
"I just bought a complete set of climbing gear on ebay; it comes with a lifetime warranty..."
"You should replace your harness for a variety of reasons as they occur. One reason would be upon your tenth redpoint failure due to the gear loop arrangement being 'crappy', the leg loops being 'too stiff' or the harness having an ugly color pattern that 'just threw me off'. Another occasion for harness replacement is if a climber is stricken with Dulap's Disease (hypertrophy of the fat lining of the abdomen). Usually a larger harness size clears up this problem, but new/prettier colors can also help alleviate symptoms. Otherwise, replace when it starts looking like your underwear (holes, worn spots, faint smell of cabbage)."    — Tim Stich.
"Dave! This sling is still good. Look! It's still got some colour!"    — The Andrew Barry rappel sling test.
"Buying boots by mail order is akin to slotting hexcentrics into a layback crack. You're likely to soon wish you had seen the fit with your own eyes before you had to commit to it."    — Guido.
"The rules of the game must be constantly updated to keep up with the expanding technology. Otherwise we overkill the classic climbs and delude ourselves into thinking we are better climbers than the pioneers."    — Buy at Amazon.comYvon Chouinard.
"Every time significant tools have been developed in alpinism, making the extant cutting-edge climbs into mainstream classics, there have been those who have decried the developments, claiming that such tools take the adventure out of the sport. Other individuals, with perhaps more vision or imagination, or perhaps just a greater need for the new tools, have taken the tools, developed skills and techniques beyond the old school, and opened up whole new worlds of the possible.
To which of these two camps of thought belongs the greater sense of adventure? That new technology can and will be used to bring the mountains down to a low but democratic mean; Or that enchantment with the improbable, the search for the barely-possible, is furthered with each stride forward into the unknown ?"    — Brutus of Wyde.
"I am currently stuck on the 6th pitch of a 10 pitch climb ten miles from anything. I have dropped all of my gear, my rope, my harness and my partner. What is the best way to fabricate a rope from sagebrush and a laptop computer ?"    — Jason Lucero.
"Bolts... I never felt right drilling 'em, but I never felt bad clippin' em."    — Karl Baba.
"Progress in technique, training and equipment had made the climber too efficient; as in many other fields, technique was in the process of killing adventure. For those who sought to define their own nature, in the combat of man against the mountain, there would soon be no solution but the desperate ways of the solo climber and the winter mountaineer."    — Buy at Amazon.comLionel Terray.
"— What way do most people find works best for racking tri-cams ?
— Rack the pink one on its own biner, rack all the rest together on a single biner. Now clip the pink one to your gear sling and deposit the others in the same place as all the other gear you bought but really never use."    — Stephen Prouty.

Ctrl-Z in the real-world.
"To be a decent aid climber you must have the following qualities:
— Alcoholic (helps with others below)
— Stupid
— Suffer short term memory loss
— Moronic
— Obsessed with gear over climbing"    — Eric Coomer.
"It has become popular in other parts of North America, especially in the Northwest, to lay fixed ropes up a climb to avoid having to bivouac or take a chance with the weather. These ropes create an umbilical cord from man to where he truly belongs and to where he can quickly retreat if things get tough. This manifests American love of security and shows that the climber should not be there in the first place."    — Buy at Amazon.comYvon Chouinard.
"The gear or practices that we argue about are rarely the real cause of accidents. More dangerous are inattention, fatigue, ego, and bad karma."    — Karl Baba.
"Personally, I cannot tell the difference between 5.0 and 5.1, or 5.14c and 5.14d. I suspect that no climber can do both."    — Chiloe.
"I find what keeps me safest on climbs is a big, gnarly hexcentric. Specifically in the sense that I let my partner know that I'll be aiming it at vital parts of his body if I ever see that hand come off the belay side of the rope..."    — John.
"Man, I thought you always carry your grigri and a backup grigri on those trad climbs ? You can rap down double ropes if you bring 2... then if you bring another 2, you can use them for backups instead of prussics.
I usually bring 8 grigris, in case my partner forgets his set."    — Jason Liebgott.
"I view a belayer with a grigri the same as I do a webtv user — very suspiciously."    — r5ahhj.
"With all the gear you find at the base of El Cap, you can open a climbing shop."    — Romain Vogler.
"Screwing is more enjoyable than drilling bolt holes."    — Buy at Amazon.comWarren Harding (1925—2002).
"Never cut what you can untie."    — Buy at Amazon.comJoseph Joubert, Weekly Planner.
"With the best equipment in the world the man with poor judgment is in mortal danger."    — Royal Robbins.

The 'Suck' advanced slab protection device

The Rope

"Q: Why do mountain climbers rope themselves together ?
A: To prevent the sensible ones from going home !"
"No, I'm not going to climb that [El Cap]. All of these ropes and gear are to tie up your wife and daughter."    — Jeff Batten.
"You need strong fingers, because when you are weak and fall off, the knot gets difficult to undo !"    — Stevie Haston.
"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."    — Buy at Amazon.comLeo Buscaglia.
"Rope drag is Lucifer's stepchild."    — Nathan Sweet.
"I saw that ! Grabbing the pro — two meters of penalty slack !"
"If we need rope ladders to ascend a peak, then we've climbed our ladders, not the mountain itself."    — Tod Skinner (about the Trango Tower in Karakoram)
"I'm going to have to take you off belay for a second... the dog's all tangled up in the rope."    — Said when the leader is on a 5.11 overhang.
"I teach beginners this simple rule: If you are unsure that the rope reaches the ground or the next anchors, let someone else go down first."    — Brutus of Wyde.
"1) DO NOT EVER take your brake hand off of the beer. Spillage sucks.
2) If your partner falls before clipping the first bolt, be sure to quickly get the fuck out of the way. Gravity kills, dude, so don't try to interfere.
3) Penalty slack should only be invoked when you are in the mood to do so, but at those times, be generous."    — The Primary Belayer Rules of Life, according to MadDog taking a belaying test in a climbing gym.
"Webbing /n./ rope that has been stepped on so many times it is flat."
"Something was wrong. I couldn't put my finger on it, but something was definitely wrong. Suddenly I knew what it was. In the darkness, in the wind and confusion, I had come unclipped from the rappel line. Just as I realized it, it was already too late. The weight of the pack and the steepness of the wall made it impossible for me to keep my balance. With a despairing cry I pitched over backwards into the night sky."    — Buy at Amazon.comDuane Raleigh.
"Nylon rope: one that melts when you fall.
Hemp rope: one that breaks when you fall."    — Buy at Amazon.comTom Patey.
"I really find you intellectually stimulating and would love to converse at length about philosophical questions concerning Plato's Symposium. But first things first: would you mind flaking my rope ?"    — K.M. Johnson.
"While climbing with a guy who had a really old and worn-looking rope, I asked him how often he changed it. 'Everytime it breaks' he said."
"Smoke the pot check the knot,
smoke the dope check the rope !"
"At the gym they teach this convoluted belay technique where you always keep your hand on the rope."    — Overheard at Williamson (SoCal) by Jay Tanzman.
"You have to train your ropes better. Ropes are like dogs. Think consistent reinforcement of good behavior. New ropes need a lot of work. My rope is usually well behaved. However, Emily's rope is always getting itself tied up in knots. I think she neglected it when it was young."    — Sue Hopkins.
"When men climb on a great mountain together, the rope between them is more than a mere physical aid to the ascent; it is a symbol of the spirit of the enterprise. It is a symbol of men banded together in a common effort of will and strength against their own true enemies: inertia, cowardice, greed, ignorance and all weaknesses of the spirit."
"A whirlwind of snapshots of my climbs with Alex:
'Yes, this is perfectly normal.'   — After getting one rap rope stuck above and one stuck below us on Solar Slab in Red Rocks as it started snowing and getting dark.
'Thank god, you don't know enough about climbing yet to be scared.'   — When we had to do a 60-foot unprotectable traverse on a layer of moss and dead pine needles in complete darkness in attempt to find the least dead rap tree in Looking Glass, North Carolina.
'Yes, it is 8 am and we are going to do a 1 pitch climb, but bring your headlamp just in case.'   — I have needed it every single time we have climbed together. I learned my lesson after the above experience.
'You'll thank me later.'   — After somehow turning an easy 1-pitch climb into at least 6 in Oklahoma.
'I want to make sure you get your moneys worth.'   — By giving me the pleasure of bushwhacking the most difficult way to the base of every single climb.
The slideshow goes on and on and on. I was suddenly horrified. Who have I been climbing with and what 'bad habits' have I been taught? Other than how to wear my helmet at a jaunty angle."    — Cara.

More climbing humor at the 'You might be a mountain climber' page.