Favourite Mountaineering Quotes – some funny, some serious

The best climber in the world is the one who’s having the most fun

Alex Lowe

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

Willy Pfisterer

The mountains will always be there, the trick is to make sure you are too

Hervey Voge

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

Maurice Herzog, Annapurna 1950

If you dont let go, you cant fall off!

Jerry Moffatt

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

William Arthur Ward

Mountains have a way of dealing with overconfidence

Hermann Buhl

Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment

Evan Hardin

In the mountains there are only two grades: You can either do it, or you can’t

Rusty Baille

Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are naught without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end

Edward Whymper

It’s a round trip. Getting to the summit is optional, getting down is mandatory

Ed Viesturs

Mountains are not fair or unfair, they are just dangerous

Reinhold Messner

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

English alpinist

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 ,The Social Climbers

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

George Leigh Mallory, 1922

MEN WANTED…For Hazardous Journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success…

Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 Ad

If the conquest of a great peak brings moments of exultation and bliss, which in the monotonous, materialistic existence of modern times nothing else can approach, it also presents great dangers. It is not the goal of “grand alpinisme” to face peril, but it is one of the tests one must undergo to deserve the joy of rising for an instant above the state of crawling grubs

Lionel Terray 1965, in his account of the first ascent of Alaska’s Mt. Huntington

On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude

Lionel Terray

You cannot stay on the mountain forever. You have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know

Rene Daumel, Mont Analogue

Rise early. Fix a time-table to which you must try to keep. One seldom regrets having made an early start, but one always regrets having set off too late; first for reasons of safety-the adage ‘it is later than you think’ is very true in the mountains-but also because of the strange beauty of the moment: the day comes to replace the night, the peaks gradually lighten, it is the hour of mystery but also of hope. Setting off by lantern-light, witnessing the birth of a new day as one climbs to meet the sun, this is a wonderful experience

Gaston Rebuffat, from On Snow and Rock, 1959

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 the feeling of climbing at altitude

Mountains have a way of dealing with overconfidence

Hermann Buhl

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

William Arthur Ward

To those who have struggled with them, the mountains reveal beauties that they will not disclose to those who make no effort. That is the reward the mountains give to effort. And it is because they have so much to give and give it so lavishly to those who will wrestle with them that men love the mountains and go back to them again and again. The mountains reserve their choice gifts for those who stand upon their summits

Sir Francis Younghusband

Do not burn yourself out. Be as I am-a reluctant enthusiast… a part time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it is still there. So get out there and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains. Run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to your body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards

Edward Abbey

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  1. Francis Kabigting  September 16, 2010

    Never under estimate the mountain, or the mountain might take you

    reply
  2. klymm  August 25, 2011

    take nothing but pictures
    leave nothing but footprints
    kill nothing but time
    bring nothing but memories!!!. . .

    peace
    love
    unity

    from: SahMOC

    Samantha Homes Mountaineeering Club!!!. .

    reply
  3. Mohammad Zakwan Nadeem  September 18, 2011

    Allah almighty knows better why he put such beauty at heights and altitudes, he can beautify whole earth in such manner,but he decorated these allures for those,try to explore it.

    reply
  4. gan  November 26, 2011

    i borrowed a quote from here to post to my fb wall…thanks a lot guys.

    reply

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