Table of ContentsWhy Is It You Do What You Do?
An introduction to this album.
Why They Did It
Some notable quotes about why "they" did it.
Other Expressions of Why You Do It
Trip Reports, special articles about why you do it.
Images that best illustrate why you do it.
Additional comments that further explain why you do it.
Why Is It You Do What You Do?Why is it that you climb the rocks, hike the miles, summit the mountains? What is it that causes you to venture out into the wild places of this planet? Why is it that you put up with ominous weather, lousy food, blisters on your feet, mosquitos the size of small birds, and a partner who hasn't showered since last week?
Is there one image, quote or other memory that best expresses the story of why you do it? The purpose of this album is to serve as a repository for those thoughts from each SP member. Please feel free to attach your image (or collage, if one won't do!), or add a comment that will help visitors to better understand just why it is that you do what you do!
Why They Did It (Notable Quotes)An old, now gone missing, forum thread called "Climbing/Mountaineering Quotes" included some beautiful expressions of why people climb mountains. Below is a sampling of this rich treasure (listed in the order they appeared and with the first person to post that quote acknowledged as the contributor):
"Hours slide by like minutes. The accumulated clutter of day-to-day existence – the lapses of conscience, the unpaid bills, the bungled opportunities, the dust under the couch, the inescapable prison of your genes – all of it is temporarily forgotten, crowded from your thoughts by an overpowering clarity of purpose by the seriousness of the task at hand." --Jon Krakauer (contributed by Haliku)
"The mountains are calling and I must go." --John Muir (contributed by Mark Doiron)
"The mountaineer returns to the hills because he remembers always that he has forgotten so much." --Geoffrey Winthrop Young (contributed by Mark Doiron)
"Although civilization is a nice place to visit, I wouldn't want to live there ..." --Tobasco Donkeys, "I Don't Mind" Lyric (contributed by jomal)
"Nobody climbs mountains for scientific reasons. Science is used to raise money for the expeditions, but you really climb for the hell of it." --Sir Edmund Hillary (contributed by Mountain Girl BC)
"You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Because what is below does not know what is above, but what is above knows what is below. One climbs, one sees. one descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know." --Rene Daumal (contributed by supermarmot)
"Eventually, I sickened of people, myself included, who don't think enough of themselves to make something of themselves--people who did only what they had to and never what they could have done. I learned from them the infected loneliness that comes at the end of every misspent day. I knew I could do better." --Mark Twight (contributed by GravityPilot)
"Better to be in the mountains thinking about God, than to be in church thinking about the mountains!" --Ace Kvale (contributed by Hulio)
"Men go back to the mountains, as they go back to sailing ships at sea, because in the mountains and on the sea they must face up, as did men of another age, to the challenge of nature. Modern man lives in a highly synthetic kind of existence. He specializes in this and that. Rarely does he test all his powers or find himself whole. But in the hills and on the water the character of a man comes out." --Abram T. Collier (contributed by SJD)
"I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar, and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities." --Everett Ruess (contributed by mtnpainter)
Here are some other notable quotes that have been submitted to this album:
"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 (contributed by gimpilator)
"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 (contributed by gimpilator)
"Climbing mattered. The danger bathed the world in a halogen glow that caused everything - the sweep of the rock, the orange and yellow lichens, the texture of the clouds - to stand out in brilliant relief. Life thrummed at a higher pitch. The world was made real." --Jon Krakauer (contributed by gimpilator)
"Because it is there." --George Herbert Leigh Mallory (contributed by Dalton1)
Other Expressions of Why You Do ItDo you have a trip report (or something else) that describes why you do it? Let me know and I'll provide a link here.
Alan Arnette's Article: Why I Climb
With over 300,000 vertical feet, 90,000 on Everest expeditions alone, Alan attempts to tell why he does it.
Pablo's TR: Mont Blanc – Our Dream Becomes True
Showtime has arrived for the “Blanco” brothers; their rendezvouz to climb this mythical mountain has come.
BSihler's Article: Ephiphanies and Revelations
BSihler explains his awakening to why he goes to the mountains.
Surrealsummit.com's TR: The Waianae Mountains
Surrealsummit.com describes his first climbing experience.
The Chief's Article: "Driven"!
The Chief explains how, upon first sighting the Eiger in 1968 at the age of nine, he has been driven ever since to climb.
Alpinedon's Article: What Climbing Means to Me
Alpinedon explains how climbing led him from a life of continual failure to a new focus and drive, and an unwillingness to quit.
Schmidt_th's Article: Why I Have to Go to the Mountains – A Declaration of Love!
Schmidt_th explains how being in the mountains makes him happy, and gives him inner peace and unbelievable satisfaction.
Nattfodd's Video: Why Do We Climb?
With great music and outstanding photography, Nattfodd illustrates the draw of the mountains.
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