Why Do You Climb? (in your words)

Why Do You Climb? (in your words)

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Why Do You Climb?

On the Innominata SpurInconserva Photo

This article is to be written by you the reader.

Mountains can challenge us physically, mentally and emotionally the way few other experiences in life do.

Whether the day is spent climbing on a local route or crag or extended days are spent achieving the mountain summit of a lifetime there is something that drives us to rise above our limitations and conquer the challenge.

Why do you climb?

Take a few moments to share your reasons in the comments section.

This is not an opportunity for a Master’s Thesis on the merits of climbing.

It is a chance to share just a few lines about:

Who has inspired you to become a climber?


What event lead you to become a climber?


Where you were when you decided that you had a passion to climb?


Why you have been inspired to gain elevation when most people prefer level ground?.


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Viewing: 21-40 of 40
Brad Marshall

Brad Marshall - Jan 3, 2010 1:56 pm - Voted 10/10

Why Climb?

Don't know, don't care, just do.

This has become my standard answer lately. The more I try to explain to non-climbers what climbing means to me (challenging myself, pushing beyond my limits, going without) they always seem to focus on the difficulties (no water, no showers, no toilets, etc.) and ask "And why do you find this fun?".


edubbs - Jan 3, 2010 2:54 pm - Hasn't voted


The "if you have to ask, you wouldn't understand" thing is simply an excuse offered by those who don't yet understand themselves why they climb, or don't like the implications of their answer. It's certainly not necessarily a bad thing not to know, but thumbing your nose at those who do isn't very nice. For me, it's the views and relative isolation that come with being in the mountains, and the fun of the physical and mental challenge.


lloyd - Jan 3, 2010 11:54 pm - Voted 10/10

Chips n' Beer

There's nothing better than the glow I have after coming down from a climb, completely exhausted, and sitting on the tailgate of my truck with a good friend eating chips and salsa with a beer.


seth@LOKI - Jan 4, 2010 12:36 am - Hasn't voted

It feels

...good, sometimes pristine.. I think that photo on this article conveys the emotion that climbing mountains evokes.


Paddyrock - Jan 4, 2010 1:43 am - Hasn't voted

Adventure ...

what a treat to read this... My body is all aches and pains from a weekend in Yosemite valley... skin tore off my hands from jamming,, .....My knees and ankles ripped to shreds from fighting some brutal off widths...
There was a point of utter contentment that i found inside that OW. The sun shining on us, snow on the north facing side of the valley, the exposure on the cliff, it being totally obscure something that rarely gets climbed and here i am privileged enough to be stuck inside it fighting for dear life...
Nature must have had climbers in mind when she made all these cracks and cliffs for us to climb.
I think the modern World is whats pushing us towards the mountains... Our cities and culture has kind of lost its soul. We have taken the unpredictability out of life and Mountains can give it all back...
I climb for adventure, the great unknown... I have to borrow this quote from Ernest Shackleton, after the endurance expedition, possible the greatest survival story of all time.........

We had seen God in His splendors, heard the text that Nature renders. We had reached the naked soul of man. . . . .


Fabrice.Rimlinger - Jan 4, 2010 6:11 am - Hasn't voted

Alan Arnette quote

So, Why?
Is the answer to reach the ever-higher altitudes on earth ? Or is climbing simply a way of seeing how far you can take yourself ? The brutal honesty it forces ? The clear understanding of the consequences ? The bonds developed when life is simplified ? The insight that personal growth is accelerated when you push ? Or is it just ... because ?
Alan Arnette


lingana - Jan 5, 2010 8:59 am - Hasn't voted

As cliche'd as it may sound...

but, the true fact is, I climb for knowing:
myself better,
what to value in life,
what life is,
what bonds are,
what your priorities are,
ultimately, that it is mother nature, that can help bring us peace of mind, that can cleanse us and help us see the world from an entirely different perspective.


suddendescent - Jan 5, 2010 1:40 pm - Hasn't voted

The quest for renewal...

Despite the assumption that things look great once on a summit, it seems clear in my mind that the challenging moments getting there in pushing those that risk their lives to the limits of their physical and mental endurance gives a sense of renewal that goes beyond the accomplishement .


klwagar - Jan 7, 2010 3:13 am - Voted 10/10

I climb

because I can, because I must, because to do other would to be dead or dying.

Nyle Walton

Nyle Walton - Jan 9, 2010 10:51 am - Hasn't voted

Because of Halliburton

The spark that ignited me to climb mountains was my reading the books by Richard Halliburton some sixty years ago. At age 21 in 1921, Richard vagabonded around the world and later wrote an account of it, The Royal Road to Romance. As soon as he got to Europe, he climbed the Matterhorn anad wrote a very amusing chapter on it that captivated a fourteen-year-old. Subsequently he climb Fujiyama in mid-winter, Popocatepetl in his book, New Worlds to Conquer. Richard was lost at sea in 1939 when he attempted to sail from Hong Kong to San Francisco in a chinese junk.
I began my own climbing career at age 16 when I climbed the Grand Teton and a year later Orizaba in Mexico. Finally at age 21 got to Europe and scaled the Matterhorn. I have climbed many mountains since then and regard mountaineering as the most noble of activities. However now at age 76, I can only read about it.


fossana - Jan 10, 2010 8:14 pm - Voted 10/10

on climbing

I've dabbled in other endurance activities, but I have yet to find another activity that pushes my mental and physical limits as does climbing. It is the reason that after 15+ years I still find it so satisfying and why it is an integral part of what I do and who I am.


HarrisD - Jan 10, 2010 8:57 pm - Hasn't voted

because nothing else feels right

the mountains give me a place to just be.

Joe White

Joe White - Jan 11, 2010 1:06 am - Voted 10/10

I climb...

probably for the same reasons little kids climb trees...


oldgrey - Jan 21, 2011 3:02 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: I climb...

Such a great answer!!


hellroaring - Jan 13, 2010 10:46 pm - Hasn't voted


I would have to say the epiphany for me was when I realized that climbing had nothing to do with all those team-sports-orientated jocks that used to make my life hell cuz I was skinny and couldn't care less about "sports"... but to pin point an exact reason, well I don't think I could put it into mere words really. If you had to pin me down though I guess I'd say it helps me love life and realize what a precious gift just being alive is...being outside in the mountains is quite the kicker isn't it! Even being cold, tired, scared, helps you appreciate the everyday little things taken for granted. Discovering this thing called climbing was a watershed event in my life, as I am sure it was for many of you.


RayMondo - Jan 14, 2010 2:48 pm - Hasn't voted

To be the "I" inside...

The inside has many facets. The subconscious. The primitive - the source of the procreative drive which will ensure genetic survival. But there are better things to do than listen to and feels its chemicals of inhibition. The "I" inside I see as the real me. I don't want to be dictated to. So I defy the sometimes fear that this subconscious manifests on me, and instead use it to enjoy myself. I am not the ape.


iechegar - Feb 24, 2010 3:52 pm - Hasn't voted

A combination of things

Since I was a child I wanted to know what else could I see from the top of mountains (I still do!). Later in life I climbed/hiked more for the challenge and to deal with everyday stress. Also love to be in contact with nature.


tseaney - Mar 15, 2010 12:27 am - Hasn't voted

Anatoli explained it best

"Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambitions to achieve. They are cathedrals, grand and pure, the houses of my religion. I approach them as any human goes to worship. On their altars I strive to perfect myself physically and spiritually. In their presence I attempt to understand my life, to exorcise vanity, greed, and fear. From the vantage of their lofty summits, I view my past, dream of the future, and with unusual acuteness I experience the present moment. That struggle renews my strength and clears my vision. In the mountains I celebrate creation, for on each journey I am reborn."
-Anatoli Boukreev


nattfodd - Mar 16, 2010 8:07 am - Hasn't voted

In pictures

Here's my answer: Why do we climb?

mountainsnbeyond - Apr 7, 2015 8:21 am - Hasn't voted


why i climb mountains?

Viewing: 21-40 of 40