Between Summit and Sky
“Mountains are not Stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion.”
― Anatoli Boukreev
A note on myself: I'm in the midst of several writing (1 designing) projects, so in considering my blog and wanting to put up a post on climbing, words kind of failed me at an inopportune time, but thankfully I'm not the first to arrive at this juncture - not for naught is the saying "I'm speechless" rendered so commonly whilst gazing at the horizon from a mountain summit. It is a space where words are not needed (and sometimes being short of breath is also a contributing factor). It's this silence that resonates loudest in the hearts of all climbers. Hence I've tossed in all these quotes because they say what needs to be said... I do have serious inclinations to take my climbing to new levels (pun intended) and take it more seriously (whether mountaineering or rock climbing), but its about the personal journey, and in short, the philosophy that conveniently stands above all is summed up well enough in the last quote of this post!
Hopefully it will inspire you -
"Writing about climbing is boring. I would rather go climbing."
--- Chuck Pratt
“For me, the value of a climb is the sum of three inseparable elements, all equally important: aesthetics, history, and ethics. Together they form the whole basis of my concept of alpinism. Some people see no more in climbing mountains than an escape from the harsh realities of modern times. This is not only uninformed but unfair. I don’t deny that there can be an element of escapism in mountaineering, but this should never overshadow its real essence, which is not escape but victory over your own human frailty.”
--- by Walter Bonatti, ‘Mountains of my life’
'Nowadays technically everything is possible in the mountain, it's been proven. Dotted across the globe there are peaks and faces, unclimbed, which sooner or later someone will certainly climb. So, I say, at least in the mountains let's leave more room for man than technique, and let's distance ourselves from what reduces, confounds, impoverishes.'
--- Walter Bonatti
“...seen from above, landscapes are made up of mountains and watercourses. Just as a transparent model of the human body consists of a framework of bone and a network of arteries, the earth's crust is structured in mountain ridges, river, creeks, and gullies.”
--- Reinhold Messner, Mountains from Space: Peaks and Ranges of the Seven Continents
"The best climber in the world is the one who's having the most fun."