At its finest moments climbing allows me to step out of ordinary existence into something extraordinary, stripping me of my sense of self-importance.
In order to climb properly on big peak one must free oneself of fear. This means you must write yourself off before any big climb. You must say to yourself, I may die here.
Nothing substitutes a large apprenticeship, a heap of experiences which converts into the base of intuition.
Like it or not taking risks, by a total commitment to the mountain and the vagaries of the weather, is essential for the greater satisfaction to be derived from mountaineering.
If you want to climb it badly enough, you will. So... why bother ?
Milton, when he went blind, declared that he could now begin the real work of his life. Similarly, with the merciless passage of time reducing my phisical strengh, I find myself less able to explore the outer world, but better prepared to explore the inner.
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.
History may be accurate. But archaeology is precise.
Pucky lads, a wee bit over their heads.
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