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Funny Climbing Quotes
Serious Climbing Quotes
Polar Quotes
Climbing Humour:
-You might be a mountain climber if...
-Why Climbing is better than sex... (a man's perspective)
-Why Climbing is better than sex... (a woman's perspective)
-Why Walls are Better than Women (by Wally Barker)


Funny Climbing-Quotes


"A climber's day always starts at the crux: getting out of bed."

"There are only 3 real sports: bull-fighting, car racing and mountain climbing. All the others are mere games." — Hemingway.

"I find that rock climbing is the finest, most healthiest sport in the whole world. It is much healthier than most; look at baseball, where 10.000 sit on their ass to watch a handful of players" — John Salathé, 1974.

"Writing about climbing is boring. I would rather go climbing." — Chuck Pratt.

"If you don't let go, you can't fall off !" — Jerry Moffat.

"I don't have any friends, and my nuts are too small." — Climber on a bad day.

"Love a climber, they use protection." — Bumper sticker.

"Remember when sex was safe and climbing was dangerous ?"

"Gravity is a myth, the Earth sucks."

"Fall (to) /v./ AKA free-solo rappel. A dynamic retreat from a climb. Note: it is never the fall that kills — it's the sudden stop at the end."

"If gravity warps space-time, do grave thoughts warp your mind ?"

"We can lick gravity, but the paperwork's a bit tougher." — Werner von Braun.

Gravity /n./: one of four fundamental forces in nature that affect skiers. The other three are the strong force, which makes bindings jam; the weak force, which makes ankles give way on turns; and electromagnetism, which produces dead batteries in expensive ski-resort parking lots.

Inertia /n./: Tendency of a skier's body to resist changes in direction or speed due to the action of Newton's First Law of Motion. Goes along with these other physical laws:
1) Two objects of greatly different mass falling side by side will have the same rate of descent, but the lighter one will have larger hospital bills.
2) Matter can neither be created nor destroyed, but if it drops out of a parka pocket, don't expect to encounter it again in our universe.
3) When an irresistible force meets an immovable object, an unethical lawyer will immediately appear.

"If everything's under control, you're going too slow." — Mario Andretti.

"Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible." — Doug Lawson.

"They say you can't do it, but sometimes it doesn't always work." — Casey Stengel.

"Well, we knocked the bastard off !" — Edmund Hillary, on first climbing Mount Everest.

"Pissing through 6 inches of clothes with a 3 inch penis" — Anonymous Everest summiteer when asked what was the hardest thing about climbing Mt Everest.

"As far as I knew, he had never taken a photograph before, and the summit of Everest was hardly the place to show him how." — Edmund Hillary, referring to the Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.

"If Everest is the cake, Trango is the topping."

"I really find you intellectually stimulating and would love to converse at length about philosophical questions concerning Plato's Symposium. But first things first: would you mind flaking my rope ?" — K.M. Johnson.

"While climbing with a guy who had a really old and worn-looking rope, I asked him how often he changed it. 'Everytime it breaks' he said."

"If you want to climb it badly enough, you will. So... why bother ?" — Doug Scott.

"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.

"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." — Anonymous English alpinist.

"Get into good physical conditioning by training (unless you are English)." — Chouinard's advice for ice climbing.

"Be careful when you go down. Remember, there's only one step but it's a big one !" — My grandfather.

"Remember: if you take bivouac equipment along, you will bivouac..." — Yvon Chouinard.

"If you do spell check on Denali, you come up with denial..."

"I'm getting cooked on all this wall climbing slavery. I want to sit on the beach, get a tan, and look at girls !" — Pete Takeda, A rock and a hard place.

"If you fall, stand tall, and come back for more." — 2Pac.

"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." — Willi Pfisterer.

"As in any alpine region, the weather is changeable, protection questionable, route-finding bewildering, rockfall frequent and descents tedious. In short, it's everything you could ever ask for." — from the Canadian Alpine Journal, 1993.

"The first in a series of challenging, thrilling and dangerous outdoor adventure games that lets kids experience the realism, excitement and achievement of going Beyond the Limit. Ultimate Climb lets kids experience the thrill and challenge of a real mountain climbing adventure." — Excerpt from the cover of the Microsoft game 'Beyond the Limit: Ultimate Climb'.

"— You guys going up ?
— Yes, yes, we go up
— You may be going a lot higher than you think !" — Don Whillans, to a Japanese party, while descending Eiger.

"Summits in the Alps go through 3 steps:
• impossible !
• the hardest climb of the Alps
• a lady's walk" — George Leigh Mallory.

"If you're ever killed mountain climbing, then all that you've worked for is gone" — Jim Whittaker.

"That which does not kill you will make you stronger." — F.N.
"That which does not make you stronger might be lots of fun before it kills you." — D.U.

"The distinguishing mark of true adventures, is that it is often no fun at all while they are actually happening." — Kim Stanley Robinson.

"The client is trying to kill you, the client is trying to kill himself and the client is trying to kill the rest of the clients." — The 3 rules of mountain guiding.

"You can grunt and heave, sweat and strain, wear yourself out, and unless you simply forget about it and step up, you won't even get off the ground." — Mike Borghoff.

"Mountain climbing is extended periods of intense boredom, interrupted by occasional moments of sheer terror."

"He who remains calm while those around him panics probably doesn't know what is going on."

"The difference between a mountain and a molehill is your perspective." — Al Neuharth.

"Profanity is about the best pro you'll get until the crack starts to narrow. Include doubles of profanity in the #6 to #8 range on your rack for this lead." — Bruce Bindner.

"How do you distinguish between being off-route and putting up a first ascent ?" — Bruce Bindner.

"As a member of an escorted tour, you don't even have to know the Matterhorn isn't a tuba." — Temple Fielding.

"I climb as hard as anyone on earth. I just do it on easier routes." — Mad Dog.

"True, terminal velocity in climbing can vary, and be a lot lower than you think. A bit like; 'Any good rope will last you a lifetime, which may not be as long as you'd wish'." — Stefan Axelsson.

"Naked male sport climbers ? No ! I want naked male trad hogs ! Pushing 50 or over, very hairy chest and back, front tooth missing (no dental insurance), wrinkled yellow toenail fungus, sunburnt dome with long gray ponytail (sparse curls will do), fingers the size of Polish sausages, torn-off nipples due to offwidth damage...
Now there's a man, an image to behold, every climber chick's dream. And when he says: 'Hey, honey, wanna do the DNB ?' you just melt into a heap of adoring lard." — Inez Drixelius.

"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." — Leo Buscaglia.

"— I love the smell of napalm in the morning.
— Huh... It was my MSR..."

"I don't want to write about climbing; I don't want talk about it; I don't want to photograph it; I don't want to think about it; all I want to do is do it." — Chuck Pratt

"Real Programmers don't play tennis, or any sport that requires you to change clothes. Mountain climbing is OK, and real programmers always wear their climbing boots to work in case a mountain should suddenly spring up in the middle of a machine room." — From Real programmers don't write specs.

"Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance." — Anonymous.

"No one is completely useless — They can always serve as a bad example." — Anonymous.

"Q: Why do mountain climbers rope themselves together ?
A: To prevent the sensible ones from going home !"

"Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together." — Carl Zwanzig.

"Q: How is mountain climbing like receiving oral sex from Whoopi Goldberg ?
A: You should never ever look down !"

"Where does all the white go when the snow melts ?"

"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." —George Burns.

"They say that if the Swiss had designed these mountains they'd be rather flatter." — Paul Theroux (1941- ), US-born writer, referring to the Alps.

"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered." — G.K. Chesterson.

"Flying is easy: just throw yourself at the ground and miss." — Douglas Adams.

"— Mommy, mommy, a man just fell off the cliff !
— What did Daddy say ?
— AAAaaaahhhhhhhhh !"

"Was that 'on belay' or 'off belay' ?" — Common climbing last words.

"I'd feel better if we had some crampons. Oh, what the hell, let's go for it..." — Common climbing last words.

"Yes, I'm sure this hold/belay/anchor/rope is good." — Common climbing last words.

"Interesting." — Common climbing last words.

"Oh that pitch... it's a piece of cake." — Common climbing last words.

"Don't fall now or we'll both go." — attributed to Layton Kor to numerous of his partners.

Q: What's the difference between a bad golfer and a bad climber ?
A: A bad golfer sounds like this: "Whack... Damn!"
A bad climber sounds like this: "Damn... Whack!"

Q: What's cold and black and lies at the bottom of the wastebasket ?
A: A Himalayan climber's toe.

"I saw that ! Grabbing the pro — two meters of penalty slack !"

"I'm going to have to take you off belay for a second... the dog's all tangled up in the rope." — Said when the leader is on a 5.11 overhang.

"Yellow-Point — A climb where you were so scared you almost pee'd your pants.
Brown-Point — similar to Yellow-Point except for more severe consequences.
Red-Point — a blood stain left by a cratered climber."

"Crater (to) /v./ To fall and hit the ground."

"Different kinds of climbers:
Novice — Someone (often dead) who should be kept off the mountains at all costs.
Experienced climber — Someone whose death was unavoidable.
Alpine Club Member — Someone who never dies but slowly fades away."

"Alps /n./ cries for assistance, most commonly heard in alpine areas of Great Britain."

"Artificial climbing: knack of appearing to climb by talking about it. This technique is best employed far from actual climbing areas, which tend to be hazardous. Small taverns and pizza parlors with an impressionable clientele are excellent sites for artificial climbing."

"Blood /n./ substance commonly used to mark a climbing route."

"Boulder /n./ place close to the ground to practice falling. When climbers aren't climbing, they like to sharpen their skills by bouldering on large rocks located in places frequented by impressionable tourists. Because bouldering is done without protection, the rule is never to climb higher than you'd like to fall. That is why so many climbers stand around discussing boulder problems instead of climbing them."

"El Capitan /prop. n./ expedition leader in a spanish speaking country."

"Foot jam /n./ offensive accumulation between the toes, caused by wearing the same socks for several days."

"Gorp /interj./ mealtime sound made by a hungry alpinist.
Rurp /interj./ sound made by a climber after downing a hasty lunch."

"Horn /n./ malady brought on by being too long alone in the mountains.
Ice screw /n./ drastic cure for a severe case of horn."

"Layback /n./ what a climber looks forward to at the end of a day."

"Line of weakness: long involved explanation for not attempting a route."

"Matterhorn /n./ trumpetlike musical instrument favored by swiss mountaineers."

"Offwidth crack /n./ remark made in a smartass manner."

"Snow bridge /n./ card game played on a glacier. As in other alpine endeavors, tricks are common, and there is always a dummy."

"Terminal moraine /n./ the last glacier you'll ever climb."

"Unzip (to) /v./ simple yet spectacular way to remove protection."

"Walking: uncommon means of mountain locomotion. See fall, glissade, etc."

"Webbing /n./ rope that has been stepped on so many times it is flat."

"Wilderness /n./ archaic word used to refer to the space that once existed between urban areas and which is now used as a proving ground for 4-wheel drive vehicles."

"Wilderness travel /n./ art of avoiding snowmobiles, four wheel drives and oil wells."


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Serious Climbing Quotes

"Many years ago, I climbed the mountains, even thought it is forbidden. Things are not as they teach us; the world is hollow, and I have touched the sky." — From a Star Trek dying character.

"Doubly happy, however, is the man to whom lofty mountain tops are within reach." — John Muir

"Climbing is not a spectator sport." — Mark Wellman.

"Fear doesn't exist anywhere except in the mind." — Dale Carnegie.

"Train hard and fight easy or train easy and fight hard — and die."

"Mountains are not fair or unfair, they are just dangerous." — Reinhold Messner.

"There have been joys too great to be described in words, and there have been griefs upon which I have not dared to dwell, and with these in mind I say, 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.

"In a sense everything that is exists to climb. All evolution is a climbing towards a higher form. Climbing for life as it reaches towards the consciousness, towards the spirit. We have always honored the high places because we sense them to be the homes of gods. In the mountains there is the promise of... something unexplainable. A higher place of awareness, a spirit that soars. So we climb... and in climbing there is more than a metaphor; there is a means of discovery." — Rob Parker.

"A wise man can see more from the bottom of a well than a fool can from a mountain top."

"We stand on a mountain pass in the midst of a whirling snow and blinding mist, through which we get glimpses now and then of paths which may be deceptive. If we stand still we shall be frozen to death. If we take the wrong road we shall be dashed to pieces. We do not certainly know whether there is any right one. What must we do ? Be strong and of good courage. Act for the best, hope for the best, and take what comes... If death ends all, we cannot meet death better." — James Fitz.

"Sport climbing is neither." — Found on a poster at the gendarme in Seneca rocks.

"Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." — Evan Hardin.

"Death is natures way of telling you that you failed." — SAS Commando.

"There are two kinds of climbers... smart ones and dead ones." — Don Whillans.

"Ich kann nicht mehr (I can do no more)." — Toni Kurz last words while within touching distance of the rescue team, north face of Eiger, 1936.

"The mountains will always be there, the trick is to make sure you are too." — Hervey Voge.

"One cannot climb at all unless he has sufficient urge to do so. Danger must be met (indeed it must be used) to an extent beyond that incurred to normal life. That is one reason men climb; for only in response to challenge does one man becomes his best." — Ax Nelson.

"Nothing illustrates the basic irrationality of climbers better than the code that says you don't leave good equipment behind. Rappel points are set up with the very pitons and sling rope that you consider too cheap and unsafe for climbing. To use expensive equipment for this is deemed an ostentatious display of wealth, a cowardly act or inexcusably bad planning." — Nick Clinch.

"The rules of the game must be constantly updated to keep up with the expanding technology. Otherwise we overkill the classic climbs and delude ourselves into thinking we are better climbers than the pioneers." — Yvon Chouinard.

"We took the customary summit pictures and ate some chocolate. I felt the usual anticlimax. What now ? It was a vicious circle. If you succeed with one dream, you come back to square one and it's not long before you're conjuring up another, slightly harder, a bit more ambitious — a bit more dangerous. I didn't like the thought of where it might be leading me. As if, in some strange way, the very nature of the game was controlling me, taking me towards a logical but frightening conclusion; it always unsettled me, this moment of reaching the summit, this sudden stillness and quiet after the storm, which gave me time to wonder at what I was doing and sense a niggling doubt that perhaps I was inexorably losing control — was I here purely for pleasure or was it egotism ? Did I really want to come back for more ? But these moments were also good times, and I knew that the feelings would pass. Then I could excuse them as morbid pessimistic fears that had no sound basis." — Joe Simpson, Touching the void.

"Because it is there." — George Mallory (1886-1924), answer to the question 'Why do you want to climb Mt. Everest ?'.

"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 (last seen near the summit with Irvin).

"No one remembers who climbed Mount Everest the second time." — Na Nook.

"To the sober person adventurous conduct often seems insanity." — Georg Simmel.

"We do not deceive ourselves that we are engaging in an activity that is anything but debilitating, dangerous, euphoric, kinesthetic, expensive, frivolously essential, economically useless and totally without redeeming social significance. One should not probe for deeper meanings." — Allen Steck, 1967.

"You cannot stay on the summit 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." — René Daumal.

"It has become popular in other parts of North America, especially in the Northwest, to lay fixed ropes up a climb to avoid having to bivouac or take a chance with the weather. These ropes create an umbilical cord from man to where he truly belongs and to where he can quickly retreat if things get tough. This manifests American love of security and shows that the climber should not be there in the first place." — Yvon Chouinard.

"To put yourself into a situation where a mistake cannot necessarily be recouped, where the life you lose may be your own, clears the head wonderfully. It puts domestic problems back into proportion and adds an element of seriousness to your drab, routine life. Perhaps this is one reason why climbing has become increasingly hard as society has become increasingly, disproportionately, coddling." — A. Alvarez, The Games Climbers Play.

"The pleasure of risk is in the control needed to ride it with assurance so that what appears dangerous to the outsider is, to the participant, simply a matter of intelligence, skill, intuition, coordination... in a word, experience. Climbing in particular, is a paradoxically intellectual pastime, but with this difference: you have to think with your body. Every move has to be worked out in terms of playing chess with your body. If I make a mistake the consequences are immediate, obvious, embarrassing, and possibly painful. For a brief period I am directly responsible for my actions. In that beautiful, silent, world of mountains, it seems to me worth a little risk." — A. Alvarez.

"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 alpinism 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.

"Climbing is, above all, a matter of integrity." — Gaston Rébuffat (1921-1985).

"For us the mountains had been a natural field of activity where, playing on the frontiers of life and death, we had found the freedom for which we were blindly groping and which was as necessary to us as bread." — Maurice Herzog, mountaineer and writer.

"The world is a better place to live in because it contains human beings who will give up ease and security in order to do what they themselves think worth doing. They do the useless, brave, noble, divinely foolish, and the very wisest things that are done by Man. And what they prove to themselves and to others is that Man is no mere creature of his habits, no automaton in his routine, but that in the dust of which he is made there is also fire, lighted now and then by great winds from the sky." — Walter Lippmann, journalist.

"The events of the past day have proven to me that I am wholly alive, and that no matter what transpires from here on in, I have truly lived." — Anonymous climber.

"Never cut what you can untie." — Joseph Joubert, Weekly Planner.

"What is hard to endure is sweet to remember."

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going." — Old saying.

"Pain is only weakness leaving the body." — Tom Muccia.

"One can't take a breath large enough to last a lifetime ; one can't eat a meal big enough so that one never needs to eat again. Similarly, I don't think any climb can make you content never to climb again." — Woodrow Wilson Sayre

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out where the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with dust and sweat and blood. At best, he knows the triumph of high achievement; if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." — Theodore Roosevelt.

"I feel that my enemy is anyone who would, given the power to do so, restrict individual liberty, and this includes all officials, law officers, army sergeants, communists, catholics and the house of Un-American Activities Commitee. Of course I'm prejudiced, but I cannot imagine a sport other than climbing which offers such a complete and fulfilling expression of individuality. And I will not give it up nor even slow down, not for man, nor woman, nor wife, nor God." — Chuck Pratt, 1965.

"If we need rope ladders to ascend a peak, then we've climbed our ladders, not the mountain itself." — Tod Skinner (about the Trango Tower in Karakoram)

"Living with the immediacy of death helps you sort out your priorities in life. It helps you to live a less trivial life." — Sogyal Rinpoche

"You've climbed the highest mountain in the world. What's left ? It's all downhill from there. You've got to set your sights on something higher than Everest." — Willi Unsoeld

"If in normal conditions it is skill, which counts, in such extreme situations, it is the spirit, which saves." — Walter Bonatti.

"A sport is advanced by the handful of people who do it brilliantly, but it is kept sweet and sane by the great numbers of the mediocre, who do it for fun." — Elizabeth Coxhead.

"Tomorrow ? Probably back on the ground involved in other struggles more dangerous than loose flakes, more demanding than commitment to a desert wall. Dealing with man can be less than beautiful. Climbing is beautiful." — Bill Forrest, the secret passage route.

"What we get from this is adventure and just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life." — George Leigh Mallory, Climbing Everest: A history.

"The true object, as always, is not simply to get up things and check them off in our guidebook — it is to challenge ourselves." — Doug Robinson.

"You put up with the grind of work or school as long as you can or is required. But then, one day, the phone rings one too many times, or the line at the gas pumps seems unending. The air smells bad. The food foul. 'Enough of this' you cry. You grab your ice tools and are gone." — Duane Raleigh.

"Big alpine routes aren't exactly safe... You need to have your feelers out, and you need to be willing to back off in things aren't quite right. At the same time, you have to push through your doubts and fears." — Michael Kennedy.

"In climbing you are always faced with new problems in which you must perform using intuitive movements, and then later analyze them to figure out why they work, and then learn from them." — Wolfgang Gullich.

"The mountains have rules. they are harsh rules, but they are there, and if you keep to them you are safe. A mountain is not like men. A mountain is sincere. The weapons to conquer it exist inside you, inside your soul." — Walter Bonatti.

"I hope I die before I get old." — The Who

"I stand undefeated alone in the ring just pacing
The sweat and the blood dried on my hands all wasted
I'm shouting "come back and fight for I am the king"
But the lights are all out and the people are gone
How come we always burned brightest when no one was watching ?" — New Model Army, These Words.



Polar quotes


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"If it's 0 degrees today, and it's going to be twice as cold tomorrow, ...how cold will it be ?"

"Why do people say 'it's too cold to snow ?'. It's minus 50 in the Arctic, and there's plenty of snow there."

"First you fall in love with Antarctica, and then it breaks your heart." — Kim Stanley Robinson, first line of his book Antarctica.

"Below the 40th latitude there is no law; below the 50th no god; below the 60th no common sense and below the 70th no intelligence whatsoever." — Kim Stanley Robinson.

"The first time you come down for the adventure. The second time for the money. And the third time because you can't function anywhere else anymore." — About working in Antarctica.

"The land looks like a fairytale." — Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) about Antarctica.

"Great God ! this is an awful place." — Scott (1868-1912), referring to the South Pole.

"Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman. These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale." — Scott, Message to the Public.

"Better a live donkey than a dead lion." — Shackleton (1874-1922) after failing to reach the south pole by 100 km.

"We took risks. We knew we took them. Things have come out against us. We have no cause for complaint." — Scott, found in his diary after his party froze in Antarctica.

"Adventure is just bad planing." — Roald Amundsen (1872-1928).

"In Antarctica you get to know people so well that in comparison you do not seem to know the people in civilization at all." — Apsley Cherry-Garrard (1886-1959), The worst travel in the world.

"They are extraordinarily like children, these little people of the Antarctic world, either like children, or like old men, full of their own importance and late for dinner, in their black tail-coats and white shirt-fronts — and rather portly withal." — Cherry-Garrard about penguins

"Some people have told me they don't think a fat penguin really embodies the grace of Linux, which just tells me they have never seen a angry penguin charging at them in excess of 100mph. They'd be a lot more careful about what they say if they had." — Linus Torvalds.

"Polar exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has yet been devised." — Cherry-Garrard.

"Polar exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has been devised... There are many reasons which send men to the Poles, and the Intellectual Force uses them all. But the desire for knowledge for its own sake is the one which really counts and there is no field for the collection of knowledge which at the present time can be compared to the Antarctic. Exploration is the physical expression of the Intellectual Passion. And I tell you, if you have the desire for knowledge and the power to give it physical expression, go out and explore. If you are a brave man you will do nothing: if you are fearful you may do much, for none but cowards have need to prove their bravery. Some will tell you that you are mad, and nearly all will say, 'What is the use ?' For we are a nation of shopkeepers, and no shopkeeper will look at research which does not promise him a financial return within a year. And so you will sledge nearly alone, but those with whom you sledge will not be shopkeepers: that is worth a good deal. If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg." — Apsley Cherry-Garrard.

"Such extremity of suffering cannot be measured. Madness or death may give relief. But this I know: we on this journey were already beginning to think of death as a friend." — Cherry-Garrard about his winter trip to Cape Crozier.

"We had bad winds at Cape Evans this year, and we had far worse the next winter when the open water was at our doors. But I have never heard or felt or seen a wind like this. I wondered why it did not carry away the earth." — Cherry-Garrard.

"When your feet are cold, cover your head." — Inuit saying.

"Don't eat the snow where the huskies go... the yellow snow..." — Scandinavian saying.

"Many times I have thanked God for a bite of raw dog." — Robert Peary (1856-1920), polar explorer.

"Nothing easier. One step beyond the pole, you see, and the north wind becomes a south one." — Robert Peary (1856-1920), explaining how he knew he had reached the North Pole.

"The Eskimo had his own explanation. Said he: 'The devil is asleep or having trouble with his wife, or we should never have come back so easily'." — Robert Peary (1856-1920), polar explorer.

"For scientific leadership, give me Scott; for swift and efficient travel, Amundsen; but when you are in a hopeless situation, when there seems to be no way out, get on your knees and pray for Shackleton." — Sir Raymond Priestley.

"Q: What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire ?
A: Frostbite."

"Grantarctica /n./ The cold, isolated place where scientists without funding dwell."



Climbing Humor


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"Fall (to) /v./ AKA free-solo rappel. A dynamic retreat from a climb.

Note: it is never the fall that kills — it's the sudden stop at the end."


You Might Be A Mountain Climber If...


  • You own a $75 dress suit and a $1000 Gore-Tex suit.
  • You have ever frozen your lips to an ice screw while blowing an ice plug at your partner.
  • You have ever used an ice axe to chop weeds in the garden.
  • A Mexican bus driver has ever had to open his window because of the way you smelled.
  • You have more summit pictures than wedding pictures.
  • You've ever had icicles hanging from any part of your face.
  • You can pronounce Popocatepetl correctly more than once in a row.
  • You've ever fallen so far that you've run out of adrenaline before you ran out of rope.
  • You say "Namaste" instead of "Hello".
  • You like the smell of burning yak dung.
  • Your suncream is always in a solid state when you need it the most.
  • What you call cold is not on the thermometer scale.
  • When you hear the words 'nose', 'captain' or 'aid', your hands start hurting and swelling.
  • 'Cos 90°' means it was too steep to go and has nothing to do with 1.
  • You arrive at a climbing gym with stoppers and friends still in your bag.
  • You see a girl in the street and you think: "Hmmm, she's a TD+/5.11...".
  • Your definition of a candlelight dinner is: "Thaw the ice with the candle and put it in the bag of freeze-dry".
  • You hear the name "Hillary" and think of Everest instead of Mrs. Clinton and White House scandals.
  • And finally, you understood all the previous lines. If you even laughed, you should get back to work...



  • Why Climbing is Better than Sex
    (a man's perspective)


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  • When you climb, you only have to get yourself to the peak.
  • If you climb with someone other than your regular partner, no one gets mad, in fact, you can all three climb together and share protection !
  • You can reuse your protection, and someone else even cleans it for you, provided you don't put it in too deep.
  • You can leave your protection in for the next guy.
  • There IS such a thing as being too overhung.
  • You can get belayed without first bekissing.
  • A good hand jam can be as satisfying as any other kind of jam.
  • No matter how many times you fall off, you can always climb back on.
  • Having a belay slave is not a criminal offense.
  • The rocks never expect you to call afterward.
  • Dry friction is a positive quality when you're climbing.
  • The rocks don't care if you show up late.
  • The rocks don't complain after 7 or 8 pitches.
  • When you're climbing, a good two-finger jam will support your body weight
  • Your belayer never hesitates when you yell "TAKE!"
  • When you're climbing, weird body positions are considered "cool".
  • The rocks don't scream for help when you try for the on-sight flash.
  • The rocks don't complain when you don't want to do cracks anymore and want to do some face.
  • A three-finger pocket isn't too big.
  • You don't have to wait an hour after getting pumped-out.
  • If you pop off early, the only one mad at you is yourself.
  • If you end up with little bumps on your skin, you can probably blame Poison Ivy or mosquitoes.
  • The gear is safer. And reusable.
  • Chalk is easier to get off the hands.
  • No one thinks you're weird if you have to feel around for a hole/hold.
  • Climbing w/o gear is safer than sex without gear. At least if you die, you die fast.
  • Always something to do with your feet.
  • Routes have safety grades, sex partners don't. I've never had a partner with a G on her forehead.
  • Its ok to stick your hands, feet, fingers, knees, nose, etc into any and all cracks while climbing.
  • You don't have to wash your climbing toys after using them.
  • The positions are more fun.
  • Climbing gets safer over the years, sex gets more dangerous.
  • If you fail, you can always get a second chance.
  • Choice of novice or expert routes.
  • A climb can last all day.
  • Guidebooks tell you who did the 1st ascent and how many time it's been done.
  • Lots of tight cracks.
  • The only rubber you wear is on your feet.
  • There are still rocks that haven't been touched.
  • I actually have someone to climb with.



  • Why Climbing is Better than Sex
    (a woman's perspective)


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  • The rock is always hard.
  • Rocks are never busy watching football when you'd rather climb.
  • Rocks don't complain about the kind of protection you want to use.
  • You can go climbing with another woman and nobody will call you names or hassle you.
  • You can use ropes and harnesses and nobody will think you're kinky.
  • You can go climbing any time of the month.
  • It's over when *you* reach the peak.
  • You won't die of embarrassment if your mother finds your rock gear.
  • If it's in too deep, you can yank on a nut.
  • Nobody ever got pregnant rock climbing !
  • If you need something REAL big, you can always put in a Big Bro' !
  • Your partner won't get mad at you if you bleed while climbing.
  • You can pick the length and diameter or your rope



  • Why Walls are Better than Women
    By Wally Barker


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  • Walls will fuck you in every imaginable way.
  • There are easy walls everywhere.
  • It's pretty easy to find Walls that really suck.
  • After you do a new wall, it acceptable to tell your parents.
  • When you're on top of a wall, it's OK to take a dump.
  • You can do walls even if your not hard.
  • You can do walls less than 16 year old and not go jail.
  • You can share a wall with your friends.
  • You can do more than one wall in a day and not feel guilty.
  • Most walls can be done without raincoats.
  • If things get tough, you can always just nail a wall.
  • You can do a wall in public.
  • If you're persistent, easy walls always will go down.
  • Doing 3 wall in a day is something to brag about.
  • Your wall will always wait patiently for you.
  • You don't have to get cleaned up to do a wall.
  • A wall doesn't care when you come.
  • You can enjoy walls all month long.
  • Walls don't get jealous when you do another wall.

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