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Climbing Quotes



"Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery." — John Ruskin (1819—1900), British art critic and writer, in Modern Painters.


"If thy heart fails thee, climb not at all." — Queen Elisabeth I.

"Only through suffering can we find ourselves." — Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

"Was mich nicht zugrunde richtet, macht mich starker." — Nietzsche (1844—1900).

"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." — Friedrich Nietzsche.

"You cannot learn to fly by flying. First you must learn to walk, and to run, and to climb, and to dance." — Friedrich Nietzsche.

"I piss on you all from a considerable height." — Louis-Ferdinand Céline.

"Never measure the height of a mountain until you reach the top. Then you will see how low it was." — Dag Hammerskjold.

"After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb." — Nelson Mandela (1918-).

"I live not in myself, but I become portion of that around me; and to me high mountains are a feeling, but the hum of human cities torture." — Lord Byron.

"Ever since a small boy, I have loved just to look at the mountains, to see them in different lights and from different angles, to feel their rough rock under my fingers and the breath of the winds against my feet... I am in love with the mountains." — Wilfrid Noyce.

"Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, and disregard of all the rules." — George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant (1950).

"My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing." — Aldous Huxley.

"The mountain is not something eternally sublime; it has a great historic and spiritual meaning to us. It stands for us as the ladder of life. Nay, more; it is the ladder of the soul and in a curious way the source of religion. From it came the Law, from it came the Gospel in the Sermon of the Mount. We may trul say that the highest religion is the Religion of the Mountain." — Jan Smuts, South African prime minister, 1919.

"Unusual travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God." — Kurt Vonnegut.

"In his laborious efforts to attain mountaintops, where the air is lighter and purer, the climber gains new strength of limb. In the endeavor to over come obstacles of the way, the soul trains itself to conquer difficulties; and the spectacle of the vast horizon, which from the highest crest offers itself on all sides to the eyes, raises his spirit to the Divine Author and Soverign of Nature." — Pope Pius XI.

"And the ark rested in the 7th month, on the 17th day of the month, upon the mountain of Ararat. And the waters decreased continually until the 10th month: in the 10th month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen." — Genesis 8:1-5.

"The mountains have done the spiritual side of me more good religiously, as well as in my body physically, than anything else in the world. No one knows who and what God is until he has seen some real mountaineering and climbing in the Alps." — Rev F. T. Wethered, 1919.

"Mountains are Earth's undecaying monuments." — Nathaniel Hawthorne.

"Great things are done when men and mountains meet; This is not done by jostling in the street." — William Blake, Gnomic Verses.

"La lutte elle-même vers les sommets suffit à remplir un coeur d'homme. Il faut imaginer Sisyphe heureux." — Albert Camus.

"Short is the little time which remains to you of life. Live as on a mountain." — Marcus Aurelius (121-180), Meditations.

"True greatness comes not when things go always good for you; but true greatness comes when you are really tested, when you have taken some knocks, faced some disappointments, when sadness comes. Because only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be atop the highest mountain." — Richard Nixon.

"I looked back at the summit of the mountain, which seemed but a cubit high in comparison with the height of human contemplation, were in not too often merged in the corruptions of the earth." — Petrarch, Italian Poet, on the summit of Mt Ventoux in 1335.

"Courage is grace under pressure." — Ernest Hemingway (1898—1961).

"You climb to reach the summit, but once there, discover that all roads lead down." — Stanislaw Lem, The Cyberiad.

"Mahomet made the people believe that he would call a hill to him... When the hill stood still, he was never a whit abashed, but said, 'If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill'." — Francis Bacon (1561—1626), English philosopher. Often misquoted as 'If the mountain will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet must go to the mountain'.

"Don't attack a hill from the very bottom — it's bigger than you are !" — Harry Groves, Penn State Coach.

"Lead me to the rock that is higher than I." — Psalms 61:2.

"Climb high
Climb far
Your goal the sky
Your aim the star." — Inscription on steps, Williams College.

"Success is not counted by how high you have climbed but by how many people you brought with you." — Will Rose.

"For we are known for being at once most adventurous in action and yet most reflective beforehand; other men are bold in their ignorance whilst reflection would stop their onset. But, the bravest are surely those that have the clearest vision of what lies before them, danger and glory alike and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it. For whole Earth is a sepulchre of famous men and their story is not only graven in stone over their native land, but, lives on far away without visible symbol, woven into the stuff of other men's lives." — Thucydides (460-404BCE).

"Exemplum de simia, quae, quanto plus ascendit, tanto plus apparent posteriora eius." — Saint Bonaventure (1217—1274).

"Security is mostly a superstition. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run that outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." — Helen Keller.

"You go up to the mountain top and you look out across the sea,
There's a whole lot of places where a young man could be.
You jump down to the rooftops and look out across the town,
You know there's a lot of strange things been circulating round." — Gary Davis.

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds, awake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it reality." — T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia).

"Although love dwells in gorgeous palaces, and sumptuous apartments, more willingly than in miserable and desolate cottages, it cannot be denied but that he sometimes causes his power to be felt in the gloomy recesses of forests, among the most bleak and rugged mountains, and in the dreary caves of a desert." — Giovanni Boccaccio (1313—1375), Decameron, The Third Day, X.

"On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow." — Friedrich Nietzsche (1844—1900).

"Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero." — Horace (65-8 BC)

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious." — Albert Einstein.

"There is probably no pleasure equal to the pleasure of climbing a dangerous Alp; but it is a pleasure which is confined strictly to people who can find pleasure in it." — Mark Twain quotes (1835-1910).

"No one can have a peaceful life who thinks too much about lengthening it." — Seneca.

"Traveler's will cross many rivers and climb many mountains. Plainsmen may always live within a valley. But only those seeking truth will ever reach the summit." — 11th century Indian saying.

"There's something ever egotistical in mountain tops and towers, and all things grand and lofty." — Herman Melville, Moby Dick.

"Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess." — Oscar Wilde.

"Never was anything achieved without danger." — Niccolo Machiavelli.

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." — Goethe.

"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." — Oliver Wendell Holmes.

"Faith can move mountains." — Matthew, Apostle.

"Faith can move mountains; true: mountains of stupidity." — André Gide, French writer (Nobel prize 1947).

"Faith can move mountains; it's true.
Reason leaves them where they are; it's better." — Pierre Bourgault, Bourgault doux-amer.

"Faith can move mountains but let them happily fall down on the heads of other people. What's the point in moving mountains when it's so simple to climb over them ?" — Boris Vian, surrealist French writer and singer, En verve.

"Lord, don't move my mountain, just give me the strength to climb." — From a church hymn.

"When you get to the summit of the mountain, keep climbing." — Tibetan saying.

"Mountains and water will eventually meet." — Chinese saying.

"Who need be craving a world beyond this one ? Here among men are the Purple Hills." — Chinese poem.

"No matter how high the mountain, there will always be a way up." — Anonymous.

"To climb a mountain one must start at the base." — Chinese saying.

"Once drunk, we'll sleep on the bare mountain with the sky as a blanket and the Earth as a pillow." — Li Po, Chinese poet.

"We never grow tired of each other, the mountain and I." — Li Po (AD 762), Chinese poet.

"One who can move mountains start with the little stones." — Confucius, chinese philosopher.

"When men work together, mountains turn to gold." — Chinese saying

"There is no place in the world, in the air, in the middle of the ocean or the depth of the mountains, where one can unburden the evil already done." — Dhammapada.

"Will allow you to climb summits; without will you stay at the base of the mountain." — Chinese saying.

"The deepest sea has a bottom, the highest mountain has a summit." — Chinese saying.

"The higher the mountain, the deeper the valley." — Alsacian saying.

"It's not in the mountains that one stumbles, but on tiny pebbles." — Anonymous.

"Man of the plains, why do you climb the mountain ? So I can see the plain better..." — Chinese saying.

"One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak." — G.K. Chesterton.

"The silence of the mountain is even more beautiful once the birds are quiet." — Taisen Deshimaru, Japanese zen master.

"The only zen thoughts you can find on a mountain summit are those you brought yourself." — Robert Pirsig, American writer.

"What we call strategy is mainly just crossing rivers on bridges and passing mountains though cols." — Anatole France, French writer.

"The watchword of side-issue specialists is 'Look after the molehills and the mountains will take care of themselves'." — Raymond Hull.

"Switzerland is not that great: remove the mountains and what's left ?" — Anonymous.

"One doesn't need to climb a mountain to know if it's high." — Paulo Coelho, Brasilian writer, The Pilgrimage.

"A dwarf can stand on a mountain, he's no taller." — Seneca, Latin philosopher, Letter to Lucilius.

"May our five senses be pure, and may the weather on the honorable mountain be fine." — Japanese pilgrim's motto..

"Only mountains can never meet." — French saying.

"A man without defaults is like a mountain without crevasses. Not interesting." — Ren´ Char, French poet, Feuillets d'Hypnos.

"Between the shores of the oceans and the summit of the highest mountain is a secret route that you must absolutely take before being one with the sons of the Earth." — Khalil Gibran, Libanese poet.

"It is those who get lost, who find the new ways." — Nils Kjaer.

"Everyone praises the views you get from mountain tops, but no one talks about the views that they block." — Nils Kjaer, Letter from the Alps.

"If someone tells you that a mountain has changed place, you are free to believe it; but if you are told that a man has changed character, don't believe it." — Arab saying.

"After you've walked two hours in the mountains, you are more intelligent." — Coline Serreau, French film director, La belle verte.

"If you don't like the sea, if you don't like the mountains, if you don't like the city... fuck you !" — Jean-Luc Godard, French film director, A bout de souffle.

"One final paragraph of advice: Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast ... a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it's still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotised by desk calculators. I promise you this; you will outlive the bastards." — Edward Abbey.

"If I have learned one thing in my 54 years, it is that it is very good for the character to engage in sports which put your life in danger from time to time. It breeds a saneness in dealing with day to day trivialities which probably cannot be got in any other way, and a habit of quick decisions." — Neville Shute.

"In nature there are no rewards or punishments, there are consequences." — Mick Halligan.

"Being old is like climbing a mountain. The higher you get, the more tired and breathless, but your view becomes much more extensive." — Ingmar Bergman, Swedish film director

"For an old man, any hill is a mountain." — Jewish saying.

"O for a life of sensations rather than of thoughts!" — John Keats (1795—1821).

"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings,
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high, untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God." — Magee, John Gillespie (1922—1941), Canadian fighter pilot.

"O cold ! O shivery ! It was your ambrosial beauty. Forget, forgive. Kismet. Let me off this once." — James Joyce (1882—1941), Ulysses, Circe.
"God put us on this earth to read Ulysses and to try to find the time to get started on Finnegan's Wake... He did not intend us to pole-vault or bungy-jump, do aerobics or go white-water rafting." — Malcolm Bradbury, 1993.
"Well could I curse away a winter's night,
Thought standing naked on a mountain top,
Where biting cold would never let grass grow,
And think it but a minute spent in sport." — William Shakespeare (1564—1616), King Henry VI, Act III, Scene II.

"What are you that fly me thus ?
some villain mountaineers ?
I have heard of such.
What slave art thou ?"
— William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, Act IV, Scene II.

"Do you not educate youth at the charge-house on the top of the mountain ?" — William Shakespeare, Love's Labours Lost, Act V, Scene I.

"Ay, to the proof; as mountains are for winds,
That shake not, thought they blow perpetually." — William Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew, Act II, Scene I.

"Talkers are no good doers." — William Shakespeare, Henry VI.

"O femme dangereuse, ô séduisants climats !
Adorerai-je aussi ta neige et vos frimas,
Et saurai-je tirer de l'implacable hiver
Des plaisirs plus aigus que la glace et le fer ?" — Charles Baudelaire.
And I will dedicate the last one to Jennifer (yeah, that's sweet, ain't it ?):

"Live with me, and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dales and fields,
And all the craggy mountains yields." — Christopher Marlowe (1564—1593), The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.

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