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For Guys

Upward mobility: 12 inspirational quotes on climbing

Get your dose of inspiration and humour with these noteworthy quotes.

“Each climber loses one finger or toe once in a while. This is a small but important reason for Polish climbers’ success. Western climbers haven’t lost as many fingers or toes.”
– Wanda Rutkiewicz, Polish mountain climber

“The best training was to go to the pub, drink five quarts of beer, and talk about climbing.”
– Ron Fawcett, English rock climber

“Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out – it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.”
– Robert Service, British-Canadian writer


“The hardest thing about Fontainebleau is spelling it.”
– John Black, American rock climber

“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, mountain rescue expert

“One does not climb to attain enlightenment, rather one climbs because he is enlightened.”
– Zen Master Futomaki


“Well, I’ll say this: climbing can kill you, but women can destroy you. There’s a big difference, y’know.”
– Derek Hersey, British climber who died in a fall in 1993

“Most sports require only one ball.”
– Slogan on a climbing t-shirt

“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, grandson of US President Woodrow Wilson


“We do not live to eat and make money; we eat and make money to be able to enjoy life.”
– George Mallory, Everest pioneer

“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

 “John Wayne never wore Lycra.”
– Ron Kauk, on why he climbs in blue jeans