Monday, December 6, 2010

4 days

"A good ascent is a victory. A good ascent can be a summit well won under a blue sky; or it can be like the fight of an over-matched boxer, whose victory is the courage to step into the ring and struggle on as long as possible. History, however, seldom records such triumphs of heart. Thus it is with an alpinist, whose greatest achievements and most remarkable statements of character are often played out in losing efforts and doomed causes...

Summit moments stand apart. There are few summits in life, and even fewer in the alpine life. But the success of the alpine life isn't measured in summits, and summits aren't the proper place to celebrate successful ascent, either. A successful ascent should be celebrated in the warmth, comfort, and safety of a bar or a tent far from the mountain's dangerous embrace...

Summits. You want to get there so badly, but once you do, nothing happens. There is no band playing. You climb up and all of a sudden you can see down the other side. But there is no great spiritual revelation that automatically goes along with the view....

Alpinism is so simple: dream about the mountain, go to the mountain, see the mountain, go up the mountain, come back down the mountain, go home. So simple, yet so extraordinarily complex.

~Gregory Crouch on Ascents, Descents and Summits. Enduring Patagonia

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