Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:57 am Posts: 129 Location: Above the clouds
"Finally towards spring there was the great glacier run, smooth and straight, forever straight if our legs could hold it, our ankles locked, we were running so low, leaning into the speed, dropping forever and forever in the silent hiss of the deep powder. It was better than flying or anything else, and we built the ability to do it and to have it with the long climbs carrying the heavy rucksacks. We could not buy the trip up nor take a ticket to the top. It was the end we worked for all winter, and all the winter built to make it possible." (Ernest Hemingway, A Movable Feast)
Hard to imagine Hemingway and his wife as back-country skiing in the Alps in the 1920's, but they did!
Can we open this up to literary appreciation for the mountains? Mark Twain wrote some great stuff. This wasn't what I was looking for, but it's very nicely put:
...a man who keeps company with glaciers comes to feel tolerably insignificant by and by. The Alps and the glaciers together are able to take every bit of conceit out of a man and reduce his self-importance to zero if he will only remain within the influence of their sublime presence long enough to give it a fair and reasonable chance to do its work.
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:17 pm Posts: 167 Location: Safety Island
Anatoli Boukreev, Russian mountaineer speaks of what motivated him to climb in the Himalayas; "Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion...I go to them as humans go to worship. From their lofty summits I view my past, dream of the future and, with an unusual acuity, am allowed to experience the present moment...my vision cleared, my strength renewed. In the mountains I celebrate creation. On each journey I am reborn."