Why do you climb?

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I am writing a paper on rock climbing. Some of the things that I am wanting to explaine why people whould climb when friends die, it is very cold, it can be uncomfotable, and takes a lot of time. Why dod you climb? I am a begginer, but very interested in climbing halfdome. I really enjoy climbing and I am looking forward to hearing why you enjoy it. Thank You.

-- Carl Sellers (carls@psyber.com), December 14, 1997


I guess I enjoy climbing for several reasons. I enjoy being outside, and this obviously gives me the opportunity to get out into the maountains or other climbing areas. I enjoy it because it helps keep me in shape, and at 45, it isn't always easy to find an enjoyable way to do that. I enjoy it because of the comraderie, being with old friends or meeting new climbers. And I guess I enjoy it because of the thrill, or whatever you want to call it. I don't push myself too hard, and don't expect to ever climb much more than lower .10's, but I still enjoy what I am able to do...

-- Jim Leininger (hleininger@vnet.ibm.com), December 17, 1997.

I myself have not been climbing for more than a couple of years but when I started I enjoyed it and saw it as a hobby; now I feel it is becoming a way of life - every weekend hoping a goog spell of weather - When I am on a hard route I sometimes wonder why I am here, in this place which is so close to death or injury, then I get another bit of gear and once again I am reasured for another couple of minutes. After completing a route I get the most wonderful feeling you can imagine.Perhaps what started out as fun for me has turned into an addiction where I need my fix of rock or ice to see the following week through.!?

-- Billy (billstrachan@sol.co.uk), January 08, 1998.

I am only a novice rock climber but I am an experienced mountaineer and I think that the two are closely related. The reason that I climb involves the cold, the uncomfortable, and the high risk involved. It is the greatest thing in the world to me to climb with a good friend, and relying on eachother, reach a common goal. I think that if climbing was not physically and mentally challenging, or if there was no risk involved, that noone would do it. Climbing is an obsession with me and nothing is better to me than to finish that challenging pitch, beat that ominous mountain, or just to make it home safe with a great experience and motivation for next time.

-- Daniel Denton (foo@bar.com), February 18, 1998.

Climbing is the ultimate extension of a love for the outdoors. It is a fusion of physical and mental states, and a deep love for all things natural in this world. The beauty of clean rock, the asthetics of a clean line, and the sharing of experiences with a good friend or partner, that keep ME coming back. Climbing ultimately lets each climber express themselves in a quite spectacular arena. Some people like climbing for the gymnastic moves, like sport climbers. I simply love the feeling one gets from being in high and exposd places. It seems to simplify the hum-drum of the "work a day" world we live in. Here is a quote that has held meaning for me. "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 has seen what is below. What is below has not seen from above. One climbs,one sees,one descends,one can no longer see, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions based on what one has seen from above"-Rene Duval

Anyway, kind of winded, but I hope that helps.Good luck!

-- Mike T. (mtea@ptc.com), May 18, 1998.

I began climbing now for only a few months and of all the recreation activities i partcipate in such as motorcycling, mountain biking, scuba diving i have to admit that climbing is the most challenging and rewarding. I beleive that in order to live a fulfilled life people have to over come their fears to experience life itself.

-- Danny Garzarettie (Dannygarz@hotmail.com), November 16, 1998.

I climb mountains because of 2 main reasons:

One is to be able to say "I was able to" that really makes me full of pride. The other reason is that I think that it is a great way to get closer to God. In the mountain, you are by yourself and if it is quiet, you can really have a great time chatting with God.

Personally, I have witnessed some miracles while on a mountain...

One day... in the Telapon (In RIO FRIO, MEXICO) It was raining really hard, and the moment we had a mass (we use to do this)It stopped raining, and when the mass ended, we had a big thunderstorm coming. I have many other stories, but i do not want to bore you. BYE

-- Jesus Haces (jhr_shadow007@hotmail.com), October 18, 1999.


I am also a novice rock climber. I started out as an alpine climber (snow, glaciers) and wanted to learn rock climbing because there were so many peaks I couldn't climb because of one pitch of technical rock on it. I don't get out enough to really get a chance to improve my skills on rock but I have enjoyed it when I could. I have high hopes for this next summer.

My first experience on rock I noticed that once I was 40 feet off the deck on toprope the universe had shrunk until there was only Me, the rope, fresh air, and a patch of granite that was within reach of my hands and feet. The pain in my feet from the shoes was gone as well tho it came back as soon as I was off belay. I noticed the same thing on alpine climbs. Your universe is you, the rope, and the snow or ice you are walking on. Take a few steps, look around, take a few more, and keep repeating that until the next step is the one going down. One other thought always would intrude on alpine volcano climbs was when I was on snow or ice, I wished I could be walking on something solid like rock, and when I was on rock I wished I would walk on something more stable like snow or ice. Never satisfied! Volcanos are huge piles of snow, ice and rock that has turned to mud from the acid that sulfer and water makes.

-- Woodie Helmeteer (denali42@home.com), February 20, 2001.

i climb because i want to express myself

-- kajie (k_cyclop@yahoo.com), March 13, 2001.

Climbing is the ultimate problem solving exercise and some people just love a challenge. First you have to find a reliable partner. Then you have to get gear together, time off work, and a place time climb. Once you get to the rock, you have to pick a route, rig a belay, and set pro. Last, but certainly most exciting, you have to get your ass up the wall! And after you're done, everything is just very calm and you can say to yourself, "Damn! I've really accomplished something worthwhile this afternoon." That's why I climb.

-- Matt Wolski (ililliii@aol.com), May 10, 2001.

When I climb, it's almost like the mountain is daring me to try it, telling me that I can't do it. If I make it up, it's not like I'm saying "haha, i told you i could do it." Instead, it gives me the feeling that now we both have a mutual respect for each other. I climb for that feeling.

-- L. Sexton (Soccer24153@aol.com), June 06, 2001.

"It's like moving meditation." -Lynn Hill-

dunno how to respond any better than that. Oh, and the damn tendonitus I have in my elbows is honestly one of the best feelings I've ever had, satisfying me to the core, even if I already have it at a mere age 21. I just hope I can remedy the shiz before I get old. Oh yeah, and chicks dig the forearms, the calluses prove my toughness, and, hey, like Mallory said, it's there;-)

-- yo (climbhoser@yahoo.com), July 30, 2001.

Lets not forget the hotties at the rock gym :p

I've sometimes thought it's about proving that nothing can get in your way. Like 500ft of granite. I dunno, that may sound like bull to some people but i think that's part of it.

For me, it just feels good to pull myself up to the top of a pitch. It's like i've prooved myself i guess.

It's something that's hard to explain, you just have to see if it feels right to you.

-- Jim Davis (jmdavis384@aol.com), March 20, 2003.

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