There is a thin…

There is a thin line, however, between mere wretchedness and thrilling, action-packed agony. In 1967, the first party to climb in Alaska’s Revelation Mountains, finding themselves stormed on for more than forty of their fifty-two days in the range, managed to stay on the right side of that line almost continuously.

~ Jon Krakauer in Eiger Dreams

Having an adven…

Having an adventure shows that someone is incompetent, that something has gone wrong. An adventure is interesting enough in retrospect, especially to the person who didn’t have it; at the time it happens it usually constitutes an exceedingly disagreeable experience.

~ Vilhjalmur Stefansson in My Life with the Eskimo

The French, whe…

The French, when it comes right down to it, look at risky sports—and sports in general—in a fundamentally different way than Americans do. We go in for team sports like baseball and football, and the athletic heroes we hold up for our kids to emulate tend to be cast in the squeaky-clean Orel Hershiser mold. The French, in marked contrast, are notorious individualists with a fondness for the sensational deed, the stylish twist, the dramatic solitary act; their athletic role models tend to chain-smoke Gitanes, drive irresponsibly fast, and excel at activities like long-distance windsurfing or soloing 5.12 rock climbs.

~ Jon Krakauer in Eiger Dreams


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