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" Everest is not real climbing. It's rich people climbing. It's a trophy on the wall, and they're done... When I say I wish I'd never gone, I really mean that. "
" The thing that is most beautiful about Antarctica for me is the light. It's like no other light on Earth, because the air is so free of impurities. You get drugged by it, like when you listen to one of your favorite songs. The light there is a mood-enhancing substance. "
" Most friendly fire incidents aren't investigated properly because of neglect or a natural inclination to cover up the embarrassing fact that they killed one of their own. "
" Rob Hall was, without doubt, the most competent guide in mountaineering. "
" I never studied writing, but I'd always been a reader and had a secret fantasy about being a writer. "
" When I start any book, I have no idea what I'm going to do. "
" Military investigations are designed not to find anyone guilty. "
" Antarctica has this mythic weight. It resides in the collective unconscious of so many people, and it makes this huge impact, just like outer space. It's like going to the moon. "
" I'm not even religious, but I get fanaticism. I get the appeal of it. "
" Happiness means nothing to me. I just want to have meaning and purpose. "
" I love being outdoors, being in the mountains and the desert, and my wife enjoys that too. That's one of the things that sustain our relationship. "
" The pieces I've written for 'Outside' magazine are definitely my best work, and they're virtually all about the outdoors. "
" Let's not mince words: Everest doesn't attract a whole lot of well-balanced folks. The self-selection process tends to weed out the cautious and the sensible in favor of those who are single-minded and incredibly driven. Which is a big reason the mountain is so dangerous. "
" I think part of the appeal of Antarctica is experiencing some sort of power, the forces of the natural world. "
" What makes climbing great for me, strangely enough, is this life-and-death aspect. It sounds trite to say, I know, but climbing isn't just another game. It isn't just another sport. It's life itself. Which is what makes it so compelling and also what makes it so impossible to justify when things go bad. "
" When I was 23, I went to Alaska by myself into the glaciers of the coast range and climbed a mountain by myself. It was incredibly reckless, incredibly stupid. But I was lucky. And I survived, and I came back to tell my story. "
" Once you believe that God is speaking directly to you, there is no discussion. "
" When I was 23, I climbed this mountain in Alaska called Devil's Thumb alone. It was incredibly dangerous, and I did it because I thought that if I did something that hard and pulled it off, my life was gonna be transformed. And of course, nothing happened. But I get the search for purpose. "
" I've had a lot of crappy jobs, but one of my favorites was working as a commercial fisherman in Alaska. What I loved about it was, you got paid for what you caught. "
" I knew that you couldn't make a living simply writing about the outdoors, so I made an effort from the beginning of my freelance career to write about other subjects. "
" When I went to Everest, I underestimated things. I just didn't know what altitude could do. Or the cold - I especially didn't appreciate the cold. It can be just debilitating, and things can happen so quickly. "
" Heaven, for me, is one focused project - it's like a weird form of autism. "
" Almost every magazine piece I've ever written, I felt like I haven't done it justice, like it was just a gloss. "
" The way to Everest is not a Yellow Brick Road. "
" As I point out in the very first pages of 'Into the Wild,' I approached this book not as a normal, you know, unbiased journalist. "
" Why climb? That's a question that baffles me. It perplexes me. I really asked that a lot on Everest. I can't justify it. I can't say it's for a good cause. All I can say is look at the history of exploration: it's full of vainglorious pursuits. "
" Climbing Mount Everest was the biggest mistake I've ever made in my life. I wish I'd never gone. I suffered for years of PTSD and still suffer from what happened. I'm glad I wrote a book about it. But, you know, if I could go back and relive my life, I would never have climbed Everest. "
" I really enjoy researching, and for almost every piece, I research enough to write a book. "
" There is nothing glamorous or romantic about war. It's mostly about random pointless death and misery. "
" I'm intrigued by fanatics - people who are seduced by the promise, or the illusion, of the absolute. "
" Antarctica is a very alien environment, and you can't survive here more than minutes if you're not equipped properly and doing the right thing all the time. "
Doing The Right Thing