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" 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. "
" The way to Everest is not a Yellow Brick Road. "
" I'm intrigued by fanatics - people who are seduced by the promise, or the illusion, of the absolute. "
" 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. "
" There's something about being afraid, about being small, about enforced humility that draws me to climbing. "
" 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. "
" The pieces I've written for 'Outside' magazine are definitely my best work, and they're virtually all about the outdoors. "
" Short form media is reductionist by nature. "
" You get a compound fracture in Colorado where I live, and you can probably be in a hospital within a matter of hours, certainly within a day. "
" Rob Hall was, without doubt, the most competent guide in mountaineering. "
" The way Everest is guided is very different from the way other mountains are guided, and it flies in the face of values I hold dear: self-reliance, taking responsibility for what you do, making your own decisions, trusting your judgment - the kind of judgment that comes only through paying your dues, through experience. "
" 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. "
" I guess I don't try to justify climbing or defend it, because I can't. I see climbing as a compulsion that, at its best, is no worse than many other compulsions - golf or stamp collecting or growing world-record pumpkins. "
" 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. "
" 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'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. "
" When I write books, I've learned not to have any expectations that I'm going to change the world. "
Change The World
" How can you not be a feminist if you have a brain in your head? If you're not a feminist, then you're a problem. "
" Military investigations are designed not to find anyone guilty. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" Almost every magazine piece I've ever written, I felt like I haven't done it justice, like it was just a gloss. "
" 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. "
" Once you believe that God is speaking directly to you, there is no discussion. "
" 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
" I think part of the appeal of Antarctica is experiencing some sort of power, the forces of the natural world. "
" Heaven, for me, is one focused project - it's like a weird form of autism. "
" There is nothing glamorous or romantic about war. It's mostly about random pointless death and misery. "
" I really enjoy researching, and for almost every piece, I research enough to write a book. "
" 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. "
" I'm not even religious, but I get fanaticism. I get the appeal of it. "