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" Once you believe that God is speaking directly to you, there is no discussion. "
" The way to Everest is not a Yellow Brick Road. "
" When I start any book, I have no idea what I'm going to do. "
" 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. "
" The pieces I've written for 'Outside' magazine are definitely my best work, and they're virtually all about the outdoors. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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'm not even religious, but I get fanaticism. I get the appeal of it. "
" There's something about being afraid, about being small, about enforced humility that draws me to climbing. "
" 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. "
" You can get a lawyer with two months off or a New York socialite who wants to play at being Lewis and Clark and put them up there, but Everest is still in charge; it can still kick butt. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" Happiness means nothing to me. I just want to have meaning and purpose. "
" 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 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. "
" 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. "
" Military investigations are designed not to find anyone guilty. "
" Almost every magazine piece I've ever written, I felt like I haven't done it justice, like it was just a gloss. "
" There is nothing glamorous or romantic about war. It's mostly about random pointless death and misery. "
" It is easy, when you are young, to believe that what you desire is no less than what you deserve, to assume that if you want something badly enough, it is your God-given right to have it. "
" I think part of the appeal of Antarctica is experiencing some sort of power, the forces of the natural world. "
" 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. "
" 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'm intrigued by fanatics - people who are seduced by the promise, or the illusion, of the absolute. "
" 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. "
" Rob Hall was, without doubt, the most competent guide in mountaineering. "
" Heaven, for me, is one focused project - it's like a weird form of autism. "