not pioneers

We were not pioneers ourselves, but we journeyed over old trails that were new to us, and with hearts open. Who shall distinguish?   J. Monroe Thorington

of mountains and men | 18

“No man can live this life and emerge unchanged. He will carry, however faint, the imprint of the desert, the brand which marks the nomad; and he will have within him the yearning to return, weak or insistent according to his nature. For this cruel land can cast a spell which no temperate clime can […]

of mountains and men | 17

  Point Lenana The wind flags the faded prayers No one notices Except in passing a glance At the known Pray only for the unknown Look across  shrinking glaciers Huddled in a hut Alien the Priest of people Solo climb the line with our eyes Caress the cold iced cracks Warm our hands Feel the […]

of mountains and men | 16

More from Chris Jansen: 5000 ledge Clothes jerk and flutter The wind cuts our bodies Eyes gaunt Force the elation Just tired Cold lava pierce fingers Numb feet feel for toe holds Noses drip freezing pearls Irritated in the wipe The rope tight Hurry with care Swallow the view Inhale the exposure Sheer drop down […]

of mountains and men | 15

From Chris Jansen: Mountains inspire awe in any human person who has a soul. They remind us of our frailty, our unimportance, of the briefness of our span upon this earth. They touch the heavens, and sail serenely at an altitude beyond even the imaginings of a mere mortal. Elizabeth Aston, 2005

of mountains and men | 14

from the logbook at top of Brandberg: Clay lies still but blood’s a rover Breath’s a ware that doesn’t keep Up Lad! When this journey’s over There’ll be time enough for sleep c/o of good mate Stephen Quirke!

of mountains and men | 13

Care of my friend Chris Jansen:  In the mountains there is the promise of… something unexplainable. A higher place of awareness, a spirit that soars. So we climb … and in climbing there is more than a metaphor; there is a means of discovery. ~Rob Parker~

of mountains and men | 12

And now Mr. Chesterton? “Great things are done when men and mountains meet; This is not done by jostling in the street.” William Blake

of mountains and men | 11

“One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.” GK Chesterton

of mountains and men | 10

“Truly it may be said that the outside of a mountain is good for the inside of a man.” George Wherry, Alpine Notes and the Climbing Foot, 1896

the heart resides in africa …

of mountains and men | 9

“There is no single motive for climbing. Whole books have been written on the subject without really getting to the heart of it. However, looking back on those two trips to South Africa I can identify a few strong threads. There was the sheer exhilaration of finding adventure at my moderate standard on huge, dizzily […]

of mountains and men | 8

“I seemed to discover the deep significance of existence of which till then I had been unaware. I saw that it was better to be true than to be strong. The marks of my ordeal are apparent on my body. I was saved and had won my freedom. This freedom, which I shall never lose, […]

of mountains and men | 7

“Is it the summit, crowning the day? How cool and quiet! We’re not exultant; but delighted, joyful; soberly astonished … Have we vanquished an enemy? None but ourselves. Have we gained success? The word means nothing here.” George Leigh Mallory

of mountains and (wo)men | 6

“On the first morning, I took them up Middlefell Buttress: five of us, all on one rope. It was slow, cold and boring. They climbed faster than I did, surrounded with an almost visible aura of masculine resentment. So I took them to Gwynne’s Chimney on Pavey Ark, and as they struggled and sweated in […]