100 Hiking & Mountain Climbing Quotes

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Many of our readers boast their enthusiasm for the outdoors. The outdoors retail industry makes $170 billion annually. Hiking and mountain climbing are two of the best ways to connect with mother nature. To get you inspired, here is a list of our top 100 hiking & mountain climbing quotes. hiking quotes Image from The Outdoors Guy
1.
“Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb.” - Greg Child
2. “Doubly happy, however, is the man to whom lofty mountain tops are within reach.” - John Muir
3. “Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” - Ed Viesturs
4. “Climbing is not a spectator sport.” - Mark Wellman
5. “Remember that time spent on a rock climb isn’t subtracted from your life span.” - Will Niccolls
6. “Climbing is as close as we can come to flying.” - Margaret Young
7. “On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude.” – Lionel Terray
8. “Mountains have a way of dealing with overconfidence.” - Nemann Buhl
9. “In the mountains there are only two grades: You can either do it, or you can’t.” - Rusty Baille
10. “Many climbers become writers because of the misconceptions about climbing.” - Jonathan Waterman
11. “If adventure has a final and all-embracing motive, it is surely this: we go out because it is our nature to go out, to climb mountains, and to paddle rivers, to fly to the planets and plunge into the depths of the oceans… When man ceases to do these things, he is no longer man.” - Wilfrid Noyce
12. “When you ride your bike, you’re working your legs, but your mind is on a treadmill. When you play chess, your mind is clicking along, but your body is stagnating. Climbing brings it together in a beautiful, magical way. The adrenaline is flowing, and it’s flowing all the time.” - Pat Ament
13. “…by bringing myself over the edge and back, I discovered a passion to live my days fully, a conviction that will sustain me like sweet water on the periodically barren plain of our short lives.” - Jonathan Waterman
14. “Take only pictures; leave only footprints.” - Anonymous
15. “It’s always further than it looks. It’s always taller than it looks. And it’s always harder than it looks.” - The 3 rules of mountaineering
16. “It’s a wonderful feeling to push even a tiny piece of the planet down beneath one’s feet. If it’s overhanging plastic, it’s going to pump your arms like bloated sausages; if it’s a steep snow-slope at 27000 feet it’s going to deaden the legs and make the lungs like overworked bellows. Either way, the challenges are obvious.” - Adrian Burgess
17. “One does not climb to attain enlightenment, rather one climbs because he is enlightened.” – Zen Master Futomaki
18. “Many years ago, I climbed the mountains, even thought it is forbidden. Things are not as they teach us; the world is hollow, and I have touched the sky.” - From a dying Star Trek character
19. “Climbing is one of the few sports in which the arena (the cliffs, the mountains and their specific routes) acquire a notoriety that out populates, outshines and outlives the actual athletes.” - Jonathan Waterman
20. “[In mountaineering, if] we look for private experience rather than public history, even getting to the top becomes an optional narrative rather than the main point, and those who only wander in high places become part of the story.” - Rebecca Solnit 
21. “In the American Southwest, I began a lifelong love affair with a pile of rock.” - Edward Abbey
22. “There have been joys too great to be described in words, and there have been griefs upon which I have not dared to dwell, and with these in mind I say, climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are naught without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end.” - Edward Whymper
23. “The aim of the mountaineer, if he wishes to be an artist in the full sense of word, is neither escape nor “the search for the absolute” as some have claimed, but rather seek that place where “the mystic remains silent and the poets start to speak towards men.” - Bernard Amy
24. “In a sense everything that is exists to climb. All evolution is a climbing towards a higher form. Climbing for life as it reaches towards the consciousness, towards the spirit. We have always honored the high places because we sense them to be the homes of gods. 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
25. “Climbing is the lazy man’s way to enlightenment. It forces you to pay attention, because if you don’t, you won’t succeed, which is minor — or you may get hurt, which is major. Instead of years of meditation, you have this activity that forces you to relax and monitor your breathing and tread that line between living and dying. When you climb, you always are confronted with the edge. Hey, if it was just like climbing a ladder, we all would have quit a long time ago.” - Duncan Ferguson
26. “You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place ? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.”- Rene Daumal
27. “To put yourself into a situation where a mistake cannot necessarily be recouped, where the life you lose may be your own, clears the head wonderfully. It puts domestic problems back into proportion and adds an element of seriousness to your drab, routine life. Perhaps this is one reason why climbing has become increasingly hard as society has become increasingly, disproportionately, coddling.” - A. Alvarez, The Games Climbers Play.
28. “The bizarre trend in mountaineers is not the risk they take, but the large degree to which they value life. They are not crazy because they don’t dare, they’re crazy because they do. These people tend to enjoy life to the fullest, laugh the hardest, travel the most, and work the least.” - Lisa Morgan
29. “The pleasure of risk is in the control needed to ride it with assurance so that what appears dangerous to the outsider is, to the participant, simply a matter of intelligence, skill, intuition, coordination… in a word, experience. Climbing in particular, is a paradoxically intellectual pastime, but with this difference: you have to think with your body. Every move has to be worked out in terms of playing chess with your body. If I make a mistake the consequences are immediate, obvious, embarrassing, and possibly painful. For a brief period I am directly responsible for my actions. In that beautiful, silent, world of mountains, it seems to me worth a little risk.” - A. Alvarez
30. “If the conquest of a great peak brings moments of exultation and bliss, which in the monotonous, materialistic existence of modern times nothing else can approach, it also presents great dangers. It is not the goal of grand alpinism to face peril, but it is one of the tests one must undergo to deserve the joy of rising for an instant above the state of crawling grubs. But soon we have to start the descent. Suddenly I feel sad and despondent. I am well aware that a mountaineering victory is only a scratch in space But in spite of this, how sad I feel at leaving that crest ! On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude.” - Lionel Terray
31. “I believe that the ascent of mountains forms an essential chapter in the complete duty of man, and that it is wrong to leave any district without setting foot on its highest peak.” - Sir Leslie Stephen
32. “Some mountaineers are proud of having done all their climbs without bivouac. How much they have missed ! And the same applies to those who enjoy only rock climbing, or only the ice climbs, only the ridges or faces. We should refuse none of the thousands and one joys that the mountains offer us at every turn. We should brush nothing aside, set no restrictions. We should experience hunger and thirst, be able to go fast, but also to go slowly and to contemplate.” - Gaston Rebuffat
33. “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” - T.S. Eliot
34. “Each fresh peak ascended teaches something.” – Sir Martin Convay
35. “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” - John Muir
36. “Me think that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.” - Henry David Thoreau


 
37. “Hiking alone lets me have some time to myself.” - Jamie Luner
38. “The body’s habituation to walking as normal stems from the good old days. It was the bourgeois form of locomotion: physical demythologization, free of the spell of hieratic pacing, roofless wandering, and breathless flight. Human dignity insisted on the right to walk, a rhythm not extorted from the body by command or terror. The walk, the stroll, were private ways of passing time, the heritage of the feudal promenade in the nineteenth century.” - Theodor W. Adorno
39. “After a day’s walk everything has twice its usual value.” - George Macauley Trevelyan
40. “If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.” - Raymond Inmon
41. “Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.” - Wallace Stevens
42. “Walking: the most ancient exercise and still the best modern exercise.” - Carrie Latet
43. “When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the shoe leather has passed into the fiber of your body. I measure your health by the number of shoes and hats and clothes you have worn out.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
44. “I have two doctors, my left leg and my right.” - G.M. Trevelyan
45. “A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.” - Paul Dudley White
46. “My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.” - Aldous Huxley
47. “Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.” - Steven Wright
48. “After a day’s walk everything has twice its usual value.” - George Macauley Trevelyan
49. “When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the shoe leather has passed into the fiber of your body. I measure your health by the number of shoes and hats and clothes you have worn out.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
50. “Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.” - Wallace Stevens
51. “Thoughts come clearly while one walks.” - Thomas Mann
52. “We live in a fast-paced society. Walking slows us down.” - Robert Sweetgall
53. “Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.” - Soren Kierkegaard
Walks
54. “The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk.” - Jacqueline Schiff
55. “I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see.” – John Burroughs
56. “The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
57. “How can you explain that you need to know that the trees are still there, and the hills and the sky? Anyone knows they are. How can you say it’s time your pulse responded to another rhythm, the rhythm of the day and the season instead of the hour and the minute? No, you cannot explain. So you walk.” – The Walk
58. “Make your feet your friend.” - J.M. Barrie
59. “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity”  - John Muir
60. “I’ve learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” - Unknown
61. “Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.” - Cindy Ross
62. “Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.” – Richard M. Nixon
63. “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson Image from Real Aspen
64. “Not all that wander are lost.” - Unknown
65. “The experienced mountain climber is not intimidated by a mountain — he is inspired by it.” - William Artur Ward
66. “Mountain hikes instilled in me a life-long urge to get to the top of any inviting summit or peak.” – Paul D. Boyer
67. “Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley. ” - Theodore Roethk
68. “There may be more to learn from climbing the same mountain a hundred times than by climbing a hundred different mountains.” - Richard Nelson
69. “Discoveries are often made by not following instructions, by going off the main road, by trying the untried.” - Frank Tyger
70. “It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out; it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.” - Robert W. Service
71. “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” - John Muir
72. “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” - Edmund Hillary
73. “There are two kinds of climbers, those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.” - Alex Lowe
74. “The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up” - Robert Persin
75. “The place where you lose the trail is not necessarily the place where it ends.” - Tom Brown, Jr.
76. “The longest journey begins with a single step, not with a turn of the ignition key. That’s the best thing about a walking, the journey itself. It doesn’t much matter whether you get where you’re going or not. You’ll get there anyway. Every good hike brings you eventually back home. Right were you started.”
 - Edward Abbey
77. “Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was.”
- Dag Hammarskjold
78. “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” - Frank A. Clark
79. “Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” - Ed Viesturs
80. “Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature’s darlings.” - John Muir
81. “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” - John Muir
82. “If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.”
- Raymond Inmon
83. “Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.” - Soren Kierkegaard
84. “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
85. “May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” - Unknown
86. “You need special shoes for hiking – and a bit of a special soul as well.” - Emme Woodhull-Bäche
87. “Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than you found it.” - Wilferd Peterson
88. “I like being near the top of a mountain. One can’t get lost here.” - Wislawa Szymborska
89. “Discoveries are often made by not following instructions, by going off the main road, by trying the untried.” - Frank Tyger
90. “When preparing to climb a mountain – pack a light heart.” - Dan May
91. “The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.” - Vince Lombardi
92. “There are two kinds of climbers, those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.” -Alex Lowe
93. “The mountains were there and so was I.” - Maurice Herzog
94. “If the mountain won’t go to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain” - Arab Proverb
95. “Faith moves mountains, but you have to keep pushing while you are praying.” - Mason Cooley
96. “How do you distinguish between being off-route and putting up a first ascent?” - Bruce Bindner
97. “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” - Sir Rannulph Fiennes
98. “Even God cannot make two mountains without a valley in between” - Gaelic Proverb
99. “Mountain hikes instilled in me a life-long urge to get to the top of any inviting summit or peak.” - Paul D. Boyer
100. “The contented person enjoys the scenery of a detour.” - Unknown

(Let us know which hiking / mountain climbing quote is your favorite)

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