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Alpine Exposures: A Photo Gallery


 

The mountains to me represent a simple and basic place removed from all the human-created stresses and pressures of society. You create your own personal challenge, and that's what I really like about alpine climbing—it has minimal competitiveness to it. One ascent can never be compared [to another], and the very nature of the mountains see to it that every ascent and every summit is different from the next. The mountains are a very honest stage; you can't cheat your way up a big route, you can't rely on the safety net of modern society; it's just you and your partner and the climb ahead. It's pure and very real and, because of that, it is one of the most genuine experiences that you can accomplish. In those moments of complete exhaustion you find a physical strength that you didn't know existed, a mental head space you'd never explored, and a feeling of self satisfaction that you will never forget when you finally sit on the summit. As Greg Child put it, "People may say that alpinism is a fool's game full of meaningless risk, and they may be right, but I climb because I thirst to throw back the margins of my world...I know that I am the best man I can ever hope to be precisely in those moments of maximum fear and doubt."

[Photo] Jon Griffith
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