"I still view my first Whitbred Round The World race in 1977 as my most memorable sailing achievement. I was going out into the unknown. We were out of touch the whole time. Radios didn't work and we had no GPS; I was navigating with a sexton. I just disappeared after the start, and arrived thirty days later in New Zealand."
"[T]here is a lot of common ground (between sailing and climbing)... When you're climbing, the general rhythm is that you have an anchor, a rest and then you scurry to the next spot to put your anchor in. And do it all over again. With sailing, you just stretch out the time scale by some years (and the expense by quite a number of zeros after the comma).
In 2010, Scottish skipper/ex-priest Bob Shepton "lured" Belgians Nicolas Favresse, Olivier Favresse, Sean Villanueva and American Ben Ditto to the coast of Greenland with photos of a virgin wall, whose location he refused to disclose until they hired him to take them there. The climbers put up several new big-wall routes, using Shepton's sailboat—Dodo's Delight—as their floating base camp.
A rope length away from the summit of Ala Izquierda in Bolivia, Isabel Suppe was pulled from her perch on the summit ridge and tumbled 400m. She and her partner spent the following two nights in the open, trying to crawl back to camp. Her partner died of hypothermia during the second night, and she was rescued the next day. One year later, Isabel hobbled to the base of Serkhe Khollu on crutches, and put up a new line on the southwest face of this 5546-meter peak.
Still gripping his axe, Eliot hung over the water. We pulled him back from being crushed. He didn't whine, whimper or scream out; there was no indication of his pain besides the funny way he rolled his next cigarette.
Alfred Mummery wrote in his 19th century classic book, My Climbs in the Alps and Caucasus, "It has frequently been noticed that all mountains appear doomed to pass through the three stages: An inaccessible peak - The most difficult ascent in the Alps - An easy day for a lady." While the misogynistic temper of this famous quote is obsolete, its more general point seems to ring true.