Perhaps ascent comes at the cost of my soul, but that would just serve to make it the more priceless. I cannot abide the thought of a gray righteous life lived among gray righteous souls. I will not live with only one horizon, spinning dull brown cloth and sowing a single plot of dirt. Do I choose wisely? I do not know, but I choose in full knowledge of the consequence of my sin. If that choice sends my soul into the eternal exile, then so be it. I will add my defiant voice to the cacophony of the damned.
-(Gregory Crouch, Enduring Patagonia)
The author is a climber, and he's wondering if climbing itself, as an intrinsically selfish and violent endeavour, is honourable or could be considered a sin. I'm not a climber, but I can't even begin to describe how relevant I think this sentiment is. Not only to climbing and similar dangerous pursuits, but to life in general. Who wants to spend their years stuck in one place, toiling on the same patch of ground? I suspect many of us are guiltier of that than we'd like to admit. I certainly am.
Anyway, if your choice is between half a lifetime spent working in a cubicle and this mountain, well...to be honest, I can't imagine picking the former.
Anybody want to go to Patagonia with me? ;)