Joe Simpson

Two Returns
February 16, 2004

MOUNTAIN CLIMBING, of all dangerous sports, has always seemed to me the silliest. Auto racing, almost equally dangerous, is inane enough; still, anyone who drives a car can at least understand the thrill of hugely amplified power in human hands. But the tree climbing and rock climbing that many of us know have no connection with true mountain climbing, those ascents and descents of vertical icy faces with axes and crampons and the linkage of ropes. The very word “sport” seems fraudulent.