Freedom Climbers…

Oh i had to share this saying. It appears in the closing chapter of Bernadette McDonald’s book, “Freedom Climbers”. It is a vivid and dramatic insight into the Golden years of Polish mountaineering, the period when Polish climbers took to climbing as their genuine shot at freedom, a way out of the oppression following the Second World War. They made the Himalaya their second home and went on to become some of the most extraordinary mountaineers the world has ever known. Days after completing the book, this particular quote continues to haunt me as I keep going back to those heroic lives, herculean ascents and indomitable spirits. Without a doubt, it makes for one of the best pieces of mountaineering literature I’ve ever come across.

Do not forget those who stay in the mountains, keeping vigil by campfires, guarding high passes. The passes you wanted to cross. Their haughty persistence, you may call it madness. But think back to those days when you had dreams, too… Be not hasty to forget those who stayed in the mountains, those determined to last. maybe they still tread the nebulous path that you abandoned.

– Traditional Polish Saying.

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