The pleasure of risk is in the control needed to ride it with assurance so that what appears dangerous to the outsider is, to the participant, simply a matter of intelligence, skill, intuition, coordination in a word, experience. Climbing, in particular, is a paradoxically intellectual pastime, but with this difference you have to think with your body. Every move has to be worked out in terms of effort, balance and consequences. It is like playing chess with your body. If I make a mistake, the consequences are immediate, obvious, embarrassing and possibly painful. For a brief period, I am directly responsible for my actions. In that beautiful, silent world of the mountains, it seems to me worth a little risk.
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool. To weep is to risk being called sentimental. To reach out to another is to risk involvement. To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self. To place your ideas, your dreams before the crowd is to risk being called naive. To love is to risk not being loved in return. To live is to risk dying. To hope is to risk despair, and to try is to risk failure. But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live. Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave, he's forfeited his freedom. Only the person who risks is truly free.