The rock climber


“A climber standing under a one thousand meter face and drawing an imaginary line along which he intends to climb adopts exactly the same approach as a painter in front of an empty canvas. As he climbs, he follows his line step by step, grip by grip. He does not work with chisels and knives or brushes and paint, but employs all his endurance, strength and skill. His tools are action, the action of climbing. And when he is back down in the valley and looks up at “his” face, it is no longer the same for him as it was before. A line runs up it, albeit an invisible one; it exists only in the climber's head. Ideally nothing remains in the face. And that nothing is a work of art.”

Reinhold Messner