“A climb is only there for me. When I climb up a wall, there is a line, before, during and afterwards. It’s like a teacher writing on a blackboard with chalk, only this line is lived by me. But afterwards, you see nothing on the wall. I see my line in my inner eye. It is a huge design, maybe the biggest paintings we do on the highest mountains. But we leave nothing. The next generation can come and they don’t see a line on Everest. The biggest possibility is to create nothing. The something we create is nothing, so when the next generation comes, the world is still empty and they can fill it up. I believe we reinvent the world in each generation. We live life step by step, and at this moment, the steps in front of me are real, but soon, the wind washes away my footprints.”
—Reinhold Messner, first man to summit Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen and also the first on all 14 8000-metre peaks.