How climbers are driven to new heights
Higher. Further. Faster. What pushes some people to the limits of human endeavour?
Snow-sprinkled mountains seen from driver seat of Porsche 911 GTS
According to world-class alpine climbers like Tom Livingstone, their sport is “exciting, dangerous and exhausting”. But what inspires mountain climbers to carry on going to extremes in order to achieve what often look like impossible goals?
More than just a wall of rockAs a top-class climber, Tom Livingstone has an unwavering drive to seek out new, creative, and increasingly difficult ways to ascend to the highest places in the world. It’s about getting more of what he loves out of his passion. Some might just see a rock face, but to Tom and people like him, it’s a vertical playground, teeming with possibilities. In fact, getting more out of what you love is at the heart of the Porsche GTS range, which itself has evolved out of a commitment to excellence in both performance and experience. These are qualities that climbers share… and a whole lot more.
Climber ascends rock face, looking down
Mountaineers can teach us a lot about climbing out of our comfort zone
A drive that comes from withinWhen you consider the general level of comfort and convenience of modern life, it can be tricky to fathom why anyone would voluntarily put themselves into situations that would require severe mental and physical hardship. For Livingston, the answer is simple, and resonates with those who seek out more from their lives: “Climbing is the most intense, exciting and rewarding way to live your life.”But the drive to embark on these seemingly death-defying feats varies greatly, depending on who you talk to. When asked in 1923 why he wanted to tackle Everest, the ill-fated George Mallory – like Livingstone, another English-born climber – was famously alleged to have replied: “Because it is there.” Ever since, this popular quip has masked the more nuanced and revealing motivations for climbing.
Red Porsche 911 GTS parked, white snow-topped peaks behind
Peak thrills: driving to the top in a Porsche 911 Carrera GTS
An early study of climbers’ psychology identified a whole range of driving factors such as challenge, catharsis, recognition, creative opportunities, contact with nature and the way it allowed them to gain control of their lives. For most of us, the value of overcoming a challenge you’ve set yourself is easy to understand. “Part of the thrill is in taking on the seemingly impossible and making it real and part of our lives,” states Robert Mads Andersen, a climber who pioneered a new route on Everest.
Part of the thrill is in taking on the seemingly impossible and making it real and part of our lives
Robert Mads Andersen | Mountaineer and author
It’s about high expectations… and much, much moreResearch also shows that mountaineers are motivated by the stress and risk that climbing involves, as it helps them feel in control in other areas of their lives. “We can’t control a chaotic world,” says Damien Gildea, a creator of new climbs around the world, “but a mountain is a small finite world with boundaries and set parameters, and just us to act within them.”
Woman attached to guide ropes climbs up a rock face
Top climbers have an inner drive that compels them to go ever further in a quest to achieve more
This research also shows that climbers often have very high expectations of life in general, and that the sport provides a vehicle through which they can get more of what they love out of life – both physically and figuratively. “A climber’s inner drive is fuelled by the inspiration for going further, faster and experiencing more in the great outdoors,” explains Mads Andersen.Always chasing the next adventureBeyond this science, climbers often cite less tangible reasons for taking on peak after peak. “I love the adventure,” says renowned German climber Thomas Huber. “I approach the unknown with all my skills, fire, and partners, and I try to achieve the impossible.”
View from driver seat of Porsche 911 GTS out onto mountains
To achieve the impossible you must approach the unknown
Whatever the reasons, the inspiration that comes from this unwavering drive and commitment is something that has also been instilled within Porsche right from the start. So, whatever mountain you are faced with climbing – whether physically or metaphorically – there’s a reason why you keep pushing yourself towards the extraordinary. Why you seek more of what you love.
Close-up of climber from behind on rock face
Studies have shown that climbers, appropriately enough, have higher expectations in life
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