Of course I climbed Everest without oxygen, but it's not the end of the story for me. The summit itself is not what counts. It's how'd you get there, what'd you climb, and there are really great opportunities to climb on this mountain. It's a beautiful place.
My first climb was on lead; there were pitons, no bolts.
That's what it's all about. It doesn't matter if you climbed the Eiger's north face in two hours and forty-seven minutes or in two days. If it's your challenge, and you're happy with it, that's the most important thing.
Climbing Everest is so big now, with so much money involved, and the Sherpas are not stupid. They see this, and they want to take over the business and kick out the westerners. This is a big fight.
I don't need to come back to Everest.
Everest is how it is right now. We have to fix ropes up there; we have the commercial expeditions. If you don't like that, go on another mountain or choose another part of the mountain. There's still space for everybody.
I'm getting older, turning 40 this year. I had a period where I thought each expedition had to be something harder, something faster. But you can't go on like that, or you're going to die.
These guys make a lot of money. Of course it's hard and dangerous work, but Sherpas are the rich people in Nepal. If you make so much money, you can somehow lose reality.
The people in Nepal don't care about alpinism; they just care about money.
Today, to find a challenge is really hard. In the Alps, everything is done. The new lines, almost all of them are finished. So to find a new challenge, it's all beginning to go to speed.
Right now, I'm just focused on the 8,000-meter peaks. I don't know what's next. I don't think I will get tired of climbing.
I never expected to make a living from climbing, but it got to the point where I either had to get a job or start trying to make some real money from it. I didn't want to be 45 and a dirtbag.
I don't like being restricted. When I climb, I feel free and unrestricted; away from any social commitments.
No one in Switzerland knows me as the Swiss Machine, and that's good, because I don't like it.
When you go to the mountains, you really have to accept that there is always a risk. It's more dangerous than sitting at home watching TV. It's really sad.