"Why did you want to climb Mount Everest?" This question was asked of George Leigh Mallory, who was with both expeditions toward the summit of the world’s highest mountain, in 1921 and 1922, and who is now in New York. He plans to go again in 1924, and he gave as the reason for persisting in these repeated attempts to reach the top, "Because it's there."
Letter to his wife Ruth Mallory (1921), acquitted in Everest: The Mountaineering History (2000) by Walt Unsworth, p. 47; also The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory (2001) by Peter Gillman and Leni Gillman, p. 13
I look back on tremendous efforts & exhaustion & dismal looking out of a tent door on to a dismal world of snow and vanishing hopes - & yet, & yet, & yet there have been a good many things to set the other side.
Diary entry (27 May 1924), published in Kingdom of Adventure — Everest (2006) by L. V. Stewart Blacker, p. 124
Gradually, very gradually, we saw the great mountain sides and glaciers and aretes, now one fragment and now another through the floating rifts, until far higher in the sky than imagination had dared to suggest the white summit of Everest appeared.
Mount Everest, The Reconnaissance (1921), Chapter XII: The Northern Approach, "The Reconnaissance of the Mountain", p. 186
Why do we travel to remote locations? To prove our adventurous spirit or to tell stories about incredible things? We do it to be alone amongst friends and to find ourselves in a land without man.
The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory (2001), p. 53