William...Shatner...On...Climbing - Backpacker


Unearthed video gem features Star Trek captain's hilarious take on mountain climbing

Is there anything William Shatner can't do? The Shat has fought for space peace, protected the streets with Heather Locklear, and now he's philosophizing about the motivations of mountain climbers. The American Alpine Institute unearthed an incredible video with Shatner waxing rhapsodic about climbing during an interview for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

First, some context: The 1989 film (directed by Shatner) begins with Captain Kirk making a leisurely (and unconvincing) free-solo attempt on El Capitan:

Nice! (The next time I go climbing, I'll make sure my belay partner brings the rocket boots.) But it gets better. Check out Shat's analysis (delivered in his trademark halting speech) of why climbers climb mountains:

"I think the climber wants to hug the mountain. He wants to envelope the mountain. He wants to make love to the mountain." Words of insight and genius that go beyond anything we've ever heard, at least when it comes to climbing.

And, because we can't leave well enough alone, there's this:

That's going on my iPod right now.

—Ted Alvarez

William Shatner explains the motivation of climbers (American Alpine Institute)