[Update] I have been getting a lot of hits on the “quote from into the wild” posts — the ones like this that are just a quote without my personal context of the book and movie… So I am going to put in links to my posts on:
I cannot tell now exactly, it was so long ago, under what circumstances I first ascended, only that I shuddered as I went along (I have an indistinct remembrance of having been out overnight alone), — and then I steadily ascended along a rocky ridge half clad with stinted trees, where wild beasts haunted, till I lost myself quite in the upper air and clouds, seeming to pass an imaginary line which separates a hill, mere earth heaped up, from a mountain, into a superterraean grandeur and sublimity. What distinguishes that summitt above the earthly line, is that it is unhandselled, awful, grand. It can never become familiar; you are lost the moment you set foot there. You know the path, but wander, thrilled, over the bare pathless rock, as if it were solidified air and cloud. That rocky, misty summitt, secreted in the clouds, was far more thrillingly awful and sublime than the crate ofa volcano sprouting fire.
(I get a similar feeling when I hike up mountains! What an amazing writer Thoreau is — he has a sublime way with words.)