Maybe I’m A Dirtbag?

I realized – last night – that I was going to see my mom (who’s here, visiting from Arizona), and that I smelled terrible and couldn’t remember the last time that I’d showered. Friday maybe? Or maybe it was Thursday? I know I paddled the river on Saturday, which is pretty much the same as showering…

Since that river bath, over the next five days, I’d climbed twice, biked six times, gone for a run, played soccer twice, and lifted weights four times. Plus there’s that whole Summer Sun Angle (Heat) = Sweat thing.

I’d also mowed the lawn, worked in the yard, gardened, and picked up dog poop in the sun three times.

For my mom, I took a shower.


Everyday Dirtbag Entry #99.

It’s “everyday” dirtbag because I’m not a pure dirtbag.  Not all the way.  Sure, I’ll finish your food if you leave it out (I scrounged food and drink at the Curry Pizza Deck multiple times), and yes, I love to climb more than most things.

I’m willing to sleep under horrendous conditions in order to boulder on one rock, or go without food to finish a route.

I didn’t shower for two weeks and my clothes got nasty.

But, I’m still not the ultimate dirtbag.  I won’t do anything.

For example, on this recent trip to Yosemite, I wanted to boulder 50 routes, climb a few short routes, and get on Astroman.  Clear goals.  But the Harding Slot and one other pitch on Astroman were wet because of a late snow pack.  So that route was out.

I had to find a new, all-day objective.

The Rostrum was the natural choice because of its similar rating, but the NPS had closed it for nesting. Therefore, I decided on The East Buttress of El Cap – not the same type of route as Astroman, but something I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time.

The problem:  My two partners, THE Underwear Model and Care Bear had to switch campsites every single day between 11:00 and 12:00.  They had one site for three days, but the third day was the day I had to switch camps.  So we had exactly one day to climb one long route.  A Friday.  That was it.

And it didn’t work out.

A real dirtbag would have gone off and found some random dude from Nice, France and climbed a long route with him.  And I’ve done that before when staying in Camp 4.  But I didn’t want to.  So maybe I’m not a real dirtbag.

Instead, I just climbed the rock in front of me, often times a boulder problem.  I climbed mostly with no spotter on nothing very famous, in six different areas in the valley.  And it was still beautiful.

Maybe climbing whatever and not caring about the route’s prestige is the true dirtbag way.  The zen dirtbag.  But maybe not.

Honestly, I’m not sure.