Stories!!! Grab your marshmallows and pull up a campfire! THANKS! :-)


Original Post
Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 120

Someone put out a call for some stories, so here is one to start ya out. In this case, absolutely brand new climber!

So, who would you like us all to stand up and applaud?

Best, Helen

It was stinkin' hot. A fellow climber was in town for a short time, so we simply had to go climb.

Met at the closest part of the local cliffs. No shade.

Okay, we'll go to the Canyon.

Well, not quite shade, but ya take what ya get.

Got up there, got a climb or two in, the sun is finally moving, and more locals show up. Quickly, we have people all along our one guaranteed bit of shade.

As the guys I'm out with are number grades higher than I am, and I'm the third person in our group, I'm just sitting around.

Shortly, I recognize a crag dog I've met, and realize I am acquainted with the climber next to me.

He has graciously brought a climber out for her very first time on real rock.

Surmising that, I'm watching as she belays him up his lead, and lowers. Fine job!

Then, it's her turn. She gives it an admirable effort, gets to the top, and is lowered.

There it is. That grin. High fives and a hug are delivered from the old lady to the young. Clearly, she is hooked forever.

Now, it is time for him to climb again, to clean the anchor. Local ethic here often is to rappel, as much of the hardware is original stuff waiting to be replaced.

Again, I'm just nearby, watching. She's a good belayer, that is clear, and is watching his every move.

He reaches the top, goes in direct.

"Off belay!"

"OFF BELAY??!!???"

"Yes, off belay (kind and gentle, but the grin is starting).

"But how will you get down??!!!" Clearly very concerned. Glances my way, "Does he mean it"???

Okay, time to stand back up. Glance up to verify that's okay with my friend. We're both grinning. This partner is a keeper!

Me: "yes, off belay. Trust me, he wants you to be 1,000 per cent sure of that (climber nodding his head vigorously), but off is correct."

With a dubious look on her face, she can only trust us. Off belay he comes.

And, as he continued, I explained the steps he was taking, what was going on as it was happening, what little she could do as a belayer. And, as she learned these things, a few tips to keep herself safe.

That's my favorite fun story worth sharing. What's yours?

Sean Haynes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 81

I once saw Garibay nearly shit himself while onsighting a line in complete darkness at NJC..

Clearly not as good a story but I always chuckle when I think of him repeadtly saying "Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!" :D

Daniel Joder · · Boulder, CO · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

OK, here's a story...We were 16-years-old and learning as we went back in the mid-70s. Then my buddy took an 80-foot factor 2 fall onto the belay (a Sticht plate clipped into one fixed pin--and nothing else). He flew right by me and disappeared down below. Had that pin pulled...well...luckily it didn't. Oh, the stupidity and sense of immortality of youth! This was on a route ironically called "Suicide" or maybe it was "Suicide Direct" (we were off-route, more than likely), on Camelback Mountain in Phoenix. After that we got some real instruction from the local club (AMC back then) and started to do things a bit more safely. Don't know if it's allowed, but the following link to my blog gives a more complete story of that day: danieljoderphotography.com/...

travis lang · · alexandria,mn · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 485

My first real experience with multi-pitch climbing was out at Devils tower, my partner for the trip was a buddy i had met climbing back at our local crag in Minnesota. From the time we met he has since moved to Wyoming so a couple days spent climbing on the tower seemed like a great idea.

Our first day went smoothly as we did a two pitch route up Tad (5.7) to get our feel for the rock. We took it at an easy pace, finished up for the day and geared up for an early start the next morning so we could be the first group on Durance.

Cut to that early morning alpine start, anyone who has been on this climb or has even ever dreamed about trying some day knows that there are two ways to approach it. One is the direct route which is to rope up down in the bowling alley and do a 5.4 pitch up to the real start of the route.

Or you can do the more traditional route that has you move un-roped up the shoulder of the tower overlooking the lower south face. That is where we found ourselves moving through by headlamp before dawn minding the edge when my partner pauses for a short moment, then proceeds to vomit up his entire breakfast meal of oatmeal and coffee. Without missing a beat he looks back at me and simply says "Pura Vida" (rough Spanish for "its all good") and continues up the rest of the approach. we swapped leads up the entire tower and had an absolute blast after that. But to this day what I remember most is him so casually puking then proceeding on with the route.

Don't get me wrong durance is an amazing route that should be on everybody list but sometimes its your climbing partner that really makes a trip memorable.

j&t

Cpt. E · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 0

1994...still figuring things out.

My friend Brad and I had dragged his non-climbing brother out to do some climbing, to give him an idea of how we spent our time in the great white north.

I proceeded up a pretty scrappy trad route up the back of Marquette Mountain.

I had lead the route, maybe 5.8 on a few occasions previously, but the night before this particular day I had read 'The John Long Book', which among other things suggested slinging flakes.

I encountered a flake near the middle of the route and slung it without much thought other than that I had just done something that other actual climbers did.

I proceeded to the top of the route, placing what I would consider today to be absolutely worthless gear consisting of shitty nuts and sketchy poorly-placed hexes.

Upon reaching what I would think of today as an absolutely suicidal belay stance at the top of the route, I somehow slipped and fell 80', the full length of the cliff, screaming and ripping all my gear while plummeting towards my wide-eyed belayer.

I stopped falling at the bottom of the cliff, bouncing at the end of rope, face to face with my terrified belayer and his brother who says: "holy-s**t do you guys do this all the time??!"

We advised him that of course we did this all the time!

And of course it was the flake that stopped my fall, properly slung as depicted in the 'John Long Book' studied the night before.

Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 45
sean.haynes wrote:I once saw Garibay nearly shit himself while onsighting a line in complete darkness at NJC.. Clearly not as good a story but I always chuckle when I think of him repeadtly saying "Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!" :D
Hahaha. Thanks Sean! I don't think I made it up on the correct holds but I figured out a way to get to the anchors somehow. Damn side pulls!!
simplyput · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 0

My first climbing partner (and also homeboy from teenage times) took me under his wing when I first started climbing. He had probably five years experience on me and got me leading sport routes pretty quickly. Within a year I had moved to Yangshuo after he and I spent a few months on South East Asian limestone. My buddy stayed in Vietnam and helped run a small guiding outfit there.
After a few years of not seeing each other, we reconvened in Eastern Europe with my girlfriend and a few other friends from SE Asia.. While in Vratsa, Bulgaria we decided to take my girlfriend up her first multipitch; a six pitch 6a or so which was 'mostly bolted'. Before I started out on pitch one I threw a set of nuts on my harness to cover the 'mostly' part. The first pitch led me to a bolted anchor occupied by a hairy fat dude with a TR set up and a fixed line set up. His English was meager and my Bulgarian was zilch, so it took some pantomimes, grunts and abbreviated sentences before I understood that he was bringing up six individuals one at a time and then individually teaching them to rap down. Shit. If I was at home I probably would have let the dude know that doing this on a shared multipitch anchor is bad manners, but being the bantamweight foreigner I held my tongue and looked around. There was a ledge with a a slightly obscured tree about 20ft. further up so I figured I would head that direction. When I got the the ledge I found a scrawny little pine and a vertical crack. There was no way I was trusting just the sapling, but figured with a few of the nuts I had brought added in I could make something work. After building the anchor and bringing my girlfriend and then my old buddy up, I looked at him and said, 'so, what do you think of my first trad anchor?'
I was serious.

Alexander Stathis · · Athens, GA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0

My favorite climbing story is somewhat unorthodox.

My friend and I had planned a trip to Red Rock. He had included a few people from the gym that I had met but didn't really know. One of them was a relatively new climber who had never climbed trad before. I had led a few single pitches and had my own (recently bought) rack, so I was psyched to get on some the classic easy multipitch stuff.

A huge storm hits the day we're all supposed to fly out and meet, and of the four of us headed out there only the new girl and I made it. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to go do some trad climbing in a small party while the others made their way out on flights the next day, so I chose to do Dark Shadows because it had bolted belays and we could rap it with single 60 cause that's all I had.

We get up early and hike out to the base. I teach her how to clean and a bit about placements so she knows what to look for. Needless to say I'm gonna lead all the pitches. We start up, and everything is going smoothly through the first two pitches. The belay at the top of the second pitch is a nice big ledge with two bolts on a six or so foot tall face with another big ledge above that where the third pitch starts. Pretty comfy.

So she's hanging out on the first ledge with the bolts, and I start up the third pitch and make it about 15ft with no gear yet when the sudden urge to poop hits me. I climb back down and let her know the situation. Neither of us wants to bail, I'm hoping the urge will subside so I can head back up, and we're discussing whether to rap or not when the decision is suddenly taken from us. I whip the harness and pants off, squat down, and proceed to have no where else to look except into her eyes while losing my last couple meals right there on the rock. I formed a nice, large pile of something I'd describe as slightly more viscous than softserve while feeling rather mortified about losing my shit (literally, heh) with this girl I've barely met on my first multipitch trad climb.

Neither of us had prepared for this eventuality, so the closest supplies are in our bags at the base. I cleaned up with my drawers, careful to use just one side and to leave the other side clean, and cover the pile with them in case anyone else comes along. I lead the last two amazing pitches commando, and we rap back down to the top of pitch 2. I scoop the poo up in my underwear, clean side out, clean up the residue as much as possible, and store it in my chalk bag (her suggestion -- a good one) for the rest of the rap and the hike, then throw it out when we get back to lot.

She was a real trooper about it. We've been dating something like 7-8 months now. We've done multipitch climbs together since then, but we don't ever forget the supplies anymore. I had a blast showing everyone the pictures.

Daniel Joder · · Boulder, CO · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

Great stories!!! Especially Alexander and Cpt E! Alex--you had me laughing out loud all by my lonesome. Keep 'em coming!

Cpt. E · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 0

Alex. Wow.

Daniel Joder · · Boulder, CO · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

Bump--please add your stories! These are great--especially the "emergency-shit-on-the-belay-ledge-with-new-partner tale! Unfortunately, the title may not be the best to encourage folks to contribute. I figure this thread should be as long and entertaining as the current and most excellent "Emotions" thread with all the photos.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 136

Well, since we're on the topic of shit stories, I'll tell y'all about the time I shat myself while climbing:

It was a nice evening in autumn and I decided to do some TR soloing after eating dinner at Sodexo, my college's food provider. I made my first bad decision of the night by choosing to eat some of their pizza, which was really gross and, little to my knowledge, tends to give you the shits. Fast forward, I was climbing one of my favorite 5.9s ever, which happens to be on a tower formation, the tallest at the crag. About 1/2 way up I started to feel the pizza. I had to sit back on the rope and focus all my energy into clenching my butthole closed.

Eventually the urge passed and I continued climbing. It was then that realized there was a thunderstorm rolling in really fast. I could feel the static electricity in the air, and the hair on my arms and legs were all standing up. The next thing I know the sky lights up so bright I flinched and I heard a HUGE crackle of thunder, BOOOOOM!!!! I have never heard anything so loud in my life, and I've had my fair share of close encounters with lightning. I thought I was being struck lightning and I was so scared, I shat myself.

Upon realizing I was didn't get struck, scurried to the top of the tower, dropped my rope, and traversed the back side of the tower to the top of some gullies. I hiked up a hill through some scrub oak for about a quarter mile and found a bush. On this bush, I left my soiled undies and prayed for mercy from the crag gods. Then I sprinted back to the base of the climb, stuffed my gear in my backpack and ran down the approach trail to my car, literally scared shitless.

P.S. I came back the next day to recover my poopy undies, but they were gone. I think a deer must have run off with them or something.

TBlom · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2004 · Points: 95

Alex, it sounds like you had a blast! (pun intended)

I was gonna say, she was either going to marry you or never speak to you again!

What else...

The time Rich swung into a cholla cactus and had spines in his hands and feet, including some through toes and climbing shoes...

The time(s) I started a lead only to scurry back down to poop in the woods...

The 50 footer I took when I was 18...

Catching a guy on a 30 footer after he blew a piece, no injuries, but his feet were on the ground at the end of rope stretch!

Getting sandbagged on my first real trad lead by an 'actual' valley dirtbag. I had a full rack of hexes, cams, and nuts. But the climb was mostly run-out chimney. maybe a total of 6 placements in 3 pitches! I think he had a good laugh...

Puking from exertion at the chains on a couple of ascents (watch out below!)...

The time we got a rope stuck, and then freed, and almost dropped a huge slab of rock on my partner...

The time I soloed the third flatiron at sundown, and then got my rap rope twisted in the chains (had to yell to the nice ladies above to please drop the rope to the jackass below)...

Falling asleep on belay at a hanging belay on the Diamond. Never been so tired, didn't get much sleep before that one...

The time I slipped on rotten ice at the top of Lambs Slide, and started sliding to my death, and managed to self arrest in that early fall ice. Got to the top and winds were probably 70mph and it was getting dark. Got lost for a couple hours trying to find my way through Clark's Arrow, and eventually bivied in a cave for a few hours to get warm before finally pushing through to the warming hut by the Keyhole. Felt really stupid that day!...

Yeah, good memories. Glad I am still here!

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 120
Daniel Joder wrote:Bump--please add your stories! These are great--especially the "emergency-shit-on-the-belay-ledge-with-new-partner tale! Unfortunately, the title may not be the best to encourage folks to contribute. I figure this thread should be as long and entertaining as the current and most excellent "Emotions" thread with all the photos.
How's this? :-)

H. My thread, can edit title at will. Ooo, the power!
Mike Mellenthin · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 0

Haha since we're telling poop stories I guess I have to throw my hat in the ring. I've already told this one on that other old Yosemite dude climbing forum but ah well...

Three summers ago my buddy Matt and I were up in Tuolumne and decided to climb Lucky Streaks. Matt had done the route before but not led the crux pitch, so the plan was for him to lead the odds and me the evens. Matt warned me that all the belays were hanging after the second or third. Being a long term vegetarian at the time, I was used to regular bowel movements and was pretty unworried about mid route disaster.

As Matt sets off onto P3, the 10c crux, I could feel the pressure building.

"Matt, I need to shit."

"No ledges man, hold it."

So Matt finishes P3 and I follow without much event. At the anchor I change over as fast as possible. I need to get off this thing fast, but we still have half the route.

P4 on Lucky Streaks can be done in two ways. You follow a 5.9 dihedral for a while then either belay before or after traversing left under a roof. Leaving the top of P3, I elected to finish the roof and then belay. What I didn't account for was how hard it is to stem 5.9 when all you want to do is shit. There I was trying to do the splits and clench all at the same time. This wasn't going to work. At the top of the dihedral before the traverse I slam in two cams and clove hitch in. There's no ledge, I'm hanging.

"Matt, I'm taking a shit man."

"Don't shit on the route!"

What he probably meant was "don't shit on me". It was a straight shot down the dihedral back to the belay. So I did what any reasonable person would do. I unstrapped the elastic straps on the back of my harness, sat sideways to the wall so I was totally hanging, managed to get my pants down under my harness, took my shirt off, and pooped into it like a diaper. Upon completion I tied the shirt off with a sling and clipped it to a metolious 00 as far away from the belay as possible. Then I built a proper anchor and brought Matt up.

Upon his arrival we debated what to do. Climb out with it? Pitch it off? This shirt was bomber right? Ok, we're throwing it. To the right of Lucky Streaks is Great Pumpkin, a 5.8, and to the left is a bunch of 5.12 we were never going to climb. To the left!

We finished up the route with little affair, although I did get really sunburnt. On the hike down we stuck close to the wall and there the shirt was, propped perfectly against a slab at the bottom of Fairview Dome no worse for the wear. Matt's even got a picture of it as proof, but I'll refrain from posting. I carried it out to the car and held it out the window as we drove to the General Store.

I carried the mess over to the dumpster and Dean Potter was standing there. Slightly starstruck, I nodded a greeting then chucked the thing.

True story.

CCChanceR Ronemus · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 0

Excessive sushi and beer in the Black Canyon North Rim campground Friday night.

Decide to climb the Scenic Cruise Saturday.

Have to poop insanely bad, sitting on pointy rocks at every opportunity to try to force it back up.

I fucking get the peg traverse lead (5.9 R/X).

Get into DFU terrain and almost can't hold it.

Literally get the shit scared out of me.

Finally make it to the belay, rip off pants and completely fill up ziplock sandwich bag with feces.

Chuck fece bag into the depths of the Black Canyon.

Finish Route without incident.

Get screamed at by friend's Black Canyon NP biologist mom for my ziplock litter while retelling this story at a party.

ChapelPondGirl · · Keene, NY · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

The year was 2001. My partner and I are in the Cordillera Blanca In Peru. After warming up and acclimatizing on Pisco, we decide we want to do something bigger, a little more technical. Across the valley sits a peak called Chopicalqui, it is.6345m. The standard way up is a three day snow slog. Neither of us want to do that. Sitting in basecamp we look straight up and see a rib of rock and ice that shoots straight up to the summit ridge. It is directly above us and looks to be about 1000 meters long. We both decide we want to try something outrageous, and we pack our bags for three days, and take off in the middle of the night

Our hope was to find our way trough the moraine and glacier below the rib and dig a snow hole at the base in one day, then Take two days to climb and come down the trade route. The first day went perfectly, and we negotiated the fairly crevassed glacier, cruised through a bowling alley of teetering seracs above our heads, and found a good spot for a snow hole about 100 meters shy of the schrund, protected under a small rock buttress.

The next day started out perfect too. We were up and clearing the schrund just before sunrise. The climbing was just like the opening of Toucing The Void. Cruiser steep snow on an ever ever increasing Angle. Running full rope lengths and belaying out of big, secure snow seats. We were making good time, and the snow turned to snice, then to ice. We were, however, light on experience, and we started making mistakes. The first mistake was that we failed to recognize that the real climbing had begun. Up to now we were literally just running up a pitch and sitting down to belay. We hadn't even bothered to take the gear out of our packs. As the climbing became ever so subtly steeper and more technical, we didn't really realize.

I climbed right past my partner and began to lead out. Making time was my only focus. Halfway up the 60m pitch it occurred to me that I was climbing solid AI 3 or 4 ice. Solid as in, yeah it's fucking steep. Not solid as in you can protect it. The thought of falling hadn't actually occurred to me. The thought of dying hadn't occurred to me. I just became aware that I was ice climbing and had no gear with me.

Thankfully, I found an ice cave Right at the end of the rope and climbed inside. My partner came up and we decided to brew up and eat and break out the rack. We were inside another schrund of sorts, because the climbing above got real steep. There was a rock headwall directly above us too. Somehow or other I drew this lead, and I was stoked to do it. I climbed out of the cave and immediately found myself on overhanging glacier ice. Yep, the lip of a schrund. I actually got a screw or two in and committed. Easy ice after that took me to the rock barrier. I found myself in a right facing corner, stepping up on big blocky things, almost none of it actually attached to the mountain. I was trying to find a way out around this big overhang above me, but the easiest path was right up under it. What the heck I said. I'm from the Gunks, I can pull a roof.

I found two marginal Alien placements, clipped both ropes to them, grabbed on to the sling, and leaned way out to poke my head over the roof. There was about ten feet of climbing above on a vertical wall, but it was featured. I didn't really think, I just scratched my tool on the face above, caught an edge with it, and let go of the sling. Minutes later I was standing on a pedestal about 2' wide and 2' long. There was blue ice above me, so I slammed both tools in, equalized a sling to each, and clove hitched myself in

That's when it hit me. We were about halfway up the rib. Our altitude was just under 6000m. I started gasping for air. I had been holding my breath on that last bit, and now I was exhausted. My pack felt like it weight a hundred pounds. I could barely keep my legs straight I was so tired.

Above me was a runnel of ice hundreds of feet long. It felt like we may actually do this. I knew we had to bear right across this ice and turn the rib on its right aide about 3/4 of the way up, and I thought we were on that ice. It looked to be about two or three pitches up, turn the rib, climb a pitch or two of rock, and hit the summit slope. I thought we may be able to bivy on the southwest ridge on the way down. I was VERY optimistic!

My partner arrived at the belay and promptly informed me that I was fucking insane for doing what I just did. My gear was total shit he said. I sort of half consciously knew that, but what was I going to do? This is what we came here for. Right? He blasted off on the ice above swinging for the cheap seats and yodeling as he went. We both really thought we were going to tick this amazing route off easily. The altitude was really getting to me, and I found myself dozing off while I belayed him. Every few seconds the rope would tug at my device and I would push a bit through. I assured myself that i was still coherent enough to give him a proper belay. With my eyes closed and breathing a little more easily, I started drifting into that sweet sweet comfort of sleepy bliss.

An explosion ripped through my arm. I thought I was falling. It felt as if whatever hit me had torn my arm off. I started screaming. When I realized my arm was still attached I looked at it. The chunk of ice that had hit me was still ricocheting off the rock below. It had caught me in the forearm while I was holding onto the shaft of my tool. I thought for sure it was broken. I was still sleepy, and incoherent, and now thoroughly rattled and confused. I started yelling up to my partner that my arm was broken. I was freaking out. I also noticed that the clouds had rolled in. It was snowing, and visibility had gone way down.

After a few minutes the pain settled down and I was able to function. It wasn't broken, but it scared the bejesus out of me. My partner was looking for a belay stance, but he was in a pile of teetering seracs. So he decided to down climb a ways to some solid ice. I took rope in while trying to tend to my arm. I felt really unsettled all of a sudden about where we were, and what we were doing. I just wanted to go down, and I was having a hard time controlling that emotion. I was crying. Of course I never told him that!

As I was processing and dealing with this flood of hormonal emotion I heard someone say ";;falling!";; I was like, what?? Crazy amounts of slack started dropping all around me. I looked up and saw him sliding down the 75 degree ice, head first, on his back. Literally looking directly at me. Instinctively I locked off the rope and grabbed my hammer. The next instant I was being violently ripped upwards, both of my tools pulled from the ice. Then, everything stopped moving.

He had down climbed to about 30 or 40' above a screw. He had stopped to build an anchor and was in the middle of pushing a screw in when his right crampon popped off his boot. He instantly flipped sideways and started falling. He screamed past threat lone screw and was headed straight to me in the little runnel he had started off in. The screw held, and he was dangling upside down, about 50' above me. I think he fell about 80' or so.

On my end, when he started falling, all this slack slid down to me, which I couldn't pull in. When he past his screw the slack started going up again. A little loop of it girth hitched itself to my hammer and ripped it out of the ice, in turn ripping my other one out. Luckily, I had grabbed the handle of the tool while this was happening. I was left dangling about a foot off the rock pedestal, hanging on to my hammer, both of us hanging on that lone screw that seemed a thousand miles above me.

When everything settled down I looked below me and the vast expanse of empty space and air Around me made me want to vomit. We were about 1500' off the glacier and completely alone. No one even knew we were up here. But, we were both alive and apparently uninjured. My partner righted himself. I sorted the ropes out and lowered him down to me. We began the ";;lets get the fuck out of here";; sequence I built a marginal rock anchor, and we rapped back to the ice cave below. We rapped off a v thread from the cave, but then there was nothing else to rap off of. He had no crampon, so he couldn't down climb. I had to lower him, and then down climb. Every step down I was certain I was going to die. Pitch after pitch of unprotected downclimbing really got to me and I found myself stopping, burying my head in the snow to clear it of all the negative, paralyzing thoughts that were creeping in. I cried. I screamed. I laughed. Finally I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't take the feeling of teetering on complete disaster. I slammed the only snow stake we had left into the slope, fixed the rope to it and rapped off.

I didn't even test it. I was done. I didn't care anymore. I just wanted down as fast as possible. Maybe falling here wouldn't be so bad. A few hundred feet down steep snow, I would shoot over the schrund, and with any luck, come to rest right back in our snow hole. That's how I was thinking. I rapped past my partner, and down to the end of the rope. It fell short of the ground by about 20'. I looked down, pushed myself away from the lip of the schrund, and let go. I flopped down into the snow, just below the schrund. My partner followed soon after, cursing me because the rope had wound up way to his left, forcing him to do a one footed traverse to clip into it. He flopped down next to me. We both laid there for a long time. Saying nothing.

A small object was poking out of the snow just to my right. I brushed it off with my glove. It was his crampon. Thanks was all he said. He hadn't the emotional reserve to get excited about it. As we looked at each other, sizing one another up for what he still had to do, we both hearda Dull whirring sound. Our faces scrunched up at the same time as it got louder, then ripped past us. An immense piece of rock sailed over our heads and exploded into the snow below our feet. It was as if Chopicalqui were saying ";;and stay off of me you lousy bastards!";;

We made it back to the cave and promptly fell asleep. In the middle of the night I woke with my eyes burning and tears streaming down my face. I couldn't open my eyelids. It felt as if someone had glued sandpaper to the inside of them. It occurred to me that I may have gotten a touch of snow blindness because I had lost my glasses in the whole event. I sat up, wretched. My sleeping bag was soaked from tears. I called out to my partner for help. I wanted him to do something. Fix me, hug me, teleport me back home, something. He woke up. Looked at me as I told him what pain I was in, and with the most loving, tender voice he could muster said ";;that fucking sucks man";;. He slipped the bag back over his head, laid back down and turned his back to me. Fucker

The next day though, he did save me. I couldn't see a thing. I could barely open my eyes. He short roped me down the entire glacier, and the greasy slabs of rock below it.

We had attempted to do the nnw spur of Chopicalqui. I think it had only been climbed once before us. I don't know if it has seen another ascent or not, but it looms large in my brain. Our elementary school alpine classroom. I learned so much on that climb. Mostly what not to do.

Daniel Joder · · Boulder, CO · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

Old Lady H--thanks for the title change! I just love a good ghost/climbing/POOP story! ChapelPondGirl--amazing story (and sans shit, thankfully). DanJ

Matt Carroll · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 5

Holy shit that was awesome chapel....

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15

Great story, CPG.

Jon Nelson · · Bellingham, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 4,425

Nice stories!
Fantastic write-up ChapelPondGirl, better than many accounts I read in the published literature. I was really gripped reading it.

Also, the term 'snice' is new to me. Is that becoming a common term for low-density mountain ice?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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