My good friend Anonymous Well shared with me today, and the story was. not. pretty.
Regaling me over coffee, he bent over, voice low, and muttered this confession:
“I had one friend that climbed Rainier in jeans. It was his first climb ever. He started with another buddy after a ranger lent them ice axes and crampons because they didn’t have either! They submitted (sans rope). That must have been in the 1970s or so.
“Another friend used to carry an iron skillet, and never carried a sleeping pad — until he froze his ass off on San Gorgonio sleeping on snow! “Something must be wrong,” he thought. Haha.
“Then there’s me, on my first ever hike, Mt. Whitney. Picked up a used suitcase at REI (it has shoulder straps, looks good to me I thought), and carried that thing into camp. Well, I wheeled it the last few hundred feet…
“We summited, but boy was I clueless. I won’t even mention the gear we carried. It was early season, and there were only two or three other parties on the mountain. A pair of older guys came over and gave us a few pointers. At the time I thought they were just nice guys, but looking back on it I bet they thought we were gonna die. We had a great time, and I learned quickly after that.
“For those that grew up hiking and/or climbing, I imagine it may seem impossible to be so naive, but some of us had no outdoor mentor, picked up a pack (or suitcase) and went for it.
“Somebody please come up with something more embarrassing…”
I ask you.
Who does this?