Climbing Humor

"Fall (to) /v./ AKA free-solo rappel. A dynamic retreat from a climb. Note: it is never the fall that kills — it's the sudden stop at the end."
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You Might Be A Mountain Climber If...

To which I and other rec.climbers and have added:

As for ice climbing, you might be an ice climber if.... (thanks to jitterjepp)

You might be extreme if...

How To Sleep In a Bus Station

Have you ever wondered who those strange people are that you've seen sleeping in the airports and bus stations. Chances are, if you're a mountaineer or adventure traveler, one of them may have been you. People sleeping on the floor, looking half dead and miserable, are an all too familiar sight in transportation terminals today. Having done this myself for a number of years, I've learned a few tricks that kept me from being tossed out on the street where I really belonged.

Believe it or not, international travel is better suited for lobby couch surfing than domestic travel because here, in the States, you get lumped into the same category as the street people. Airports are an exception to that rule. On the other hand, many international airports won't even let you in without a ticket and some charge fees just to enter.

Bus stations are different though. They are fair game to anyone seeking refuge and that's where the fun begins. Here are some useful tips based on to assumption that you really are going to use the bus station for what it was intended; to ride a bus. Of course if you're just using it for a crash pad, they work even better.

Buy a ticket first.

Even if you have no intention of riding the bus it will defuse even the most aggressive terminal employee who is trying to throw you out. This is especially true in foreign countries. I think of it as my "Get Out of Jail Free" card.

Know enough of the foreign language to at least say where you're going and when.

Night security guards at foreign bus stations don't usually speak English very well, if at all. If they know (or think) you're a bona fide traveler and not the vagrant you appear to be, they will either leave you alone or suggest a better place to sleep.

Never sleep in the chairs.

Airport and bus station chairs are specifically designed to keep you from sleeping on them and your back will hate you in the morning. I think sometimes the officials chase you away just to relieve your misery. Take a quick and easy sleeping pad like a Z-Rest. Benches and floors, even carpeted ones, get real hard after a while and a Z-Rest is easy to pick up and run with if you need to move quickly.

If you have an ice axe with you, carry it in plain sight.

Not only is it a formidable deterrent to any casual criminal, it immediately identifies you as a climber. The general assumption is that you are either dirt poor (hey, you're sleeping in a bus station) or you're certifiably insane. In most third world countries any interaction with the mentally ill is strictly taboo. Either way you're no longer a potential victim.

Offer panhandlers food when they ask for money.

In the States it will send a wino or plain street beggar packing every time. It's hard to drink or smoke a carrot. If they accept you offer, give it to them. Not only is it a good deposit in your Karmic bank but they may repay you by suggesting a better place to hang out. Overseas you might draw a crowd: play it by ear.

Carry your own toilet paper.

Self explanatory. If you ever travel in India or Nepal this one should be first on your list. The bucket under a faucet probably won't measure up to the western standard of personal hygiene.

These simple rules won't guarantee a restful, eight hours of sleep but will, in most cases, keep you off the street. The best rule of all is to do what everyone else is doing. If they're getting away with, you probably will to. Sweet dreams.

Why Climbing is Better than Sex
(a man's perspective)

Why Climbing is Better than Sex
(a woman's perspective)

Why Walls are Better than Women

How Climbing is Like Marriage

Best excuses to back off a climb

For more, go take a look at the climbing quotes.