Code Brown: An Epic? Or Food Story?
One Friday night, long ago, a climber who will remain anonymous consumed
many, many beers, a giant burrito, more beers. Stumbles home. Saturday
morning, his alarm pierces the early morning darkness. The climber chokes
down a thirty grain superfiber muffin. He leaves with his partner, whose
impatience is obvious, and in the bleary fog left from the previous evenings
festivities, the climber neglects his morning "constitutional".
His partner provides a giant thermos of excellent and much needed strong
coffee for the drive up to Mt. Evans. Cup after cup serves to revive the
climber, and by the time they've finished the drive and shuffled along the
approach, the climber can appreciate the sublime surrounds, and is amused by
the antics of the mountain goats and thier young, jumping crazily from ledge
to ledge with hundreds of feet of exposure.
The climber and partner execute four rappels down the granite cliffs. Now
they are committed to climbing back up as the easiest way back to the car.
The route is unfamiliar, but should be well within the pair's limits. The
partner takes the first lead. With the parner 70 feet up, the climber
watches as something falls from the partner, as it comes close, he reaches
out, and BAM, he catches the car keys. A good luck omen, definitely, he
thought, for if he hadn't caught them, they would have been irretrievably
lost in the talus far below, protected from the current position by a
hundred feet of 4th class rock.
The climber's amusement continues as he starts the first pitch, climbing
smoothly and marvelling at the beautiful terrain, he arrives at the tiny
belay ledge. Soon, though, the climber's amusement turned to discomfort,
and his stomach rumbled. Something was wrong. Something needed to give.
Soon. The climber's discomfort soon turned to dismay mixed with pain as he
realizes the implications of his predicament. Pounds of foodstuff, probably
poorly digested, still resided within him. Bloated by beer, topped off with
Mexican food, lubricated by bran, accelerated by coffee. He felt like an
overfilled sausage skin, with someone squeezing the middle. His harness
will not allow for removal and proper relief, in any case, there's no proper
place for such relief...
In a cramped vioce, he hands the lead to his partner again. "I'm feeling a
bit queesy, yes, you should do this lead also.."
With his partner halfway up, the pain of holding back grew greater than the
shame of letting loose. With a groan, a teary eye, and clenched teeth, he
opened the valve and let it go. And go it did. It kept going and going,
filling his pants with a loose and smelly stew. At home this would've been
a multi flush monster. Here, the squishy mud spooged down his legs,
squashed by his legloops, and settled near his ankles, trapped only by the
elastic bands, which were failing anyway. Still the smelly mud was coming,
and like a chocolate icing out of a tube, it started dropping from his pants
legs, falling like brown hail down to the rocks below.
With a few last shudders, the brown gusher stopped, leaving a disgusting and
foul smelling mess smeared along the inside of his pants, and a goodly
collection still trapped by the legloops of his harness, turning his
underwear into a defective sort of overfull diaper.
His partner, by now arrived safely at the belay, had no clue what had
happened. The climb must go on, so our stinky hero worked his way up, and
with a few meters to go before reaching his partner, started explaining. A
frown, a sigh, and a strong motivation to finish quickly passed over the
partner. Too smelly to share the intimate belay, the climber stayed below
the stance, tied in out of arms reach, but within the nose's, from his
Of course leading was now out of the question for the muddied climber--any
fall might have dislodged brown hail from his ankle openings upon his
hapless partner. Content to slump against the wall, he belayed his partner
without incident to the top. Blessed was the feeling when he reached the
backpacks, despite the now cold temperatures, he stripped naked, and
attempted a cleanup operation using a liter of water (thirst was strong, but
disgust stronger). With only small success, he now faced a walk of several
miles back to the car, on a popular trail. His sole clothing was an old
cheap plastic tarp, originally used for a convenient ground cover when
gearing up or having lunch. Now it was a smelly and ill fitting skirt.
For the drive home he kept the tarp on, shivering in the bed of the pickup
truck for the ride back to Boulder. In the following years, he never rushed
out of the house without a proper visit to the holiest of shrines, the