Mountaineering/Climbing Poems


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Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 19, 2012 - 02:22pm PT
We are the mountaineers
We have no fears
We sleep in caves and ditches
We scratch our balls on rock walls
We are hardy sons of bitches.


Anyone have any others to add?

Trad climber
Stockholm, Sweden
Oct 19, 2012 - 03:03pm PT
Words of russian guide Anatoli Boukreev comes to mind.

"Mountains are not Stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve,

they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion...

I go to them as humans go to worship.

From their lofty summits I view my past, dream of the future and,

with an unusual acuity, I am allowed to experience the present moment...

my vision cleared, my strength renewed. In the mountains I celebrate creation.

On each journey I am reborn."

It has been posted here before. Poetry or not it strikes me as very poetic.

Trad climber
Oct 19, 2012 - 07:39pm PT
And lonely, So tired
The heart aches.
Meltwater trickles
Down the rocks,
The fingers are numb,
The knees tremble.
It is now,
Now, that you must not give in.

On the path of the others
Are resting places,
Places in the sun
Where they can meet.
But this
Is your path,
And it is now,
Now, that you must not fail.

If you can,
But do not complain.
The way chose you--
And you must be thankful.

By Dag Hammarskjold

Trad climber
Okanogan, WA
Nov 20, 2017 - 07:20am PT
This is how I remember it. First heard in the 70's:

We are mountaineers and have no fears
We sleep in caves and ditches
We wipe our ass's with broken glass
And laugh, because it itches.
norm larson

wilson, wyoming
Nov 20, 2017 - 10:43am PT
I only remember these lines.
We jam our our cocks in jagged rocks.
We’re nasty sons of bitches.
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Nov 20, 2017 - 11:31am PT
I guess limericks are poetry of a sort. I wrote these for a previous thread, but perhaps some haven't seen them.

Non Compos... 

A substantial number of climbers
Are competent limerick rhymers.
Perhaps it's a skill
Of the mentally ill,
Or just a prelude to Alzheimer’s.


Nobody could climb like Chuck Pratt.
Old timers will verify that.
He could on-sight five nine
With a gut full of wine,
While juggling three balls and a bat.

Steck Salathe

By the end of the Sentinel venture
They were desperately needing a quencher.
Salathe' took the last -
Steck looked on aghast -
"I'll yutht uthe thith to rinth off my denthure!”


God forbid you should be on Boot Flake
When there's a significant quake.
While remains might be found -
You'd be so finely ground 
You would look like a hamburger steak.


A dignified climber named Fitschen
Was seen scratching and cursing and bitchin'
He said, "This is no joke -
It's that damn poison oak -
It's got onto my balls and they're itchin.”


On a ledge drenched with precipitation
Warren Harding proposed a libation;
"Though it's not the right sort,
In a storm, ANY port
Will be adequate for the occasion!”


The towering Lost Arrow spire
Is a climb to which some folks aspire.
Does its phallic appearance 
Attract these adherents?
I don't think I'll even inquire.


Mountain climber
Timbers of Fennario
Nov 20, 2017 - 04:58pm PT
There once was a man on a mountain
Parasites made him sh!t like a fountain
Through dawning dismay, knew his end was today
All the women he fvcked he did count'em
another nickname

Social climber
Yazoo Ms
Nov 21, 2017 - 05:55am PT
Yes on the last one.

That great biography of British rock climber JM Edwards made clear he was a lousy (but aspiring) poet.

On the whole, "climbing literature" is oxymoron.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 21, 2017 - 12:21pm PT
Thanks for re-posting those great fookin' Limericks, Wayne.

I've wondered often about why they are named for the Irish town.

This link has some interesting things to say.

Here's the slip-jig known as Kitty Come Down From Limerick of which they speak, as performed by The Dubliners.
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Nov 21, 2017 - 04:56pm PT
I wasn't sure if limericks or doggerel actually qualified as poetry, but I looked it up and they are. However, certainly a democratic or cruder or less sophisticated form. Had to draw this.
Credit: Fossil climber
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 14, 2018 - 03:24pm PT
"Memorable Week In Camp 4"

The flies went up when the rain came down
Camp-bound in the “sunnyside” campground
Hear the silver pitter-patter of the rainfall’s sound

Any climbing was definitely no-go
Hours were spent reading Chongo and Largo
Or the old ratty spent copy of Dr. Zhivago

I memorized the guidebook
Then crawled outside to have a look
I’m hungry so it’s time to cook

An hour spent in the public loo
There was nothing more exciting to do
Than to listen to the rain as I went poo
--Ben Thayer
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