A dirtBAG climber in First Class

7:20 p.m. on April 7, 2009 (EDT)
Bill S
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6,037 forum posts

The latest Alpine Life issue has a delightful article by Brittany Anne Griffith (the BAG in the title). Due to copyright issues, I am not pasting the article here. But it may give some feel for those who are unfamiliar with the dirtbag climber's life for what it is all about. I had a somewhat similar experience in the mid-1960s, returning from several weeks climbing in the French Alps (except it was cognac, not a gin and tonic). And I got hauled into a little room by US Customs for a thorough search when I arrived at JFK in New York - they kept asking about where the "contrabundo" was and did a thorough search of my bags and had me emptying all my pockets. Sorry sir, I don't know what you mean by contrabundo. After they finished, since I still had several hours to catch my flight to LAX, I sat down to relax in their office and pulled out one of my books. They were a bit nonplussed at this and after some whispered discussion and calling in a supervisor, asked me politely to leave. When I asked "why? It's much more comfortable here than in the waiting area, and besides I have 4 hours to wait. Seems good to me." Their request for me to depart was a bit stronger, so I left. I guess my 3 weeks of unwashed clothes and a week since the last bath was too much for them. Oh, and I did spend a bit of time during the 1960s hanging out in the Valley and climbing.

11:22 p.m. on April 7, 2009 (EDT)
tokyo bill
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98 forum posts

Nice link, Bill. I've done a little bit of that myself, although these days I usually try to make my last night before flying home a hotel, so that I can shower and shave. So far, it's saved me from the dreaded cavity search (and a climbing trip's worth of dirty polypro usually makes the first look inside my pack the last...).

9:52 a.m. on April 8, 2009 (EDT)
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1,157 forum posts

Thanks for the story Bill.

9:40 a.m. on July 6, 2009 (EDT)
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210 forum posts

that was me coming out of Hilo after a weekend of getting drenched @ Volcano National Park. We didn't have time to stop @ my friend's house to shower & clean up. I felt bad for the flight crew & passengers, but we did our best :-)

May 24, 2020
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