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83. Zen and the art of being crusty

Well, it’s been some 4 months that I’ve been lost to working in the bush.  It was as per usual a glorious harrowing joy.   No other experience can assuage ones need for escape from this barbaric slaughter house we call modernity, as the sound prescription of awe for the natural world, combined with a soothing amount of self induced punishment.  Yes, punching yourself in the nuts and climbing also fills that void… but, as far as I can tell, that’s about it.


Rich making it happen in Owens

However, these episodic escapes from the comforts of life do not leave you without imparting their own indelible mark.  That mark, is the glorious self induced quality we call; crustiness.   

Crustiness; it’s more then a excellent ideal, a fine veneer of crustiness should be the goal of every climbers and outdoors persons career.  That, and if you’re a man, growing a sweet beard.


Slightly further along in making it happen

Here’s why crustiness is so good.

#1.  It’s that point, when you can stand up on top of rock, knowingly look off into the middle distance and say in a slow drawl “weathers turning”, and everyone else nods submitting with awe to your superior meteorological knowledge, of which it is assumed you’ve gained by intimate connection with the natural world through hard living and punching bears in the face.

#2.  Crustiness is also important in all social situations.  Attaining crustiness gives you many an advantage over your average outdoorsperson/climber;  your tired bleary-eyed morning stare will often be mistaken for perceived wisdom, when in fact it reflects a crippling need for caffeination. 


Naked ski patrol… probably the best photographer experience I’ll ever have.

#3.  It reflects an ability to give zero fucks about suffering, an important step towards transcendence and bondage.

#4.  Lastly and possibly most importantly, it allows you to cut through the piles of bullshit,  that those lacking an appropriate level of crust, often exude.  Some people (who lack crustiness) may perhaps, in reference to climbing, say shit like “it’s moving mediation for my soul”,  and then post photos of them engaging in some sort of whimsical limb tearing yoga with lots of scarves in an alpine environment, this will inevitably be hash tagged #blessed.  Crusty people would never do this, crusty people would have the appropriate reaction to these kind of things, which is a visceral response that may include puking up in ones mouth and then doing something awesome whilst giving zero fucks.  And if so inclined would finish there day with mountain top yoga, cause they can.  Crusty folk are a quirky breed.   


Crux grrring in Red Rocks

Now you might be thinking, aren’t crusty people just assholes?!!  But alas no, there is a fundamental difference .  Both have the feeling of entitlement that allows them to spew their outspoken cantankerous point ,of view.   The difference is crustiness is like wisdom, earned through suffering, hardship and drop kicking adversity in balls.  Assholes are in contrast, are just assholes.


Reaching this state of crustiness, you can to transition from the shit eating joy of youth to the higher art form of grizzled crust.  Truly this should be everyones goal, the step up from transcends, Maslovs hierarchy 6th step.  If you believe in yourself and do your best to include unbearable and pointless suffering in your day to day life , you too can be crusty… or some bullshit like that.

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The kind of nonsense that goes down from bush crustiness

About rogerfage

Was once described in the Alpine Journal of Canada as "smelling of perfume and whiskey"...

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