Oops! I ______ My Pants: Our Funniest Bathroom Mishaps, Part 5
The very first trip I ever took with my wife—who was then just barely my girlfriend, of course—was a cross-country road-trip, with both 17-foot touring kayaks on top of the car for good measure, to Wyoming from Pittsburgh, where we'd met and both gone to school. Now, most of my climbing partners know that I'm a bit of a minimalist: I'm a big proponent of low-impact, lightweight tactics in the mountains and, as a result, rely on what I can carry in what most might consider a laughably small pack.
Upon arriving in the Tetons, we promptly dispatched Teewinot's East Face, then on our rest day, we lazily paddled across and around Jenny Lake, in its clear waters. The next day, we'd planned to start from Lupine Meadows into Garnet, en route to the Lower Saddle, then the Grand. All was going swimmingly—we made good time up that heinous approach and had just passed the Caves and into the Moraine when I casually mentioned the fact that "the bathroom situation" in such a fragile alpine environment is to pack it out, to use a WAG-BAG. I guess this was a bit before the time that I first noticed people using the acronym TMI—too much information—and so I if it had been in common usage at the time, it might have been been a particularly awkward, illustrative moment of TMI between a guy and the girl he'd only just recently mustered the courage to kiss.
The worst part was that in my effort to keep the pack light and the pack-out to a minimum, I forgot to mention that I'd just also informed her that'd we'd only brought the one, that we'd have to share.
This, of course, did not go over well. For the remainder of the hike up the Headwall and then to the small village that coalesced each afternoon near the Exum hut, the anxiety, the weirdness, was palpable. Typically aloof, I, somehow, only continued inserting my foot in my mouth, talkin' poop, the scourge that are the folks that do not comply with the use of WAG-BAGs, and so on. Things were seemingly grim, despite what would—fortunately—turn out a perfect, clear afternoon and night, with more of the same perfect weather the following day—our summit day.
Suddenly, milling about near the entrance to the hut, I recognized a friend, an Exum guide named, whom will remain unamed, but whom I knew I could lean on for a small favor. With all the organic fruit leather I had on me—which was a lot, as I went through a phase with those darned, addictive things—and a handshake for the drink(s) I'd owe him once we were back down at Dornan's, I managed to save the day, returning to our bivy spot with another precious WAG-BAG, thus ensuring a not-so-rocky start to our relationship, which, after Yellowstone, Cody and the Sunlight Basin, the Bighorns and Devil's Tower, as I'd mentioned, worked out...
That being said, having never caught back up with the guide from that trip to the Tetons, I still owe him—perhaps—more than a few drinks for keeping me from blowing it with my future wife.