Life at Camp 4

Staying at the National Historical Site Camp 4 is on a first come, first serve basis. At the crack of dawn a line forms in front of the booth with upstanding citizens waiting to get a shared campsite. Other climbers just drag in their crashpads after dark and sleep behind your bearbox. Rangers have devised a complex system of rules to make certain that upstanding citizen also have the opportunity to violate any number of regulations at all times. This helps upstanding citizens to feel unconvential and part of the community. These upstanding citizens have already trained their Swedish camp buddies not to pee within earshot of their tent and have discovered where to take free showers.

Every nation has sent a delegation of crack climbers. The Japanese team with their tipi-shaped tent not only sleep in style but also demonstrate superior cooking skills. Dinner was more than eating, it was a celebration of milleniums of Samurai culture in the midst of dirtbag craggers chowing precooked meals straight out of the bag, Russian vodka slamdowns and Swedish burnt sausages with raw onions.

A nocturnal bear and deer patrol carefully cleans any food particles dropped by campers or left on the faces of those sleeping tentless on their crash pads.

Standing in line at the single sink for the two hundred official campers is a lesson in international relations. Do you bow and ask the elder to step in front of you, line up at all, grunt, exchange greetings or let the squirrels clean your pots?


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