Goodbye to My Handhold
There’s snow on the mountains, the pitons are rusting The ropes are all coiled up and hang on the wall We’re all headed back to the grime of the city To earn us some money, and go bum again.
Goodbye to my handhold, goodbye to my foothold Adios to the cliff face, out comes the piton You won’t have a name when you hit the big glacier Never be rescued ‘cause you didn’t sign out. My father’s own father climbed mountains with Whymper Daddy still hangs on the Eiger North Wall My brothers and sisters they climb in your mountains Run up your cliffs ‘til they peel off and fall.
Some of us were dirty and most were unshaven Our two weeks were up and we had to move on The rangers are waiting to catch us for speeding They’ll exhibit our bodies in the Ranger Museum
Is this the best way we can climb in the Tetons Is this the best way we can make our ascents To fall like dry leaves and rot on the glacier And never have no name with no Climber’s Card
(Written 1960 or so, with Larry Arno, at Climber’s camp) Tune: “Deportees” Note: original was “Jules T. is” instead of “The rangers are”.
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