Dirtbagging is dead. So writes Cedar Wright in our July 2014 issue. His essay laments the dying art of living out of your car, or in caves, on next to nothing to pursue climbing full time. James Lucas is one dirtbag keeping the dream alive. In this video, made by Wright, Lucas discusses a life spent climbing and five years spent sleeping in the back of a Saturn station wagon.



22 comments

Previous Comments

Who wouldn't want to be on a permanent vacation. Dirt bag, surf bum, etc...it would be hard pressed to raise a family this way with mouths to feed. My wife and I are working super hard to get the house paid off in 8 years so every weekend is play time. I agree about the simple life for sure, but I also want to change the landscape of this world as a architect and general contractor.

joshua w - 08/31/2014 10:15:03

I lived that way for a short time. After so many years, I still miss it.

Manuel - 08/04/2014 7:31:38

Isn't there something slightly hypocritical about mourning the fate of the dirtbag lifestyle in the Facebook era while funding one's own life as the "last dirtbag" by writing blogs on a Macbook?

Stenka Razin - 07/03/2014 1:46:19

Dumb. There are more dirtbags than there were 5 years ago for sure.

Kevin, King of the dirtbags - 06/24/2014 1:10:13

Charming video James and Cedar! I most definitely miss the star-filled nights spent sneaking up to the boulders and digging out our stash of bedding unbeknownst to the rangers, or camping for weeks on end in the Cochise Stronghold living in the back of dust filled Toyota trucks. Days like this would not have been possible if not for the close camaraderie of the monkeys with our barreling yelp to signify we were there. We learned from the best, 'The Old Dads', and hung out like kings in our own kingdom ruling the valley floor with our vicious bike gangs mocking the weekend warriors. Although the days of living like one of the 'lost boys' of Neverland seem like a lifetime ago, it was the time of my life. I was very fortunate to be a part of one of the last crews to dirtbag in Camp Four and it is a pleasure to watch this and reminisce but especially that the passion for climbing still grows within Peaches! Thanks guys!

Donna McKusick - 06/05/2014 7:30:32

James Lucas is the douch bag who removed the lightning bolt from the Columbia boulder.

midninght lighting - 06/04/2014 10:46:09

"Did you pay your student loans back?" Oh my, is this the only question by the ultra righteous? Dirtbag, says it all you clean gummed sycophants. Have a problem using illusionary money for education then saying "fuck the illusion"? Then pay back what you think you owe, as for me education should be free, paid for by the low life scum who think a billion dollars is not enough. Loved the video Cedar Wright, James Lucas,. Brought back a bit of nostalgia after being a dirt bag for 14 years. As for the indolent beast known as Choss sprayer, go suck your mommas tit, your probably from Boulder.

Leif Hanson Magnuson - 06/04/2014 6:58:25

super charming! thanks for the vid

Olivia F - 05/31/2014 7:21:06

uhhh. Fewer and fewer dirtbags, ya mean???

asdrubal - 05/30/2014 6:45:21

Good job Cedar! ...just sad to see that there's so much negativity. I really enjoyed this piece, and I'm sure I'm not the only one that appreciate that someone puts time and effort into publishing free quality climbing media. Thank you!

Nils - 05/30/2014 2:30:34

did you pay back those loans? it would be really lame if you used it to funnel your climbs and then bolted to the hills.

passer byer - 05/29/2014 1:16:31

It wasn't clear in the video, did you ever pay back those loans that you used ? If not then I don't think that using college loans to funnel these trips when you wont pay them back is right. Dirtbagging is great and all but if it requires stealing then count me out. I will take the m-f job and the long climbing weekends any day.

passer byer - 05/29/2014 1:15:13

Cool Video and definitely brings back my Yosemite days. Were the cave dwellers of Camp 4 ever replaced? Such as the Coiler, Dick Ciley, Tucker, Spewer, etc. I know the rangers made it a constant challenge and for many too much effort to stay. Good Stuff, Jeff Perrin

Jeff P - 05/29/2014 11:51:05

What about Dick Ciley and Tucker Tech

joe - 05/29/2014 11:28:54

Great video. I think people today have a stronger fear of failure or the unknown and are afraid to be free and do as they please. The fact that all these whiners are complaining and being negative about your video means you are probably hitting the nail on the head. Keep it up, and keep your films provocative too, regardless of what nay-saying internet trolls spray, its refreshing to hear about alternate aspects or opinions of climbing and climbing culture :)

Andrew Franklin - 05/28/2014 6:18:22

I feel I could have been a bit brash with my initial comment but also feel the title of this film is leaning towards the same. Sarcasm/tongue in cheek don't always come across as clearly as we'd hope on the internet. There are lots of people "living the dream" still to this day. Perhaps it seems like dirtbags are becoming an "endangered species" not because there are so many less of them, but because there are so many more of other types of climbers. Definitely sounds like you had good intentions with this video Cedar, I'm afraid however the title may belie them.

Erik Anderson - 05/28/2014 5:59:03

Awesome short Cedar! Super inspiring and motivating to just, make it happen. Sorry to hear about the Saturn, James. Hopefully your progress on the wall makes up for some of the loss.

Alton Richardson - 05/28/2014 5:33:59

Wow... chossinator. Passing some serious judgment there. Sorry you harbor such animosity...maybe you should come up and personally tell me how much I suck, instead of hiding behind an anonymous nickname. I'd guess you wouldn't be so outspoken in person... you might even find that you actually like me. I know that most people find this kind of content entertaining. My advice is be nice, it will make you and the people around you happier. To address Sam Brandon and Erick. The title "Last Dirtbag" is just a tongue and cheek title. Neither myself nor James are claiming that he is actually the last dirtbag. We are just documenting what I believe to be a trend of less and less people living on the road full time, especially in Yosemite Valley. My hope with this short film is to inspire some climbers who might not be too happy in their current walk in life to simplify and move into their cars for a bit. I wouldn't be where I am today, able to make a living and travel the world as a professional climber, if I hadn't spent a good ten years on the road honing my craft in Yosemite and Joshua Tree. And, I look back on those simple days living in the dirt and climbing all the time, as some of the best days of my life. It warms my heart to see people like Alf, James and many others keeping the dream alive. It is just my opinion that the dirtbag is an endangered species. All the Best Cedar Wright.

Cedar Wright - 05/28/2014 4:28:16

Lots of "dirt bag" climbers still out there. Also seems like the term "dirt bag" is used way too frequently. James is even a true dirt bag, he is one the most self aggrandizing climbers out there. Lots of strong climbers that don't go out there and seek attention, and try to get paid for mediocre climbing. James Lucas and Cedar Wright are 2 of the best 5.12 climbers in the world = LAME.

Chossinator - 05/28/2014 9:57:28

Not even the last proclaimed dirtbag. I've been dirtbagging for years and seem to constantly meet dirtbags. I lived in Creek Pasture out of my backpack this spring and met atleast one dirtbag a day. 5.10 is making bullshit shoes that they are calling the dirtbag then selling for 75 dollars though. What is up with that?

Sam Keller - 05/28/2014 9:01:50

what about alf, biggest dirt bag out there.

brandon walkinshaw - 05/28/2014 6:45:24

Definitely not the last dirtbag, possibly the last self-proclaimed dirt bag however…

Erik Anderson - 05/27/2014 5:19:13