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A Story of Courage
or, "Making Mountains out of Bungholes"

by joseph
July 23, 2001

Loyal readers of CSP, being concerned citizens of the world, no doubt remember the recent news story of the inspiring and courageous Erik Weihenmayer, a blind man who climbed the world's tallest peak, Mt. Everest. Additional recent stories of courage overcoming adversity include one two years ago when eleven blind climbers ascended Mt. Kilimanjaro. A few months ago the "Anything is Possible" expedition climbed Everest featuring a climber with only one leg and a Sherpa with only one arm. And just last week, a mountaineer with both legs missing ascended to the top of Mt. Rainier in Washington.

But these are not the only stories of bravery, courage and determination in the fact of obstacles both internal and external that the world of differently-abled mountaineering brings to us. Since the controlling board of this site is concerned that most of its content is depressing, anti-life-affirming drivel, we bring you the following "can-do" story. While not technically mountaineering, the story of Colby Nickles' amazing feat does involve mountains and a heart-breakingly sad though ultimately inspiring physical handicap.


When Colby Nickles was born, no one would have ever dreamed that he would one day become a world-famous anal inserter. "His butthole was the same size as his peehole," his father recalls. "The doctors said he'd be crapping string his entire life."

One can imagine how much it must have boggled Nickles' family and friends when he told them that he wanted to be a professional anal inserter.

"I remember being in third grade, and we went around the room with all the kids saying what they wanted to be when they grew up. I didn't hesitate for a second, I said I wanted to be the best anal inserter that had ever lived," Colby recalls. "The kids laughed, and the teacher said, ‘Everyone should have a dream, but we have to accept the limitations God has placed on us. No one with such an abnormally tiny anus as yours could ever become a professional in that field. How about firefighting?' But I was determined that someday I would insert very large objects in my anus."

Soon afterwards a gym teacher, Mr. Binks, learned of Nickles' passion and introduced him to the sport of "mountanaling," often just called "manaling." "At the time, the sport was just starting," Binks explained. "At the time, most anal inserters were just doing it at home or in dingy clubs for drinks and tips, but this got the activity out into the open and made it a sport. It separated the men from the boys. Anyone can shove a pencil sharpener or a gasoline can up their ass, but this takes real willpower and determination." As for Nickles' congenital tiny anus, Binks admits he was skeptical. "I told him all about mountanaling and his eyes just lit up. Like everyone, I was familiar with his disability, but when he looked at me and said he was going to do this thing, I saw that look in his eyes and thought, ‘Holy shit, this kid is going to shove a mountain up his ass!'"

Nickles pursued his passion slowly at first. "I would sit around with friends shoving things in my anus just like all the other kids were doing. But when they would get tired and sore and go home, I'd keep right at it, night after night, day after day. I never gave up." His parents, concerned over his obsessive inserting and their fear that he would never realize his dream because of his disability, kept their fears to themselves. "We wanted him to do whatever he wanted with his life," says his mother, Alma Nickles. "He was always sensitive about his Lilliputian poop-chute. The other kids would tease him, you know how awful kids are, and he would tell him that he would do things with his anus they could only dream of."

Nickles' started slowly in manaling, gradually from small atolls to hills to buttes ("Yeah, everyone made the obvious joke when I was doing that, but I kept laughing even after the thousandth time ‘cause I knew people meant well") and finally to his first classified mountain, seven thousand foot Terry Peak in South Dakota's Black Hills. "I did it in the summer, so there weren't any skiers, but the chairlifts provided for some interesting complications, but it was a great insertion, I'll never forget it." Nickles moved quickly to top-class peaks like Oregon's Mount Hood, popular for the smoothness of its slopes.

Nickles' recent conquest of Kilimanjaro made headlines around the world, despite the fact that pre-insertion media was subdued because of the Tanzinian's government strenuous opposition to the event. "Most governments on all levels of jurisdiction are opposed to the sport because they believe it deters tourism and degrades the public health," says Stanton Witchik, a lawyer who represents mountanalers on obscenity charges. "But the facts show that these events increase tourism. People get excited about looking at a mountain and thinking, ‘Some guy shoved that up his butt!'"

While there are other larger mountains in the world, Kilimanjaro's shape made it the ultimate feat for Nickles. "You look at it, it just slopes out, out, out! But you can't let the mountain beat you. You stay loose up here," he said, pointing to his head, "you'll stay loose down there." Kilimanjaro is a feat even for experienced mountanalers, and many thought that Nickles wouldn't get past the ice cap, but on July 2, 2001, Nickles made history, inserting Kilimanjaro in a record 12 hours and 14 minutes.

"I know my disability will get the attention, but I am first and foremost a man who anally inserts mountains," he said proudly, "and only secondly a man with a unnaturally small anus."

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