Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect actual truths.
One of my favorite hobbies is climbing mountains, primarily because nothing can make you feel small beyond comprehension and strong beyond belief like standing on top of a peak. This is not a comprehensive list, so please refrain from writing a strongly worded letter of disdain.
1. Groups of four to six middle-aged white men with shaggy hair, unkempt beards and matching asymmetrical triangle tattoos that look like a mountain, but aren’t. Each of them carries expensive Camel-Back hydration packs, purchased yesterday at REI at the recommendation of a store manager who is also a middle-aged white man with a less-covert tattoo of an actual mountain. These men are somewhat quick hikers due to their dedicated cross fit activities. They are also serial embellishers, and spend all day Monday regaling the guy in the neighboring cubicle with wild stories of their epic run up the mountain, being chased by a pack of wild grizzly bears. Whatever, Dan.
2. Families with small children. I don’t know why people do this, but they do. Stop taking your four-year-old to a mountain, assuming they can climb it. You can’t climb it. Take them to a park, or a kid-friendly museum, or the zoo. And for the love of sweet baby Jesus, buy some actual hiking shoes. Crocs are not hiking shoes. Vans are not hiking shoes. Nike Frees are not hiking shoes. Also, bring some water. A 16 ounce bottle of Dasani to be shared between four people will not get you far. Maybe do some light reading on hiking basics before your next excursion.
3. #fitcouples who carry a back pack stuffed with unsalted beef jerky and a gallon jug of water because gains, bro. The guy is extremely buff and in the shape of an upside-down triangle because he routinely skips leg day in favor of another arm day. Ironically, leg day would have been helpful, today. The girl is not wearing a shirt, because she didn’t work hard for her abs for nothing, and because she doesn’t give a fuck about skin cancer.
4. Nature enthusiasts who love the sights, sounds, and smells of nature so much that they carry a Bluetooth speaker blasting Cardi B or Bruno Mars or techno hip hop funk music across the mountain. These people don't seem to notice that they're ruining other people’s hikes by being jerk-face-wad-asses. Are headphones too retro? Headphones are beautiful, magical inventions that are readily available at gas stations, mall kiosks, drug stores, Target, Aldi, et cetera. You can get them anywhere, for the low-low cost of ten miserable dollars. C'est la vie , bitches.
5. The elderly. Nothing warms my heart more than seeing AARP members out on the mountain. Once when I was hiking in the Rockies, a couple of retired women told me that “the mountain always wins.” The mountain has been here longer than my life and your life added together and multiplied by….a really big number. People die on mountains by falling off, being buried in snow, getting lost and/or starving to death. The audacity of us tiny stupid humans, to think we can conquer a goddamn mother-fucking mountain.