No, we are not talking about dirtbags here. In the outdoors, as in life, you will encounter personalities that rub you the wrong way, offend you, repel you, and even cause you to reconsider every life choice you\u2019ve ever made. It\u2019s time to meet the worst people in the outdoor world.\r\nMany years ago, as a sneaky teenager flirting with the prospect of shoplifting, I slipped through the carved wooden doors of Mountain Chalet, the mountaineering shop in my hometown. There, a taut and tanned employee spent hours helping me select the internal frame backpack on which I\u2019d spend a year\u2019s worth of babysitting earnings.\r\nI was indecisive, so she showed me pack after pack. She demonstrated how to adjust the straps. She even added and removed sand bags so I could feel how different packs distributed weight. As she buzzed around, I noticed a shiny Petzl headlamp left on the counter, tags still on. I couldn\u2019t afford both the pack and the light, but I wanted both. It wasn\u2019t even a decision; I simply knew I\u2019d steal the headlamp, and I monitored it throughout my pack-fitting endeavor hoping no one would put it back where it belonged, with the other pricey headlamps under lock and key.\r\nBut between fastening that hip belt on my tenth pack and ringing up my purchase an hour later, I made a better choice. Crime was not in my future. Instead, I wanted to be just like the woman who helped me, a muscled and confident part-time Outward Bound instructor who had regaled me with tales of skiing Pikes Peak, sea kayaking in Baja and cooking a Thanksgiving turkey in a pit dug way out in the Utah desert.\r\nThis was circa 1990, and that kind, expansive woman lured me into what would become a very long and persevering relationship with outdoor adventures. Since then, I\u2019ve met many an intrepid, inspiring explorer. But in the past 26 years I have also met multitudes of people who, frankly, were annoying as hell. Unlike that guardian angel who inadvertently kept me out of juvie, there are people who gravitate to the outdoors who are selfish, shallow, and self-absorbed. Douchebags. A-holes. Worse. We bet you know a few. If not, here are some of the ones we find most offensive.\r\n\r\nThe Diminutizer\r\nBefore going to college, I took a semester off and landed a scholarship for a Colorado Outward Bound School backcountry ski and mountaineering course. For 12 days in January, we skied and camped in the Collegiate Mountains near Leadville, and I discovered I loved skinning uphill. I also learned I had a paralyzing fear of exposure. Despite gravity\u2019s steadfast ability to keep my body earth-bound, I entertained visions of plummeting off mountainsides, even when there were no nearby cliffs to tumble from. This fear manifested in shaking legs and tearful eyes, short breaths, and a proliferation of snot, all of which came on in force the day we skied to the top of Mount Elbert, Colorado\u2019s highest peak at 14,439 feet. The instructor who was stuck with me clearly thought he got the short end of the stick when I stopped mid skin and refused to advance.\r\n\u201cThis isn\u2019t even steep!\u201d he exclaimed. I stifled a sob and shuffled forward, dizzy with doubt. \u201cSeriously,\u201d he continued, \u201cI did harder climbs when I was nine.\u201d I whimpered. \u201cYou realize you\u2019re not mountaineer quality, right?\u201d I asked if we had to reach the summit. Jaw clenched, he nodded. Under his breath, but loud enough so I could hear, he whispered he was so sick of this shit. Then he said out loud, \u201cOne more month. That\u2019s all that\u2019s standing between me and Everest.\u201d We made the summit and I even skied down. He was the first true asshole I met in the outdoors, but definitely not the last.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Local\r\nSeveral years ago my husband and I skied out the gate into the backcountry abutting Wyoming\u2019s Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. We followed tracks south to the top of a popular canyon called Four Pines. While we contemplated our options for descending, a group skied up with enough duct tape on their ski poles to hold a life raft together. When they lifted their goggles, the raccoon tans on their faces were so severe it led to a singular conclusion: These men and women skied all day, every day. They eyed us up and down and then boldly asked, \u201cYou from around here?\u201d\r\n\u201cNo, we\u2019re from Boulder.\u201d\r\nEye rolls. Then one of them pulled out a phone and dialed a number. \u201cYo,\u201d she said into the receiver. \u201cIn-bounds is over. Meet us on Four Pines. OB is where it\u2019s at.\u201d She paused and glared at us before continuing her conversation. \u201cAt least until all the tourons ski it out.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe Mooch\r\nLast winter, I invited a friend to a fancy, high-priced ski resort for a day on the slopes\u2014my treat. Actually, that\u2019s somewhat disingenuous. I was reporting a story, and the resort PR folks gave me an extra ticket (at my request) so I could bring a friend, which would add color to my piece. So when I say I treated her to a day of skiing, that\u2019s true, but I didn\u2019t pay actual money for her ticket. So maybe I shouldn\u2019t be bothered that she asked me to pay for parking. And for gas money. And she didn\u2019t offer to buy me a beer or lunch or anything to say, hey, thanks for saving me $180 on a day pass. Note to readers: Always offer to buy a beer for the person getting you a discount or pro deal or anything free (even if it didn\u2019t cost them money but came through professional contacts). If they don\u2019t drink, chocolate goes a long way.\r\n\r\nThe Braggart\r\nIf he\u2019s child-free and single, it\u2019s the many days he\u2019s logged climbing\/camping\/mountain biking\/living in his truck\/surfing in Mexico\/surfing in Oregon\/driving Canada\u2019s Icefields Parkway\/riding Moab\/climbing Half Dome\/being a raft guide\/poaching the wilderness on his mountain bike\/boating the Grand Canyon\/being fearless and lackadaisical and free\u2014certainly much more free than you, you putz. If he\u2019s got kids, it\u2019s that he\u2019s booked every campsite every weekend from now through three months from now, and that his kid hiked four miles to a remote backcountry campsite without complaint, and that junior can already ski the back bowls and he\u2019s still in kindergarten! This person forgot (or never knew) that there is too much of a good thing, especially when talking about his own awesomeness.\r\n\r\nThe Social Media Maven\r\nWho cares how #blessed you are when you #exploremore and #getoutside? Doing #SUPyoga at #sunrise doesn\u2019t make you more #blissed than me. Especially when I see it on your Insta\/Twitter\/Facebook\/Snapchat feed within minutes of said #accomplishment. Instead it\u2019s like #OMFG.\r\nThe Rearview Mirror Looker\r\nMention mountain biking in Crested Butte, and most people exclaim how rad the 401 trail is. Let them have Schofield Pass. The real goods are out of Crested Butte South, up the Cement Creek Drainage, where a 20-plus-mile loop known as Reno\/Bear\/Flagg\/Deadman rewards three quad-burning, multi-mile climbs with as many single track descents. They\u2019re long and flow through meadows of wildflowers, aspen groves, and oasis-like creek crossings. This is supreme mountain bike riding, except for when it\u2019s not. And the conditions are not superlative after heavy storms when pounding rain leaves big divots in the trail, or after the motocross folks tear up the trails, leaving a thick layer of dust where there once was tacky dirt.\r\nIt\u2019s a Jekyll and Hyde situation, the same trail, two polar opposite experiences. Which means you may end up riding it with someone who starts off raving about the flow, the climbs, only to emerge dusty, bloodied (from falling into the trail ruts), and complaining about how\u2014seriously\u2014this was so amazing last season. \u201cHonestly,\u201d she\u2019ll whine, \u201cyou should have ridden it then. It was so rad. You\u2019re really missing out now.\u201d\r\nAnd, if I\u2019m being completely honest, that pain in the ass whiner might actually be me.