You’re finally in Boulder, the outdoor capital of the planet. You’re psyched! You’re stoked!
You’re a noob and a half.
You came here to become Boulder core, so start acting like it now. You’ll have to take some lumps along the way, but in the end, dear outdoors noob, you’re going to be a totally sick (fill in your fave sport here).
Even if you couldn’t give a marmot’s ass about how you look, you should know the Leave No Trace principles before you head outdoors. They’re on their Web site: lnt.org . Bonus style points for knowing that LNT is based in Boulder. Ooo, aren’t you savvy?!?
To get your start, check out these five signs that you’re kind of noobish:
1 Shiny new gear
Mom and Dad sent you off with a new backpack and new crash pad and new mountain bike.
Aw, they’re so proud of their little poopsykins going off to college in Boulder!
Sweet that you have new gear (Mega! Jealous…). But new gear can suggest inexperience, and inexperience is the bane of noobiness.
Example: There’s nothing as terrifying at a bolted cliff as a climber with a shiny Grigri.
Go out and get your new gear dirty, scratched and slightly wrecked pronto.
Besides, getting out is what you came here for, right?
2 Big talk
Carry on about the gi-normous boulders you’ve dropped off on your hardtail single-speed, or some hard onsight you recently did with full-on steez when you were, like, totally hung over.
Go ahead, pimp your shit, but know this, Spraymaster Noob: Modesty is the name of the game here, because one day soon, you’ll get spanked like a toddler in WalMart by a 70-year-old Boulderite. He or she will have huge liver-spotted pythons that put your adorable little biceps to shame. He or she will climb harder, huck bigger and go faster longer.
When you are tired, cold and hungry, this Boulderite will say to you: “Oh, you’re fading. That’s so cute. You want grandma to bake you cookies, punk?”
Still wanna blab about that epic 10-mile run you did? That’s what I thought.
3 Too much gear
It’s time for a come-to-Jesus talk about all this crap you’re hauling around:
— You don’t have to take your SPOT messenger, backcountry first-aid kit and cotton hoodie (see below) on a quick hike at Chautauqua.
— You’re not going to drink 100 ounces of water or eat three ProBars on a two-hour ride, so unload your CamelBak a little — unless you’re mountain biking ridiculously weighed down on purpose because you’re training for a big endurance ride (core points).
— And for chrissakes, you don’t need that fancy Metolius Personal Anchor System to climb at the gym. What, worried you’ll have to stop and build an anchor halfway up the plastic? Good thing you have those extra lockers on your harness, too, but where are your ice screws?
4 Inappropriate attire
The cotton hoodie — classic touron (tourist-moron) hiking attire, classic student attire.
The irony, right?
Outdoor cotton-hoodie guidelines: The cotton hoodie is not appropriate for hiking up Longs Peak, or any other peak or pass. The cotton hoodie is appropriate for: slacklining, bouldering (but not alpine bouldering), city fixie rides, bike polo, longboarding, looking good but soggy while snowboarding, arriving at class obscenely late, hanging with your homies.
(Side note: Is the hoodie the fashion faux-pas of this generation? Seriously, male or female, it does nothing for you. It’s a sack. I’m just sayin’.)
5 Bad trail manners
Every time you leave the trail to hike around mud or cut off of the singletrack to pass a slower rider, you’re causing trail erosion.
The other noobiness listed above will just make you look mildly silly. But this one makes you look like a real jackwad. So does anything else that leaves a trace, like carving your initials into a tree or leaving your dog’s poop on the trail.
Love the outdoors, but not too hard, OK?
Good talk, new Boulderite. You’re on your way to uber-sick core-ness.