Old men in short shorts are an Alpine phenomenon. They are to be admired and treated with suspicion at the same time.
A typical representative of this elusive yet omnipresent cohort of Alpine hikers is over 60. He appears out of nowhere aiming for the nearest summit often practically in a straight line. At considerable speed, he strides towards his goal in solitude and shows great determination and confidence, clad in a pair of little too short shorts.
It is safe to say I have encountered at least one old man in short shorts at practically every hike I have done in the Alps.
My first conscious encounter with this special breed of hikers was particularly memorable and humbling. As I was catching my breath at the top of the Forcella Val d’Arcia, I felt proud of having made it in the first place and even having overtaken a group of lads on the way. And just then an old man in short shorts struck. A seventy-something casually strolled by, nodded, took the view in without even stopping and smoothly carried on down the scree field on the other side of the pass. Since then I have been alert to this Alpine enigma.
Old men in short shorts, you are impressive, but your fashion sense is suspicious.
Memorable sightings of old men in short shorts:
- How scary really is Sentiero Flaibani?
- An attempt at the Rumer Spitze
- Walking in the Valais: 6 days of meandering around the walker’s Haute Route
Have you encountered old men in short shorts, or are you one yourself? Tell the world in the comments section!