My Kind of Mountain Men
The massive bear of a man, the gruff, bearded loner with a flannel and an axe - this is a mountain man trope I’m sure you’ve seen in romance. But as someone who grew up in the mountains, and who has lived in mountain towns across the US, I wanted to write about the sexiness of the real men of the mountains. Because they are dead sexy, and the romance novel trope isn’t at all correct, at least not among the mountain men I know.
I’m not saying those bearded bears aren’t out there somewhere, or even that mountain men don’t have beards (some do).
But I like my kind of mountain men better - and I might be biased because I married one of them. So I thought I’d write a little on the truth of mountain men, in case other romance authors out there are trying to accurately portray this type of man.
So here are some things I’d like to clear up:
Mountain men are not universally ridiculously tall.
As in all walks of life, Mountain Men come in all heights.
Mountain men are not hugely muscular.
But they do tend to be athletes. Most of the men I know from the various mountain towns I’ve lived in are the lean kind of fit. They do endurance sports and sports that require agility, and their bodies look the part - whether they ski, snowboard, hike, climb or mountain bike,
Mountain men are not anti-social.
Sure, some of them (including my husband) prefer to live in a small mountain town because they’re introverts - but they’re not gruff loners. Unless they live so off-the-grid that you’d never find them even if you tried, mountain men are small town guys. They’re chill, laid back and friendly - often outgoing. Even those of us who live in unincorporated areas surrounded by national forest are in a community, and we know our neighbors and talk to them often.
Mountain men have regular jobs.
Guys typically move to mountain towns to support a lifestyle they love, whether it’s skiing and snowboarding, hiking into the backcountry, hunting and fishing, or motor sports... or probably all of the above. And those kinds of sports require expensive gear, so they tend to have professional jobs, or jobs in the tourism industry.
Mountain men are gear whores.
Mountain men have their sports and tend to be obsessive about their sports gear. This includes but is not limited to:
- Owning mountain bikes that cost more than your car.
- Buying extra knives for no discernible reason (although they can give you a 40 minute lecture on why their new knife is different from their old one).
- Taking up your entire garage with kayaks, dirt bikes, paddle boards, and the like.
- Spending way too much on fly fishing rods.
- Having a snowboard for every type of snow condition. Plus extras just because he saw them for cheap online.
- Spending $100 on some new part because it shaved a few ounces off of his bike/backcountry pack/climbing gear.
Mountain Men are not all white guys.
Sure, mountain towns probably won’t be the most diverse places you’ll ever live, but they’re also not 100% white.
Do you have a mountain man in your life? Share your mountain man traits in the comments.
Want some real mountain men stories?