Hey Sendit, sorry if I offended you! I’ve never been a full time skier/climber living out of a van, but I participated heavily for a long while and definitely affiliated. After all, the mountains are why I live here. There definitely are some honest ones around, and I agree it’s how lots of professional athletes get started.Sorry to hear about your knife! Being robbed feels incredibly violating and I can’t imagine it when you’re pickpocketed. Geez. Hope you report it and get them caught when they try to pawn it!
That said, I think that terming climbers and ski bums as dirtbags is crossing a line. There are LOTS of full time climbers and so-called ski bums (mostly younger folks) that are perfectly honest. Most of our Olympic athletes in those sports have lived, or continue to live, that vagabond lifestyle. The kids that stole from you are “dirtbags” without ANY doubt! However, there’s no need to lump the skiing and climbing community into the description, imo. I was once one of those kids and I NEVER stole anything from anyone and neither did any of the other full-time climbers and skiers I met and associated with in the late 89’s and early 90’s. It’s personal and I can’t help but get a little defensive. Lol. Honestly, I met more dirtbags and miscreants in college and in the business world than I did mountaineering and skiing and living out of vans and school busses!
Anyway, I hope you get that great knife back or find a replacement.
That said, I think there might have been a generational/cultural shift in the lifestyle compared to the 80’s/90’s…or maybe it’s just local to Salt Lake City. I’m probably a good bit younger than you, and more recently I encountered a lot of dishonest, and quite frankly mean/entitled people doing it. Again, I don’t want people to think all of them are thieves, but some definitely are. I was actually inside a sporting goods store near a climbing wall and the knife would only be recognizable as valuable to either a well-informed thief or someone who knows knives…like someone who probably uses/carries one on a regular basis.
edit: I took out “dirtbag”. It gets used a lot around here just to describe people slumming it so they can recreate full time and doesn’t always have a negative connotation, but sometimes it definitely does.