1. When forming patches of mud, be sure to throw in a few that are actually much, much deeper than the rest. This way, unsuspecting hikers will step in them and cover their entire leg in disgusting brown goo. They enjoy this. Hikers wear mud stains like medals and often brag about how dirty they get.
2. Black ice is no fun when nobody sees it! Be sure to put it in the middle of the trail to ensure the maximum amount of slipping and ice-related falls.
3. Because of their extra layers, hikers often get self-conscious about how big they look. Blow 121 kph winds at them to show how easily they can be knocked off a mountain—this will increase their self-esteem.
4. Rain and snow are cliché. Instead, disperse minuscule ice particles into the wind to get lodged in their eyes and make them feel like their faces are being attacked by darts. This reminds hikers of that one scene in Indiana Jones and will make them feel like they’re really cool.
5. Instead of one straightforward trail, have many that intersect and lead in completely different directions. However, only one of them should actually lead to your summit. Hikers enjoy the challenge and have fun spending lots of time trying different trails before they find the right one.
6. Wait until hikers are completely lost to bring down a fog that obscures everything more than two feet away. Make sure the trail that goes “up” actually ends up at the bottom, while the one that goes “down” eventually leads uphill. This will make them question their view of the world and produce excellent philosophical realizations.
7. Have several smaller peaks leading up to your tallest point, so that each time hikers reach what they think is the “top” they get to experience a sense of accomplishment and excitement.
Photos by Rebecca Downs ’18