Skiing, lovely skiing. All that fresh air, clean white snow and rich mountain food to gorge your happy little belly on. A time away with friends and loved ones to enjoy the Alps, the Dolomites or Milton Keyes' dry slope. What could be the downside?
Well, unfortunately, like all of our time on this cruel and fickle planet, there will be other people there to spoil it - specifically, some wankers. But with our handy guide to the worst of them, at least you'll know what you're up against when you hit the slopes this winter.
The Seasonaire is the kind of person who refers to themselves as a 'local', disregarding the fact that they are from Harrow and are just cryogenically freezing their impending adult misery - with all of its tepid disappointments and laundry days - for six months of fresh air, slightly discounted beer and faux self-importance dressed up in an unwashed beanie.
Yeah, you're a real local, pal.
The Backcountry Bellend
The kind of guy who does triathlons, or goes for a Sunday bike ride in a Team Sky jersey, the Backcountry Bellend owns approximately £3,450 worth of high-end avalanche gear and by fuck is he going to use it! It doesn't matter that he's only been skiing five times in the last 15 years.
How bad can uncharted, disaster-ridden mountain slopes be with no professional guide?
The Small Child who is better than you'll ever be
He was born on the mountain, a pair of ski boots strapped to his tiny tadpole feet at an age when most children are just coming to terms with the very existence of their meagre little limbs.
This pint-sized hooligan will openly mock you on the slopes; cutting you up and jumping in front of you in every chairlift queue. He is a great white and you are an infirm old seal - the mountain, his Cape Cod.
The snowboarder is a very cool cat indeed. It is almost certain that he will be called Stu, possessing a vocabulary littered with Eighties California slang words like gnarly, killer, shred and Pow Pow.
For one week a year, Stu can cast off the shackles of his beige home counties frustration and shred hard. Stu will hate you if you ski, you filthy luddite.
The Broken Man
Haunting local bars like a dreadlocked wraith, the Broken Man arrived in '93, seeking the solace of the mountains. Escaping a bad marriage, a failed business or - quite possibly - a murder conviction, in a gloomy corner he sits, dead eyes casting the shadow of a Vietnam vet who can't unsee la Drang.
Except he's just done too much acid and gorged himself numb on raclette.
The Uni Lads
Drawn to Val Thorens like locusts to an African harvest, the Uni Lads are here for your Jaeger and your mountain women... But the women aren't really that interested in a 19-year-old fuckwit from Bristol with a ketamine habit. This crushing reality causes our Uni Lads to become semi-feral, strip naked and dance on table tops to Pitbull anthems for five nights straight.
They're always naked, for some reason.
The Waiter that openly despises you
"Yes, yes, drink up that €11 hot chocolate you swine. How about some chips? Yes, have some chips you soft-chinned worm."