When embarking on a 15 mile backpacking trip at 11,000 feet, I have a couple suggestions. a) Don’t bring your professional grade (aka: heavy) camera gear unless . . . just don’t bring it. b) If you find yourself saying, “But Ansel Adams carried his heavy large format film cameras up here, so stop being such a sissy lala,” remember that Ansel Adams probably had pack mules. Okay, maybe he didn’t, but it makes me feel better when c) I am highly likely, under extreme exhaustion and minor altitude sickness, to drop said expensive camera after poorly MacGyver-ing it to a tree to capture one last epic moment of the trip (see: non-epic photos 7 & 8).
d) It is imperative that you equip yourself with an experienced hiker manhunk (or fembot) to feed you gourmet food and pick up the pieces when you start to emotionally unravel (hypothetically) right in the middle of the most beautiful place on the planet. A scratched lens is a silly excuse to suddenly forget about the postcard-like view from camp and the schoolgirl-joy of jumping into the frigid mountain water and the fun of being with manhunk and a night with more stars than I’ve ever seen in one sky and the Irish food at the bottom of the mountain. And the not getting eaten by bears.