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Party On Top Of The World

A summit beer is nothing new. In fact, if I finish a long hike with my group of friends and don't have a cold can of suds to enjoy on the top I will be the subject of ridicule for at least a few minutes. It's as intrinsic to our hiking snacks as gorp or water. However, our penchant for early morning starts and long climbs on rocky ridges puts a serious limitation on festive nights on the town. It's tough to enjoy a night on the town when the alarm is set for 4:00 AM and all you can think about is the fresh air and alpine sunrise. After many a failed night out and groggy morning starts we stumbled upon a genius idea; take the party to the top.

While the idea still required a quiet evening and early morning start, it allowed us to find our manly socialization time AND the grueling hike that we constantly crave.

Sony α7 II. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master lens at 24mm. 1/1000sec., f/4.0, ISO 100. Right about here is where we began questioning our choices.  

With the help of some amazing friends and the Granite Gear Vapor Flatbed backpack, we hiked a keg of delicious local craft beer to the summit of La Plata Peak (14,336 feet), the 7th tallest mountain in the lower 48 states. It's surprisingly easy to make new friends when you're handing out free beer in compostable cups, and before we knew it the keg was empty. The perfect middle ground between social outing and wilderness exploration.

Making the jump to the Sony system for shooting in the mountains like this was a no-brainer for me. The bodies are compact and efficient, and the lenses are exceptional. To top it all off, Sony makes the absolute best sensors on the market, giving me complete confidence that every detail I see will be captured and reproduced. I shoot in very challenging conditions, and I love the comfort in knowing that my camera will never be the limiting factor. 

 Sony α7 II. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master lens at 48mm. 1/1000-sec., f/6.3, ISO 250. Good beer, even better views. 

 Author Nate Luebbe, putting his Sony α7 II to good use."  Sony α6000. Sony 16-50mm lens. Photo by Zack Nelson (@collective_rambler).

 Sony α7 II. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master lens at 56mm. 1/500-sec., f/5.6, ISO 250. Climb up, drink up!  

 Sony α7 II. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master lens at 34mm. 1/2500-sec., f/3.2, ISO 250. Human treats in the keg, puppy treats in the bag! 

 Sony α7 II. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master lens at 39mm. 1/4000-sec., f/6.3, ISO 250. Disclaimer; running down alpine snowfields wearing a keg is not OSHA approved workplace behavior. 

 Sony α7 II. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master lens at 47mm. 1/640-sec., f/8, ISO 64. Beer, summits and friends. That's the reason we do it!

Nate Luebbe is part of the Alpha Collective. You can follow his adventures on Instagram @nateinthewild