I’m 2 days late on this week’s story, so I better make it worth the wait. Here we go.

I started off on lead. The first few moves were pretty straightforward, though the protection was thin. This was Sasquatch, a route that had lived only in my imagination for the better part of a year. It was often mentioned and recommended as one of the top granite climbs in the area, so I was happy to finally give it a go.

But even this anticipated climb wasn’t the first thing on my mind. The first thing on my mind was my DSLR in my backpack.

Bringing my camera climbing always sounded like an ordeal. I’ve tried it once or twice before and it was just that – an ordeal. It’s enough work already to move through the mountains efficiently and competently, given all the gear to manage and variables to consider.

The second thing on my mind was the third partner in our group. Like bringing a camera, climbing with three people always sounded like an ordeal to me. Swinging leads with a single partner is already a lot of work, and adding a 3rd partner creates more steps in the system and variables to consider.

I glided up the delicious finger crack, placing solid gear along the way and feeling right in the zone. It was glorious. I clipped myself into the 3-bolt anchor above, and quickly started pulling the rope up to me until it started tugging Shane down below. I put him on belay, shouted down for him to start climbing, and he started off. He sent it all the way up in similar fashion, cleaning gear along the way, and quickly lowering back down after collecting the rest of the gear from me. I dropped the rope down to my partners and got my camera out as John geared up for his lead.

Now I was in position, clipped into the bolts up top and able to move around and take photos. I had extended my personal anchor system to give myself another 10 feet of motion. As John approached me, I shot from above and had a blast. The whole day, we were efficient. We communicated well. We swung our way to the top and had an amazing day, getting out with some photos I was excited to edit.

It made me think of when I first moved to Utah. I wanted to film in cool locations like this, but I didn’t have the equipment, the knowledge, or the network to pull it off. So I respected the process and took it one thing at a time. I spent the last 8 months slowly finding partners, growing my equipment library, climbing, and learning as much as I could. And now, adding a 3rd person and a camera to the situation doesn’t seem like such an ordeal. This is just the beginning.

Honest question: Was this story worth the wait? If so, forward this to someone you think would enjoy it.

Click here to subscribe.

Want more stories like this? Sign up below and I’ll send you a fresh one every Friday.