Are You Ready For Your Summit Photo?


Are you going hiking this weekend? Planning a climb of Mount Hood, Shasta, Rainier? There are two things you should be doing: training, and planning what your summit photo is going to look like. Here are a few things to think about:

1. What are you going to do with your hands?

a. thumbs up

b. gang signs

c. throw the horns

d. throw the horns and add the extra thumb (which means “I love you” instead of “so metal”)

e. Something awkward

f. shaka

g. double shaka

h. hold a pair of coconuts

2. Decide on the mood. Is everyone going to smile? No? Well, are you all going to look tough, like you did in your high school football team photo? Important.

3. Is your helmet crooked?

4. Try to display as much gear as possible so people viewing the photo will know you got into some serious shit up there. Ice axe, trekking poles, headlamp even if you didn’t use it — basically empty out your pack and hang everything off your person. Yeah. Now you look like what’s-his-name who climbed the Eiger really fast, Ueli Steck or whatever.

5. Are you jumping? That’s cool too, as long as your friend operating the camera can catch you at the top of your trajectory. If not, repeat it as many times as necessary to get the shot. I am not joking, I don’t care if you have to jump in the air 40-something times in the thin air above 12,000 feet. Start yelling “GODAMMIT, JIM” or whatever your friend’s name is after jump #20, and then maybe they’ll start to get it.

6. It’s not a bad idea to have someone take a shot of you by yourself, preferably looking pensive. Do you know how to look pensive? Just gaze away from the camera into the distance and think about some heavy shit, like how many rocks you’re standing on (I mean, for real) or whose new baby is going to be your favorite, Kim Kardashian’s or Kate Middleton’s.

7. Other props: If you bring a beer to the summit, everyone who sees your summit photo will know it was a pretty casual climb for you. If you bring a watermelon, everyone will know you are a badass, and hilarious. Make sure you bring something to cut the watermelon with.

8. Do you do yoga? Now’s the time. Only question is which pose. Savasana, Plow Pose and Happy Baby are always aesthetic and complementary of beautiful backdrops.


Semi-Rad is brought to you by Outdoor Research.

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Category: ClimbingHikingHow-toHumorMountaineering



  1. 9. If you climb by yourself don’t forget to bring a stick to attach your camera to so that it doesn’t look like you took a selfie. Nothing says, “I have no friends and no one else would spend hours hiking with me to get here so I had to take my own picture,” like a summit selfie with half the frame blocked out by your own lonely arm.

  2. I like the idea of crafting a very personal and timely message to someone special, and then putting that message on something large that you carry all the way up to the summit just for them, like a banner or your bare ass cheeks. The burden demonstrates thoughtfulness and is therefore extra meaningful. Then read “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’brien. It’s about the Vietnam War, but relevant probably by some means of extrapolation.

  3. Personally, I do the Uncle Rico pose. To show off my gunz…

    But the Paul Ryan poses in the pic on this post are about as good as they get.

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Article by: brendan