Staying Grounded (5,000 ft Alt.)

By: Billy Cartee


“So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards” (Abbey). 

I think that pure, raw and simple love is hard to find. The type of love that does not concern itself with belongings, it is not fueled by jealousy or lust and has the ability to stay youthful regardless of age.  To witness such love is remarkably the best gift I could ask for. 


Josh is one the most genuine, hard working and loving individuals I have ever met. He is the type of friend who goes out of his way to say “hi” for no warranted reason. He does not seek belongings he seeks experiences, which is why I have come to cherish his friendship so much. When he asked me to shoot engagement photos for him and his fiancé, Courtney, I was more than grateful for the opportunity. 

Courtney is truly Josh’s missing piece. She is everything he is not, but compliments him so well. She is the type of friend who I have no idea why or how I can strike a conversation with and crack jokes as if I have known her my whole life.  

Collectively, they are once in a life time love. 

As I move towards another chapter in my life, I am thankful for these types of relationships. To have such people in your life who truly allow you to experience gut wrenching laughter is unequivocal to any other experience. I don’t even know if inside jokes are a thing anymore, but we definitely came up with our fair share. The group involved myself, Josh, Courtney and my good buddy Stefan. You know it’s good group chemistry when each party immediately issues that tough love, even if it’s the first time we had met. From blacking out during the ascent (term for booking it so hard up a peak that you lose all recollection of the pain and lactic acid filling your body) to talking real life on the way down. I don’t think I could ever forget memories like this. I want to live simply, I want to surround myself with people who value time over money, and experiences over objects. 

Witnessing this proposal, taking this journey and watching two of my friends fall even more in love is incredible. Angel’s Landing is denoted as one of the most mentally challenging yet rewarding hikes. To watch Courtney conquer this challenge and walk away with the husband of her dreams is unparalleled to any other feeling in the world. I can’t wait for the adventures that lie before us and the memories we will make along the way. 

Cheers to good friends, steep peaks, strong coffee and early mornings.


  • Stacy Brown

    Such an amazing piece. Thank you for capturing the footage of such a wonderful day and supporting these 2.

  • Mama Russell

    Thank you just thank you

  • Wild Bill

    Terrific article & an “unforgettable moment”.

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