A friend of mine is planning a stroll up Mont Blanc next year. He's a climber not a snapper but, as he's probably only going to do this once, would like some pictures to show for it.

Weight and bulk are generally considered bad things in this kind of situation. He did consider going the d****** route but image quality, battery-life, image quality, reliability and image quality all counted against it! (Oh dear, how sad, never mind.)

He has used a old Minolta Dynax SLR in the past with a consumer-level 35-70mm zoom. He has mainly stuck to point-and-shoot with it but he's a very technical guy and easily capable handling a manual camera with a bit of practice (whether he would want to half-way up a mountain is a different matter!). His budget is up to about 400. His priority is going to be doing the climb and taking a few nice shots along the way rather than creating photographic masterpieces.

My first thought was a Dynax 5 with a kit 28-100mm (about 200), which would leave him enough change to get more compact gear to make up for the SLR's bulk. However, I would greatly appreciate other opinions.

Thanks in advance,

Frank