There is no doubt that for most people a $1000 SLR is expensive. However, in the grand scheme of camera prices, $1000 is relatively middle tier and the thought of losing one to the forces of nature or in pursuit of adventure is somewhat bearable. But should your camera be at the mercy of nature?
I've been using Pentax gear for almost 20 years. I've owned and shot top end Nikon SLR cameras and glass, as well as owned a handful of various brand high end digital compacts in that time, but never have I felt like my money was better spent then when I was using Pentax gear.
Pentax SLR cameras consistently offer top notch image quality. They also offer rugged build and sealing to go with a solid lens lineup, including sealed zooms and pancake primes.
Because Pentax doesn't battle for dominance in the professional photo journalism market, it isn't forced to hold back technology for top end cameras, and it is able to concentrate on system size and ergonomics that professional outfits might not care about. This simplified technology structure allows consumers to get professional level equipment at relatively bargain prices.
Below is a great example why Pentax gear is ideally designed for outdoor adventure in a mountain environment: