Glaciers from the top: helicopter explorations

Last Monday we had the opportunity to observe the Svanetia’s glaciers from a unique and fascinating point of view: the sky. Thanks to the long and friendly work of the Georgiana and Italian Ambassadors, the Georgian Ministry of Defense and Environment allowed us to utilize an helicopter that was in the region for some military exercises. The sky view of the valleys, the mountains and the glaciers at different times of the day and therefore with always different lights and shadows, has been of fundamental importance to have a general picture of the glaciers snow status at the end of the summer. This particular point of view allowed us to observe so many details otherwise impossible to note with the classical landscape explorations.

With the precious help of the pilots, all the flights were accurately planned to shoot the selected valleys from the appropriate angle, and to reconcile the needs of the military exercise with those of the scientific and photographic of the expedition. Due to the regress of the glaciers and to the advance of the vegetation that causes the abandon of the highest plateau, many valleys, which were once explored from historical explorers, are today hardly reachable by walk. Nevertheless, thanks to this unique opportunity we could shoot some important pictures that allow making the comparisons with some of the old pictures, which would have been otherwise impossible. Moreover, the observation of the glaciers from such a strategic perspective, allow the study of their accumulation basins above 4000 meters of high, often unreachable by walk. This allowed us to get to more accurate conclusions on the behaviors of glaciers, which we could only explore so far from the bottom. For the documentary crew it was an excellent opportunity to make impressive shooting of the Svanetia mountains, exalting the beauty of uncontaminated and often unexplored territories.

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