Nightly Concordia

09082009-fab_1528Our days at the base camp are ruled by the sunlight, but sometimes, despite the temperatures below zero, we extend our activities at night, collecting photographic images and timelapse videos of the great mountains lit by grazing and cold lunar light. The starry sky above us, surrounded by ridges of mountains between 7000 and the 8,000 meters, is absolutely fantastic; the first mountain to light at the rising of the moon is obviously the K2, which stands at the end of the massive dark valley of the Godwin Austen glacier.

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10082009-fab_1571_copertinaAfter a week of trekking over the endless moraines of the Baltoro glacier, we arrive at the magnificent amphitheater of Concordia at 4650 meters, one of the most spectacular locations of Karakorum, surrounded by some of the highest peaks on Earth, including the K2, the Broad Peak, Gasherbrum and the chain of the Masherbrums. Concordia, one of the largest glacier in the world, is formed by the confluence of the Baltoro and Godwin Austen glaciers, and by the numerous tributary glaciers that descend from the slopes of Broad Peak and Gasherbrum 4

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Baltoro, what emotions!

04082009-fab_0978_copertinaThis is the very first time in my life I reach 4.500 meters with my own legs, and I must admit that I can’t find the words to describe what I had before my eyes. The whole valley of the Baltoro from the Concordia circus up almost to the front, over 50 kilometers of glacier covered by rock debris and surrounded by impressive mountains between 7,000 and 8,000 m.

Filming these mountains for me is an honor, the energy that the mountain transmits is indescribable and to tell with a camera the beauty of nature for me is almost a mission.

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270 degrees of Baltoro glacier

Panoramica sopra UrdukasWhat a day, this August 4th! A few meters further up, after the image of the spire above  Urdukas, I’m also able to retrieve the same photo point of another astounding image taken by Massimo Terzano; a similar image was obtained by Vittorio Sella too twenty years before, although its shooting point was placed way higher, close to the icy peak at about 5800 meters of altitude. Since these are the first few days we spend at this height, we decide to postpone the shoot when we’ll come back, we will be more acclimated for sure.

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Seeking for a legendary shot

04082009-fab_1330_confrontoThere are images that remain indelible in the memory, strong because of a feeling, of a unique suggestion that leaves the imagination and minds of those who observed a compelling message. To me it happened often, when browsing the collections of old pictures by the explorers who first documented these regions. One in particular has always accompanied me over the years, during all my works, as a source of inspiration and emotion: an image taken by Massimo Terzano in 1929 that depicts a panorama of the Baltoro glacier.

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Liligo, the surging glacier

02082009-fab_1212_confronto_liligoToday we reach one of the most investigated tributaries of the Baltoro glacier; it’s the Liligo glacier, so interesting one since many times subject to quick changes, as to be classified as “surging glacier”, and yet studied by Prof. Claudio Smiraglia, scientific coordinator of the project “On the Trails of the Glaciers”. During the latest 30 years this glacier advanced about 1500 meters; currently it reached the morenic limit of the Baltoro glacier

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Terzano Rock

We left Payu at 7:00am and soon reached the Baltoro glacier’s front, in order to repeat one of the most known images taken by Massimo Terzano; with a great regret, we see that this could be one of the latest chances to enjoy this astounding view, since the area of the Terzano Rock seems to be greatly undermined at its base because of the erosion operated by the Baltoro river.

Therefore, this magnificent rock is doomed to collapse soon.

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01082009-fab_1129_confronto4Today we reached Payu, where we can admire the spectacular view of the Baltoro glacier’s front. In these latest two days we faced two of the longest trekking stops, and given the yet low altitude (3100 – 3400 meters) we had a really hot weather conditions, with temperatures well beyond the 30°C. During the 30 km journey we obtained a panoramic 360° image of the Biafo glacier’s front, in order to study the geomorphologic changes of the area even related to the numerable alluvional features spreading in the valley; moreover, our geologist Pino D’Aquila took many GPS point to be used for former and new studies.

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