Today we’ll spend the entire day at the front of the Baltoro glacier. Weather conditions are not so good, and we’re a little worry: these measurements are important, if we fail today, we would not have occasion to repeat them again, since we can not stay another day in Payu. Prepared the equipment, we reach the glacier with an hour of travel. Before starting to measure, our guide Hassan will have to reach the nearby military base and show our special permits, issued by the Ministry of Information of Pakistan to let us take photos, videos and perform scientific findings. As soon as we are officially “go”, we walk down to the front of the glacier to reach the Desio boulder and measure again, several years away, its distance from the glacier.
From the top of the boulder I take a 360 degree panoramic cube mosaic, composed of 22 frames. I think this is the first time such an immersive high-definition image is taken from this position, I hope it will be useful as a comparison for other occasions of this kind in future. This overview provides an fully free insight of the entire horizon, and lets you “be there” in a manner impossible to achieve with a static image:
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Click and drag mouse to move in the panoramic image.
Subsequently, Pino is able to perform a GPS tracking of the entire front of the glacier, going over with precision. After photographing the exit of the Baltoro river through an impressive ice cave, we go down to the bed of the river, to search for points of two photographic images taken during the Italian expeditions of 1954 and 1929, respectively by the official photographers Mario Fantin and Massimo Terzano. Just found the exact spot of the shot, we are confident we can immediately provide to science an excellent comparison to understand the possible fluctuations of the front of the glacier during the last century: at first glance, comparing the current view with the historical image of 1929 the front seems to have undergone a change in vertical thickness: observing the new picture we can detect that some peaks of the Trango Towers are more visible now than in the historical image of 1929.
Tired and satisfied by the long day, we decide to set off again to reach the camp Payu. We’ll bring back home a good haul of images and information!