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On the Trails of the Glaciers, the expedition to Patagonia really gets going
The fourth edition of On the Trails of the Glaciers continues, bringing the team to Tierra del Fuego and the Patagonian Andes. Fabiano Ventura’s expedition aims to document how global warming is changing the world’s most important mountain chains.
During the first week, from the 11th to the 18th of February, Ventura and his team, who are on the tracks of explorer and priest Alberto Maria De Agostini, met Carolina Vidal, responsible for the photographic archive at Maggiorino Borgatello Museum. Ventura verified De Agostini’s archiving method and discovered new photographs which provide precious information for comparative photography, aimed at showing the effects of global warming on the world’s most important mountain chains. In this case, on the Tierra del Fuego and Patagonian Andes.
On the 21st of February the team entered Torres del Paine National Park, where De Agostini shot his famous image of the glacier. There, where a large valley and a lake now lie. “I think the comparison between the historical photo and the one we’re going to take today will be shocking,” Ventura wrote in his travel diary.
After having endured harsh weather conditions, with wind gusts of over 120 km/h, Ventura managed to reach Mount Paine’s peak. There, the search for the exact point where De Agostini shot his image began. Most likely, from the peak. But black clouds coming from the ocean got nearer and Ventura decided to descend before weather conditions got worse.
The weather improved on the morning of the 24th of February despite many clouds still looming over the Torres del Paine. The absence of wind is quite a miracle in Patagonia. With the historical photo at hands, Ventura started to observe the ridges in order to spot the exact point where to take the picture from and realised that De Agostini had chosen a position sheltered from the wind, close to a rock on the summit crest, just below the peak.
Once the Gitzo tripod was positioned, Ventura started the long process of finding the exact framing. Conditions were extreme, making the work nearly impossible. The moment of the shooting was exciting, but clouds peeked out. The weather got worse and it started to snow. Ventura had to descend.
Over the following days, the team managed to reach the shooting point again and took other photos allowing Ventura to end his work in Torres del Paine National Park. Next objective: Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina, where the most important work of the expedition will take place.
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