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A historic photo taken by Vittorio Sella compared to the modern one taken by Fabiano Ventura
Photo by Fabiano Ventura
Fabiano Ventura
Photo by arch. F. Ventura
Baltoro morraine from Liligo 1909-2009
Photo by Fabiano Ventura
Panoramic view from Terzano 1929-2009
Photo by Fabiano Ventura
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On the trails of the glaciers, second expedition to the Caucasus


After the Karakorum, the second expedtiion entitled "On the trails of the glaciers" is now about to set off for a month in the Caucasus, coordinated by Italian photographer Fabiano Ventura and the association Macromicro.

Climate change studies carried out throughout the last century have produced much literature and renowned climatologists have met at world panels in order to discuss about the problem. Amongthose involved in the naturalist and environmental field, a big tribute to science comes from the Italian no profit association “Macromicro” working on the photographical-scientific project “On the Trails of the Glaciers” which studies the effects of climate change on the most important mountain glaciers on the Earth.

At the end of July a specialized team of alpinists, researchers and photographers will head to the Caucasus (a 1100-1200 km long mountain system, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea), to take pictures and to make glaciological measurements. A specialized tv troupe will produce a high-definition documentary describing the activities of the expedition.

The team is composed of great names: the photographer Fabiano Ventura, the glaciologist Kenneth Hewitt and Riccardo Scotti, the director Marco Preti and the cameramen Luca Venchiarutti. In order to directly follow the team work there will be a special Scientific Committee constituted by international recognized scientists such as Claudio Smiraglia (Professor of Science at “Statal University of Milan”), Kenneth Hewitt (Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies and researcher at the “Cold Regions Research Centre” of the “Wilfrid Laurier University” in Waterloo-Ontario, Canada), Christoph Mayer (Emeritus Professor of the “Science Academy in Munich” and member of the “German Glaciers’ Studies Commission”) and Dr Stefano Urbini, of the National Research Institute of Vulcanology and Geophysics of Rome.

The expedition to Caucasus, which will last from July 28th to the September 1st 2011, is the second of a plan of five expeditions (to Karakorum, Caucasus, Alaska, the Andes, the Alps) on three different continents, in order to obtain, at the end of the entire project, relevant results which will give an idea of the status of the planet. The first expedition, Karakorum 2009, achieved large-scale scientific success and a significant media exposure.

"Our aim"- explains Fabiano Ventura, photographer and project inventor- "is to shoot the same photos that the ancient explorers took at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th Century in order to compare them with our new pictures taken from the same geographical points. This will help to study and show the climate changes happening on Earth. During the expedition the glaciers experts collect different sets of data that, associated with the comparative pictures, will give us results about the climatic changes associated to the glaciers. In short, we wish like to raise public awareness about themes linked to the sustainable management of the natural resources."

Based on the opinion of the “Macromicro” association experts, in the Caucasus they will follow the same paths of the pioneers who preceded them. Just to remember some of the Italian pioneers: the photographic works of Vittorio Sella, (1889, 1890 and 1896), Mario Piacenza (1910), Vittorio Ronchetti (during the first two decades if the 20th century) and Andrea Pollitzer (1929), or of the great foreign pioneers such as Hermann Woolley, Albert Frederik Mummery, Douglas William Freshfield, Mor Dechy and Vilem Heckel.

Many glaciers are disappearing (within 2050, 88% of glaciers are at risk of extinction), but from the results obtained from the 1st expedition, we can say that most Karakorum glaciers are stable while some of them actually seem to grow. How will the data unfold in the Caucasus? To find out more follow the team tracks via www.macromicro.it, which will be up-dated in real time by the same experts, both in English and in Italian, during the entire expedition.

Once the expedition reutrns a press conference will be also organised at the central “Italian Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology” to illustrate the Caucasus results.

List of mountains and glaciers that will be climbed and photographed
Leila Gora (4109m), Latraldash or Asmashi (3500m), Banguriani (3800), Segar pass (2600m), Dadiash-Ushkul (3400), Borjula (4300m), due cime fino a Mestia
Glaciers: Ushba, Lekzir, Tioibri, Tuiber, Dzinal, Adish, Shkara

On the Trails of the Glaciers - Karakorum






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