Good to know there's a peaceful use for drones, at least in the exploration field. Word comes about a climb last summer by Mammut pro David Lama who stood together with Peter Ortner and Corey Rich on the summit of the 20,509-foot/6,251-meter Nameless Tower in Pakistan, also known as Trango Tower. Starting from the sun terrace, it took them ten hours to complete the Eternal Flame route, long considered to be one of the toughest routes over 5,000 meters (16,404 feet).
There were three members in the rope team on the imposing face, but a fourth pair of eyes was following and watched their every move. Remo Masina from the Swiss company, Dedicam, controlled a backpack-sized camera drone, supported by four propellers, from the base of the face. Events on the rock were documented up close using a mounted camera. This resulted in breathtaking video and stills which had never been produced before in this area and at these heights.
"The outcome was completely uncertain," said Masina. "We were unable to test the drones under real conditions before the project." A completely new type of drone had to be constructed for the expedition to Karakorum in order to ensure that all requirements relating to height and range were met.
The joint project between Mammut and Dedicam achieved a milestone in the alpine photo and film world, and opens up new possibilities with so far unseen pictures of the largest mountains in the world.
View some of the spectacular drone images here, and check out video from the climb below: