Deadly Drones put to right use: Swiss Expedition uses Drones to capture footage of the Trango Tower ascend


Every creation has its pros and cons. It all depends on how we decide to use them. The dogma holds good for almost everything including the dreaded drones which have brought death and destruction to the tribal belt of Pakistan and continue to do so till this date.

The technology, essentially American, is now being employed to capture footage of extreme sports including the mountaineering and rock climbing. The Swiss Expedition which scaled the notorious Trango Towers in the Gilgit-Baltistan province of the country in July this year extensively used a similar technology to capture the footage which would have been impossible otherwise.


“People are going to see footage from the Karakoram that no human being has ever seen,” said Corey Richard, a photographer and videographer from Lake Tahoe, California, who was on the expedition.

The expedition was a joint project between outdoor clothing and equipment company Mammut, and Dedicam, a firm that specializes in using remote-controlled helicopters to shoot video. Their goal: to document world-class mountaineer David Lama and his climbing partner Peter Ortner as they climbed Trango Tower.

The question of recording live footage of such magnanimous climbs has long been a matter of consideration for the photographers and climbers alike. Although helicopters are not always an option for such high altitudes as Karakorum, even at low altitudes they not only churn up unwanted clouds of dust, are expensive beyond measure and can be fatal for the climbers pushing them off balance at times.

The Drones, which cost only a fraction of the amount used for hiring a Heli, now come with improved maneuverability, excellent recording capabilities and are hassle free in carrying and assembling on spot.

“The main challenge was that the air is much thinner, and we didn’t know how the flight controls would work with this and the propellers and motors,” said drone operator Remo Masina, from Lucerne, Switzerland.


Remo brought in two sets of remote-controlled helis, one with four rotors and the other with six. He was able to surge the aircraft to almost 2000ft on the Trango to spot climbers edging their way up.

Karakorum Range in Pakistan is known for gigantic peaks some of which remain unclimbed to this date. The peaks in Karakorum are not only some of the most difficult to climb but offer such breathtaking sights which are found nowhere else in the world.

Lama and Ortner said climbing the legendary Pakistani mountains was an amazing experience.

“Here there are so many mountains, and so many difficult mountains, and mountains that haven’t been climbed,” said Lama.“That’s probably why the Karakoram is known as paradise for us.”