Since the inception of this project we have believed that having people see the changes for themselves is always a more powerful experience than just looking at them on their computers. This year we have been focusing on reaching out and communicating about what we are doing to get more people involved. One of the people who has repeated a photo recently is Eric Guth, an accomplished photographer with a strong interest in ice as well.
I had tried getting to this location last year but had been turned back by incredibly high winds. Eric managed to get to the spot of the de Agostini photo and put a cairn of rocks so others can find the same spot in the future.
An interesting thing I found while spending time in the climbing community in El Chalten, Argentina, is that sometimes people repeat historic photographs without even knowing it. Cerro Solo is a popular “warmup” climb for the bigger mountains around El Chalten and climbers Marcus Loane and Colin Haley had both taken photos from exactly the same place on the summit as the first ascentionists from the Club Andino Bariloche.
Looking at these photo pairs allows us to see into the past. The blue line on the right photo shows the approximate glacier surface level in 1949. We can even see the movement of a large patch of rocks on the surface of the Torre Glacier between Marcus’ photo in 2009 and Colin’s photo in 2012.
To be noted is that the date on the Club Andino photo is 1950, as that is the date it was published, but the photo was taken in March 1949. Because there are no records of exactly when many historic photos were taken, we often reference the date they were published instead.
For us this is the beginning of much more work getting people out to these places to repeat photos and see the changes first hand. Many of the photos we have repeated and hope to have repeated are in places people pass regularly, and if you are interested in repeating photos, contact us! Some big projects are afoot and we’re excited for the future!