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Mt. Kilimanjaro

African ice

Christian Pondella is always looking to capture a new and exciting adventure. He climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with his close friend, Will Gadd. “We wanted to show the icy heights of Africa, with the desert plains in the background. We began the photo shoot after acclimatising for five days.” What makes this climb even more special is that all the ice on Mt. Kilimanjaro may be gone in ten years.

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Big Picture African Ice 2 Profile Pondella Half

Christian Pondella

Big Picture African Ice 2 Profile Will Half

Will Gadd

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    Essential trust

    Years of friendship between Pondella and Gadd have created a mutual trust that is essential for this dangerous form of photography. Both men use the same gear and Pondella also carries his camera equipment. “After 15 years of friendship we are perfectly attuned to one another. We know exactly which situations are safe.”

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      Surreal surroundings

      Vast desert plains resembling a lunar landscape and icy rocks that emerge out of nowhere – the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro boasts a surreal beauty. “We found this piece of ice amidst the sand at an elevation of 5,800 metres. A few minutes before taking this picture we were walking barefoot through the sand. Clouds appeared out of nowhere and it began to snow.”

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        Ultimate view from the top

        The morning sun creates an incredibly impressive sight at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Pondella searched for the perfect moment to capture this magical view. “I got up at 3:30 am so that I could photograph Will in the first rays of light on this wall of ice. This is the ultimate view from the top, at an elevation of 5,895 metres.”


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