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TO THE SUMMIT OF MOUNT KILIMANJARO

26/06/2000

On 15th March 2000, a 15-strong team set out on a demanding trek to reach the 5,895 metre summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, traversing via the daunting North face.

Led by Chris Moon, who endured a leg amputation following a landmine explosion, the Deepend Challenge group aimed to raise money and awareness of the UK registered charity MOTIVATION, providing wheelchairs for those in need in Africa.

The team wanted to capture the demands of the trek on video, and chose a Vision 100LT camera support system. Deepend were filming the challenge using a Panasonic DVC PRO AJD-610A camera with a Canon XJ8X9 KRS zoom and W80Y-85 lens combination. The VIN-100LT comprised of a Vision 100 pan & tilt head, with 2-stage ENG carbon fibre torque-safe tripod and floor spreader.

The documentary would provide a testament to the unique life experiences and commendable traits of Chris Moon, whilst live web broadcasting would be transmitted daily to recall the events.

Environmental conditions of the trek were going to be wide ranging, and the Vision 100, incorporating the TF (thin film) drag system, was the obvious choice. TF drag provides consistently high drag output and fine control, even when operating in temperatures as low as -40ºC.

"The temperatures we endured were highly varied on the expedition, from a 35º temperature and 90% humidity in the lowland forest areas, to -20º with heavy snow towards the peak".

"However, the Vision 100 performed extremely well for us in all weather conditions. With extreme cold, the head had to be turned a couple of times, but then performed perfectly on pans & tilts. There appeared to be no visible impact on a change in altitude on the Vision 100 throughout the trek. I wish the same could be said of its operators!"
David Raedeker, Camera Operator

The quick release torque-safe leg clamps enabled fast and easy set-up, used with a standard floor spreader. On the lower mountain areas of this expedition where you had lose stone and mud, it would have been advisable to use a Vision mid-level spreader. This would have allowed the camera operator to set-up and balance the camera easily, regardless of the uneven terrain.

The lightweight and durable Vision 100LT system, weighing less than 6kg, was carried by member of the production team during the climb to the Pofu Camp at 4,200m, and then passed to porters while the final two-day ascent to the summit was attempted.

"In the immense heat encountered at lower altitudes, the Vision 100 performed equally well. It was very smooth and steady to operate and enabled the filming of long, slow pans required in such environmental conditions.

Apart from a minor problem with the spreader, I was extremely satisfied with the weight of the tripod system and the performance of the head. It enabled us to do full justice to the natural beauty of the Kilimanjaro environment."
David Raedeker, Camera Operator

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