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Not so long ago, they used mules...


Boudry, CH
5265 posts

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olivierrychner Gold Member  Awarded for his long standing high level of commitment to the Nikonians community and demonstrated excellence in the art and science of photography. Nikonian since 03rd Jan 2005
Wed 02-Oct-13 09:55 AM


In a not so distant past, in that place and in a lot of other alpine valleys, mules, donkeys or horses were, well, the workhorses for work in higher altitudes, in the "alpages" used in summer for cattle or sheep.

Now when building work is necessary, they use helicopters to ferry the materials from the bottom of the valley to its final destination. There are a lot of places dedicated to loading/unloading, where trucks deliver the goods before the last leg of the journey. As an aside, it is not exceptional to see a helicopter "parked" in front of a restaurant at lunch time

Last year, I witnessed such a transport as I was going to the nearest bakery before breakfast - the noise of the machine actually woke me.It's a Eurocopter Ecureuil AS 350 B3, according to the Federal Office of Civil Aviation.

Here, the crewman is fastening the bag to the long-rope (is that a sling, technically?):

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Then the pilot lowers the machine and the crewman boards it. Note the tank on the four-wheel-drive: they actually fill the tank on-site...

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Finally they take off for good, with the crewman checking if the knot holds...

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The delivery site must have been very close (but about 400 meters higher) because I could observe three rotations in under 15 minutes. Since the crewman boarded the machine, I guess it was also the last at this site for the day.

All images with D700 and 28-300VR, exif intact.

Olivier Rychner
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Auta i lomë! And my Nikon's only awaiting daylight...