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Friday, July 27
Special Delivery
Morning at Rif Lorenzi
Taking shots at Lorenzi
Crags upon crags
Soon after breakfast, as we were checking out of our room and getting ready to go, I noticed the sound of a passing helicopter. Not uncommon in this area, I didn't give it a second thought. It didn't pass, though. The sound got louder and louder, and glancing out the front door, I noticed the tail rotor of a white, red and blue helicopter not 10 feet above me on the roof of the rifugio! What was going on? The helicopter soon lept away and dived back down into the valley, and was gone in a moment.
Crags upon crags
An unexpected visitor
An unexpected visitor
Daryl soon came down and reported that a guy in a helicopter flight suit had just climbed down from the roof and was standing on the deck. Aha - a visitor had been dropped off! But for what purpose?

Listening more attentively with my limited Italian skills, I divined that the rifugio was expecting the delivery of a new generator today. Putting two and two together, I realized that we were probably in for another helicopter visit, and soon. It was time to head outside for some pictures!
Morning Delivery
I went outside, got my camera gear ready, and positioned myself at the corner of the main deck. Sure enough, not a few minutes later, we heard the faint lawnmower -like sound of the helicopter. I quickly spotted it, climbing up from the valley to the south, and it was indeed carryling a large, white object, suspended from an eight-metre cable.
Morning Delivery
Racing towards us, then past, the pilot executed a pretty sharp turn, especially considering the 1000kg dead-weight suspended like a pendulum underneath him. The white generator swung way out to the side as he did this. It was a spectacular sight.

By this point, everyone at the rifugio had come out to witness the delivery. This was either going to be a delicate and well-executed operation, or something was going to go wrong and an expensive bit of kit was going to be damaged or lost!
Morning Delivery
Approaching the Rifugio
Morning Delivery
Hovering above the deck, the pilot, in conjunction with his spotter on the deck, maneuvered the slowly spinning generator onto the deck, plopping it down just at the right moment, and missing the railing of the deck by mere centimetres. The lift cable was detached, the pilot quickly swung 'round and put his skids against the rifugio roof, and the spotter quickly climbed back onto the roof of the rifugio, into the helicopter, and they were gone.

Just like that.

The whole operation, from initial drop-off of the spotter, return to the valley to pick up the generator, flying back up and delivering the generator, picking up the spotter, and departure, took nine minutes. Nine minutes! I don't think I've ever seen a more efficient operation! (If you want to see for yourself, just look at the timestamps of the pictures)
courtesy PChen
courtesy DBoyd
Guiding it in
Anchors away!
Pick up time!
Meanwhile, the crowd on deck were milling about the shiny new Zordan generator. The question we had in our minds was how they were going to move this big chunk of equipment. It was sitting in the middle of the deck, and it was obvious it needed to be moved a fair ways to some sort of enclosure.

We didn't have time to watch them solve their heavy-lifting issues. We had to get going - we had a fairly full day ahead of us: a short final ferrata in the Cortina area, then a long drive to the Brenta, and hopefully a hike up to a rifugio in the Brenta, positioning us for a big Brenta ferrata outing the next day.
courtesy PChen
Pick up time!
How the heck....?
The new toy
We caught the very first creaky pod down when the Rio Gere lift system started at 8:30am.
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