The use of drones in Pakistan normally brings to mind images of US spy planes attacking tribal areas. But drones now are being used to capture a different kind of picture in the country—showing some of the world's highest mountains being scaled by world-class climbers through some of Earth's thinnest air. While drones have long been the domain of the American military, civilians are now using them more and more to shoot ground-breaking footage of adventure sports.
This summer, for example, a Swiss expedition used remote-controlled helicopters to shoot rare footage of climbers on the Karakoram, one of the world's most demanding and formidable mountain ranges. The drones weight just a few pounds and cost between $1,000 and $40,000, a fraction of the size and cost of the standard helicopters traditionally used in adventure photography. Newer models tend to have all of their rotors facing into the sky, making them look a bit like a mechanical flying spider or insect.