Google Street View has taken you places – if not literally, then virtually. It has taken you inside buildings, close to that monument and now, it is allowing you to explore some of the most famous mountains on Earth.
If the Aconcagua (South America), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mount Elbrus (Europe) and Everest Base Camp (Asia) have been on your must-see list, then this may be your chance. Using Street View, users can explore these mountains that belong to the group of peaks called the Seven Summits – the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. Someone even with just the minimum amount of knowledge of mountaineering would know of the perils that come with it – avalanches, rock slides, crevasses, to name a few. With Street View on Google Maps though, Google claims to give the top of the mountain view, minus all the dangers.
The Everest trekking team
In its official blog post, Google adventurer Dan Fredinburg writes that they gathered the available imagery using a simple lightweight tripod and digital camera with a fisheye lens. This equipment is usually used in Google's Business Photos programme.
Enthusiastic mountaineers can start off with Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, a volcano that has been lying dormant. It is known as the Root of Africa. They can see the views of the mountain covered in snow, just three degrees south of the equator.
Next up is Russia's Mount Elbrus, the tallest mountain in Europe. Here they can see huts made from fuel-barrels of the Soviet-era. These huts built on the mountain prove to be particularly indispensable for climbers when they have to take refuge during bad weather.
At Argentina's Aconcagua, users can see how a base camp is set in between the exposed rock in Plaza Argentina. It is the highest peak in both the Western and Southern Hemispheres. Street View viewers will also be able to catch a glimpse of how climbers eat, camp and prepare for their ascend.
Tenzing-Hillary Airport – the most dangerous airport in the world
Then there is the Everest Base Camp, wherein climbers make attempts to reach the top of the world. On Street View, users can catch glimpses of snow-capped Himalayan mountain peaks and the Khambu glacier.
Those who cannot get enough of the imagery can visit the Street View Gallery to see some of Google's favourite shots.
Sara Pelosi, People Programs Manager, a part of the expedition team, also shares her account through the various locations, in a post on Google's Lat Long blog. She writes, “Day 2: Today we arrived at Namche Bazaar — “the gateway to the high Himalaya.” It’s a good-sized town with lots of hotels, shops and a pharmacy. Many hikers stop here for altitude acclimatization on their way to Everest. During our stay there was a 6.9 earthquake! It was scary, especially when we realized we were in a developing country that doesn’t have infrastructure or emergency services like back home in California. We were fortunate that there was very little damage where we were.”