A Stunning Four Billion Pixel Photo Is the Safest Way To Explore Mount Everest

Illustration for article titled A Stunning Four Billion Pixel Photo Is the Safest Way To Explore Mount Everest

Not only has filmmaker David Breashears climbed Mount Everest on five different occasions, he's visited the world's tallest peak 15 times in his career as he works to document the effects of climate change on the mountain. And fortunately for those of us who will never have the chance to see Everest in real life, let alone climb it, Breashers created a stunning gigapixel photo of the mountain and the Khumbu glacier earlier in the year.


The final composite, which can be panned, zoomed, and viewed on the GlacierWorks website, was assembled from 477 separate shots taken with a 300 millimeter zoom lens. It's so detailed you can apparently even see climbers making an ascent, and one of the base camps full of tents, all from the comfort and warmth of your couch. [GlacierWorks via NPR via Washington Post]

Image by David Breashears/GlacierWorks


In case anyone is interested, some info on what you're looking at:

The peak on the left in the background is Everest.

The peak in the middle is Lhotse (4th highest in the world at 27,940')

The peak on the right in the background with just the tip visible is Nuptse (25'790)

The pointy peak way on the right in the full image is Ama Dablam. It is, in my opinion, one of the coolest looking mountains in the world. Google images of it immediately.

The glacier in the middle is the Khumbu Glacier.

The Khumbu Icefall, one of the most dangerous areas of the popular routes, is the steep portion of the Khumbu glacier right in the middle (towards the bottom)

The most popular route (the Southeast Ridge) starts left of the Khumbu glacier, climbs the Khumbu Icefall into the Western Cwm, heads up the Lhotse Face (I believe this is the left visible portion of Lhotse) to the saddle between Everest and Lhotse and finally up the Southeast Ridge to the summit.

South Base Camp is just to the left of the Khumbu glacier at 17,598'. You can see hundreds of yellow tents there.

Camp 1 is near the top of the icefall at 19,900' (likely not be visible).

Camp 2 is closer to the base of the Lhotse Face 21,300' (likely not visible).

Camp 3 is carved into the middle of the Lhotse Face 24,500' (likely visible).

Camp 4 is near the saddle, just under 26,000'.

You can see several climbers approaching the base of the Lhotse face.

I'm not finding Camp 3 on there, but it was in a weird spot this season. Early conditions on the face were terrible and I want to say it was moved way right but can't remember.