Lifestyle & Belief

Mount Everest seen as never before in interactive megapixel photo


On the real GlacierWorks interactive image, you simply click to enter the panorama, taken from the Pumori viewpoint above Everest Base Camp, and navigate through the image using the controls in the lower portion of the screen.

Ever wondered what Mount Everest looks like close up?

Climber-filmmaker David Breashears has given armchair adventurers front-row seats with a 3.8 billion-pixel image taken from above Base Camp.

The interactive image is actually a compilation of megapixel photographs allowing internet users to zoom in and view the mountain in stunning detail.

Breashears, an American, has climbed Everest five times and took his camera to exactly the same spot on the Khumbu Glacier in Nepal where in 1952 Swiss climber Norman Dyhrenfurth snapped a black-and-white panorama, the Fairfax media reported.

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He wanted to document the changes that have occurred there over 60 years, but in the process created an image that, according to the website of the team that helped develop it — GlacierWorks — is generating "extraordinary traffic."  

Breashears, who also worked on award-winning documentaries and feature films including "Seven Years in Tibet" and "Cliffhanger," said the attention was unexpected but welcome in terms of donations.

Meanwhile, Breashears told NPR that the image barely scratched the surface: 

"It's hardly even a demo. It's missing 99 percent of its functionality, which is audio and video and the ability to access other curated content."

When completed, the team will have compiled a completely interactive tour of Mount Everest, including a visit inside a Tibetan monastery and lessons about glaciology and the history of climbing.

"You'll be able to choose, and it'll all be there in an image. But the image starts the narrative.