Climbing Mount Everest isn't easy for a number of reasons. There's the logistics of traveling to the Khumbu region of Nepal, home to Mount Everest, the world's tallest peak. But assuming you have the time, money, and experience to make the trek, it's a dangerous climb, one that has claimed over 200 lives. You can now avoid all that thanks to Google Maps.
Hey, we're not trying to rain on any mountain climber's parade -- if you have the chance to climb Mount Everest and are okay with the risks, the visual rewards and experience will follow you for the rest of your life. But for those who can't or otherwise don't want to take the risk, Google Maps is the next best thing, especially after Google partnered up with Apa Sherpa, a mountaineer who holds the world record for reaching the summit of Mount Everest 21 times.
He founded the nonprofit Apa Sherpa Foundation in 2009 that works to provide better educational and economic opportunities to young folk of the Khumbu region, and in March 2014, Serpa, Google Earth Outreach, and the Nepalese nonprofit Story Cycle took off on a 10-day trek through the Khumbu region to capture the area and local facilities on digital media.
"Our region is famous for being home to Everest, but it’s also the home of the Sherpa community and has been for centuries," Sherpa explains in a blog post. "The region has much more to offer than just the mountain. So last year, I guided the Google Maps team through my home region to collect Street View imagery that improves the map of our community. Now you can find Thame on the map and explore other communities nestled at the base of Everest, like Khumjung and Phortse."
Technically this is an awesome addition to Google's Street View technology, though it really should be dubbed something like "Mountain View" in this case, which would be even more appropriate since Google is headquartered in Mountain View, CA. Nomenclature aside, there's a lot of wonderful imagery to take in. As you journey through the region, you'll see local monasteries, lodges, schools, and even run into some yaks.
If you're looking for a place to start, try here.