Google Street View Touches World’s Highest Peaks–Well, Almost

Not content with plunging into some of the world’s most beautiful reefs and hiking through the Grand Canyon, Google Street View has now gone mountaineering. The firm published a behind-the-scenes post on its Lat Long Blog of how these amazing images came to be.

Thank the Google Mountain Enthusiast Team, who eschewed the Trekker kit–all 40 pounds of it–for a more lightweight pack, usually used for Google’s Business Photos program. They went up Argentina’s Aconcagua peak–all 22,841 feet of it–as well as Mount Elbrus in Russia, Kilimanjaro, and getting as far up Everest as South Base Camp. Wired’s Roberto Baldwin interviewed Dan Fredinburg, one of the team, who works as a technical program manager for security and privacy, who revealed just how the climbing bug affected him during his Everest expedition.

“It was only planned to go to the basecamp,” says Fredinburg. “I did try to convince my guides to take me further up. I was very excited when I got to basecamp.”

His enthusiasm led to an awkward conversation with the guides, who refused to take him any higher than base camp. He pressed the issue, and offered to pay them for their trouble. Still, they refused. It eventually dawned on him that perhaps it was too risky. So he asked about the odds of dying.

“Certain,” came the response. “100 percent.”

[All images from Google]