Mont Blanc, western Europe’s highest peak, can now be explored using Google Street View, after a team from the company climbed to the top of the mountain range with a hi-tech Trekker camera.
The panoramic imagery, available to view now, lets the viewer traverse the mountain, offering a 360-degree look at the dramatic, snow-covered surroundings.
To complete the project the Street View team collaborated with some of the world’s most experienced mountaineers, and they can be spotted in the resulting images. Viewers can find Kilian Jornet – who holds the speed record for ascending and descending Mont Blanc, in just 4 hours 57 minutes – running across the summit; follow record-setting alpine climber Ueli Steck as he tackles a vertical ice climb; and race through the powder with 14-time ski mountaineering champion Laetitia Roux.
French climbing legend Catherine Destivelle is also present, ascending Aiguille du Midi, the 3,842-meter peak near Mont Blanc, and free skier Candide Thovex can be seen flying through the air.
The new imagery also allows you to “walk”, virtually, the entirety of Mont Blanc’s Goûter Route, thanks to elite guide Korra Pesce, who carried the Street View Trekker all the way to the summit and back down again. Google hopes the Street View imagery will also serve as an important digital record of Mont Blanc, which is being affected by global warming.
It’s not the first time Google Street View has taken on a vertical challenge. Last year the team mapped Yosemite national park’s infamous cliff face El Capitan, with the help of renowned climbers Lynn Hill, Alex Honnold, and Tommy Caldwell.
Other impressive destinations to be mapped by Google over the last year include Peru’s Inca citadel Machu Picchu and Jordan’s desert temples at Petra.