Mt. everest

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Using a gyroscope-stabilized camera on a helicopter and starting with a flight at low elevations, this group has produced some of the most spectacular footage of flights through the Himalayan mountains you will ever see.

If you climb Mt. Everest, you’re forever known as a badass. Impossibly high, impossibly cold and utterly inhospitable to humans, when you reach the peak you know you’re one of a scant few members of the species to survive it.

Well … that was true at one time. Now? the entirety of Mt. Everest has 3G coverage. Now when you’re climbing one of the most legendary, inaccessible peaks in the world, five miles above sea level, you can make a video call! And download Angry Birds. And read Cracked.

Mind you that before this, anyone could make cell phone voice calls from anywhere on the mountain, but I guess there was a huge demand to be able to Twitter from the peak of Mt. Everest or something, because Everest is now better equipped for smart phone usage than most major music festivals.

5 ‘Unspoiled’ Locations That Are Actually Pretty Spoiled

The Khumbu Icefall on Mt. Everest.


Tomorrow: Outside Magazine writer Grayson Schaffer talks to Fresh Air about how being a Sherpa on Everest is the most dangerous job in the world:

It’s essentially the pinnacle of adventure tourism and the thing to understand about the Sherpa workforce is that there’s no other tourism industry in the world that so frequently kills and maims its workers for the benefit of paying clients, and it’s something that people haven’t yet connected the dots on. That a 1% mortality rate for someone choosing to climb a mountain is acceptable, but a 1% mortality for the people that they rely on to get their stuff up the mountain as a workplace safety statistic is outrageous … if you’re a western climber you’re climbing the mountain once and you’re done. If you’re a Sherpa you’re doing lap after lap after lap through this roulette wheel of hazards that we know has a death rate, long-term, of 1.2% and that number makes climbing Everest as a Sherpa more dangerous than working on a crab boat in Alaska, it makes it more dangerous than being an infantryman in the first four years of the Iraq war.

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Video captures the panic on Mt. Everest as base camp is hit by an avalanche triggered by the Earthquake in Nepal on April 25. NSFW language warning.

These are the incredible rainbow cloud phenomenon of the high Himalayas dwarfing Mt. Everest. The whole spectrum of the rainbow appears to almost visible in this little-often recorded natural event. Keen-eyed astronomer and traveler Oleg Bartunov, 51, caught the spectacle on camera as part of an expedition near Mount Everest, in Nepal. The Nacreous cloud phenomenon is caused by light reflecting off tiny ice crystals inside the body of the water vapor. When Oleg, who is a fellow at the Sternberg Astronomical Institute in Moscow, saw them he said he couldn’t believe his eyes.

The Year Climate Change Closed Everest

The deadly avalanche on Everest earlier this month wasn’t technically an avalanche. It was an “ice release"—a collapse of a glacial mass known as a serac. Rather than getting swept up by a rush of powdery snow across a slope, the victims fell under the blunt force of house-sized ice blocks tumbling through the Khumbu Icefall, an unavoidable obstacle on the most popular route up Everest. The worst accident in the mountain’s history has effectively ended the 2014 climbing season. And some see global warming as the key culprit.

"I am at Everest Basecamp right now and things are dire because of climate change,” John All, a climber, scientist, and professor of geography at Western Kentucky University, told me by email. “The ice is melting at unprecedented rates and [that] greatly increases the risk to climbers.”

“You could say [that] climate change closed Mt. Everest this year,” he added.

Read more. [Image: NASA/GSFC/Kimberly Casey]