Hillary’s Route Up Everest Mapped From Space

Another cool story today courtesy of The Adventure Life. This time it’s about an amazing image, taken by NASA, of Mt. Everest from space. They’ve also overlaid the route that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay used when the first went to the summit back in 1953.

The image was taken with the GeoEye’s Ikonos satellite in 2001, and the route to the summit was later added. It begins just below the Khumbu Icefalls, and winds its way up the Western Cwm in the shadow of both Everest, and Lhotse, the fourth tallest mountain in the world, which is also clearly seen in the shot.

From there, the route turns up the South Col and towards the summit, in what has become the traditional route up the mountain. These days, dozens of climbers top out using this same route each year, so it’s easy to forget that when Hillary and Norgay did it, it was still unexplored territory and there were sections that needed to be overcome. After all, they don’t call it the Hillary Step for nothing!

You can read more about the image as well as grab a large 1 megabyte hi-res version, by clicking here. As of this writing, the link to the higher resolution version appears to be not working, but hopefully they’ll replace soon. Very cool stuff!

Kraig Becker

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