We may not be able to venture much further than the park down the street nowadays, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take virtual trips just about anywhere in the world—including a quick visit to Mount Everest. Thanks to a new AR experience (aka, augmented reality) created by National Geographic for Instagram, anyone can pop into the app and discover what it looks like to be standing at five different spots along one of the most popular routes up the tallest mountain in the world.
To get to the experience, simply swipe left on the Instagram homepage (or open the Stories camera) and swipe along the filter options at the bottom until you reach Browse Effects. Search for Everest Climb to access the feature, then save to your camera.
If you have your camera facing outward, you’ll be treated to 360-degree views at Thukla Pass (15,800 feet), Base Camp (17,300 feet), the South Col (25,900 feet), the Balcony (27,657 feet) and the summit, a whopping 29,029 feet up in the air. Turn the camera to selfie mode, however and you will see yourself decked out in official National Geographic mountaineering gear, that changes with each new view, in which you can take and post a photo of yourself alongside real climbers. There are even floating snowflakes and the sounds of wind whipping around the mountain to complete your virtual experience.
The images were captured during the National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Everest Expedition in 2019, a hugely successful scientific research trip that took place between April and June of last year. The AR experience coincides with Nat Geo’s July 2020 issue, dedicated to the findings of the expedition and fascinating facts about Mount Everest. For example, did you know that Mount Everest actually grows 4 millimeters higher every year due to geologic uplift? The more you know...