Everest Like You've Never Seen It Before
David Breashears, the climber and filmmaker responsible for the IMAX documentary Everest, has captured the world's highest peak on camera in breathtaking detail. See the (low-quality) preview below with what looks like...well, trash at the base? That's Base Camp.
Breashears created the picture by stitching together 400 images taken this spring with a 300-millimeter lens. It’s part of his project GlacierWorks, which matches historic photographs with contemporary ones to show how global warming is shaping the Himalayan landscape.
The result is an astounding panorama that captures Everest and nearby peaks like Lhotse and Nuptse. No matter how far you zoom in, the detail stays clear and crisp. Look closely and you'll spot the colorful tent city of Base Camp, climbers weaving their way through the Khumbu Icefall where ladders lay over crevasses and, farther up, Camp 3 perched on the Lhotse Face and dozens more climbers pressing higher.
The photo is not only beautiful, but also telling. Compared with shots from the last 100 years, most of the glaciers have not only receded but appear in full retreat. While some are stable, most of the 49,000 ice flows in the greater Himalayan region are melting at an alarming rate. Melting ice could not only make the ascent even more dangerous, but could also threaten water resources for the many communities below the mountain.