WATCH: Climbing Mount Everest - hooks and all - in Virtual Reality

2017-02-16 19:01 - Louzel Lombard Steyn
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Cape Town - While the top of Mount Everest has become more and more crowded over the last couple of years, even more people will now be able to experience what it is like to summit the highest peak in the world - but without the life-threatening risks. 

Iceland-based virtual reality (VR) studio Sólfar and visual effects house RVX has just launched Everest VR, an immersive experience that allows you to travel the face of Mount Everest, including the well-known locations Base Camp, the Khumbu Icefall, Camp Four, Hillary Step, Lhotse Face and the Summit, all from the comfort of your home. 

SEE: The end of Everest as we know it? China plans to build a mega-resort on the mountain

Unlike some other not-so-cool VR experiences that simply give you 360-degree video and photo views of far off places, Everest VR actually gives you the power to climb Everest using the Oculus Touch controllers to wield harnesses, pulleys and an ice axe to pull you up the mountain's face. 

It's not like a game, though, as Mashable points out. Instead, audio narration guides you throughout the mountain planes in between uber-realistic climbing missions that also highlight the real dangers when taking on the mammoth task in reality. 

The experience then also allows you to zoom out to give the 'God View' perspective. 

"The new God mode," Steam Community says, "was specifically conceived to give users the freedom to explore the terrain in any way they saw fit and engage with geographical and historical data immersively. 

"All of this you access by moving naturally within the whole mountain range with the very important addition that you can now choose at which scale you experience it."  

Check it out: 

Also take a look at what the virtual reality experience all entails... you have to collect and use your own gear, and get strapped into the ropes to cross those iconic icy ladders over glaciers! But then, it's all worth it when you can plant your virtual flag at the summit... 

Another cool element is also the historical addictions - photographic material from the actual 1953 Hillary Expedition courtesy of the Royal Geographical Society in London that users can access at various points on the route to the summit, through the VR. 

You can buy EVEREST VR online for R160 but requires a virtual reality headset and a powerful computer to run the Windows software optimally. 

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