Google Maps announced in a blog post Thursday that it has officially made it to Mount Everest.
Google has teamed up with Ava Sherpa, a Nepalese mountaineer who has reached the summit of the world’s most famous mountain a record 21 times as well as nonprofit Story Cycle to bring the rest of the world digitally to the Khumbu region in Google Maps.
The pictures don’t take armchair travellers to the top of the mountain — yet — but around the region and communities at the base of the mountain, such as the Phortse, Khumjung, Thame, Lukla, and the Namche Bazaar.
“In the shadow of Mt. Everest lies a group of sacred valleys known as the Khumbu,” the landing page on Google Maps reads. “For centuries this remote mountainous region has been the homeland of the Sherpa people. Discover the hidden treasures along the trail and off the beaten path.”
Google takes you to each village and lets viewers explore medical centres, churches, see the “yak parking lot,” and even meet the people who live there including Kancha Sherpa, the last living survivor of the first expedition to summit Mt. Everest.
“Our region is famous for being home to Everest, but it’s also the home of the Sherpa community and has been for centuries,” Ava Sherpa, who also has started the Ava Sherpa Foundation, a nonprofit that works to give more opportunities to the children in Khumbu, said in his Google blog post. “The region has much more to offer than just the mountain. So last year, I guided the Google Maps team through my home region to collect Street View imagery that improves the map of our community.”
The goal of the project is for the world to have a better understanding of the rich history of Khumbu and its people.
Keep reading to see more of the communities that live around Mount Everest below.
Phortse is a farming village roughly 12,600 feet above sea level. It has a lodge, library, church, and health clinic.
Khumjung is a village as well as a world heritage site and that over 13,000 feet above sea level. It has the internet as well as mobile and landline phones.
Thame is a small village that is the home of Ava Sherpa and many other famous Sherpa mountaineers. It’s monastery is one of the oldest in the region.
Lukla is one of the lower villages at 9,400 feet above sea level. It has a small airport, as well as shops and hotels that are frequented by tourists attempting to climb the mountain and visit the region.
Namche Bazaar is a village that is perched at over 11,000 feet above sea level on the sides of a hill. It’s the main tourist hub of the region, and has a police check, post office, and a bank.
Below is a video of the Khumbu region and gorgeous views of Everest.
And you can trek the mountain yourself and see even more pictures on the Google Maps page here.
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