Scale A 3,000-Foot Yosemite Rock Wall With Google Vertical Street View

You're not actually there, so it's cool to look down.

Google Street View seemed like an impossible reality when it debuted in 2007 — how could one company put together an interactive, first-person view of almost all the streets in the United States (and later, the world)? Considering the influence and money the Silicon Valley giant wields, though, that sort of breakthrough doesn't seem so shocking anymore. The wow factor has to come in more niche ways now, such as a vertical Street View of Yosemite's "El Capitan" rock wall.

Teaming up with elite climbers Lynn Hill, Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell, Google took cameras up the nearly flat 3,000-foot wall, which is hard enough to scale with just your hands and feet. Caldwell points out in the official Google blog post that climbing is all about pushing the limits of what you think is possible, though, so this endeavor fit in perfectly with that idea.

After working out how to keep the camera on "El Cap," the team created two sets of vertical Street Views. First, they collected footage of Hill, Honnold and Caldwell in notable spots on the wall, and then they sent Honnold up the entire vertical route of The Nose with photographer Brett Lowell, which allows any aspiring climber or otherwise interested viewer to get a close look at just how difficult the climb is.

Honestly, though, it looks pretty easy.


Step 1: Be aware you're doing the impossible.

Step 2: Just, like, hold onto the wall.

Step 3: Repeatedly, don't fall.

Here's the full video introduction:

Now go play around with the Street View here, aspire to greatness, and so on.

Cover image: Google Maps via YouTube


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