Google Maps' Street View ascends 3,000 feet to the top of El Capitan

Google is looking up, way up with its latest addition to Street View, Yosemite National Park's El Capitan.


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Google is bringing El Capitan to the masses. No, I’m not talking about the upcoming OS X refresh that’s still in beta. The search giant just added the experience of scaling Yosemite’s famous hunk of granite to Street View on Google Maps. After venturing through the Far North, Antarctica, and the Grand Canyon there was really nowhere to go but up.

And up, Google went. Google Maps’ new Street View imagery for El Capitan allows you to ascend 3,000 feet up The Nose, one of the most popular climbing routes to El Capitan’s summit—all without having gravity foremost on your mind or requiring back-up from a friend with jet boots.

Google captured the climb up El Capitan with climbers Lynn Hill, the first person ever to free climb The Nose in 1993; Alex Honnold, the record holder for the fastest ascent of The Nose; and Tommy Caldwell, who did the first free climb of El Capitan’s Dawn Wall with Kevin Jorgeson in January.

The new Street View Collection features two new sets of images. The first features shots of the climbers at well known spots on El Capitan’s face. The second set includes the entire vertical ascent of The Nose.

Along with the new Street View pages, Google has also created a Treks page that lets you get a behind-the-scenes look at what went into creating the El Capitan collection. El Capitan has also been added To Google Expeditions, the company’s VR experience for students. Just don’t look down kids!

The impact on you at home: Google says this set of images will be especially helpful to prospective El Capitan climbers who want to get a good look at the face before meeting it in person. It’s also a great way for armchair climbers to experience the insanity of climbing up a sheer face of granite. Personally, I’ll stick to the climbing wall at my local gym.

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