When we first conceived of EVEREST VR, our goals were to use the evocative power of VR to recreate some of the key emotions involved in summiting the highest peak in the world but also to use the technology to allow people to engage with geography and history in a completely new way.
With this second major free update of EVEREST VR we give you a little bit of both.
Some of the major changes are in the mode called 'God Mode' that you can access directly right from the lobby. Many of you asked us if it was possible to climb the whole mountain at a human scale. The new God mode 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. Thus you can choose to go all the way down to a 1:1 scale where you can see other climbers and major camps and where each step and hop on the terrain will correspond to real life locomotion.
But you can also become a mile-high giant, straddling the peaks like they were small mounds in a sandbox. Experiencing terrain in such an immersive way at different scales gives you a completely new appreciation for the topology and the nuances of different parts of the mountain.
On the historical side, we are proud to be able to include photographic material from the actual 1953 Hillary Expedition courtesy of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in London. This material can be accessed from various info points along the path to the summit in God Mode and are positioned in such a way as to reflect where they were originally taken during the iconic expedition where Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first reached the summit. We have also included 18 of the best known routes used to summit so that you can get a feel for the various strategies used to conquer the mountain.
On the experiential side, we added one key moment in the summiting that we always thought was missing: The ascent of Lhotse Face. This part of the climb is both technical and physically punishing, ending in the infamous Death Zone. Rising between Camp 2 and Camp 4, Lhotse Face is a nearly vertical wall of ice 1,500m (5,000 feet) high. The roped ascent is usually done in two phases with one night spent in Camp 3, perched precariously right on the icy face itself. In this experience you will go from Camp 3 and up to Camp 4 along with a group of climbers in a single row. We feel that with this addition, you now have a fairly accurate collection of all the key moments of climbing Everest. If you´ve personally made Summit, do let us know whether we captured the most meaningful moments. If not, we think this is as close as most of us will get.
Finally, we have decided offer EVEREST VR at the same price of $14.99 across all platforms. And this update is of course free for our existing customers.
We hope you enjoy this addition to our product and thanks for all of your excellent feedback. Onwards, upwards.
Kjartan Emilsson, CEO