Explore Mount Everest in 3D

Mountaineering disasters are fascinating, especially in how they illustrate extremes of human behavior and endurance—the way people get lost barely feet from safely. Written reports rarely make sense of the confusing geography of dangerous peaks, though, and screen depictions are mostly (and necessarily) visual fiction. So is it with awed delight that I ran across Explore-Everest.com, which allows me to climb Mount Everest in 3D from the safety of my desk.

Experience the harrowing trek to the summit of the Earth's highest mountain.

There's a description of the recent Khumbu Icefall disaster, but you won't meet any of the mountain's permanent residents: they seem to be shooped out of the aerial shots, as far as I can tell. There are so many up there (NSFL!), their colorful sporty gear poking from the snowdrifts, that mountaineers supposedly call it the Rainbow Valley.

Neat fact about Everest: the English name is a compound of "Eve Rest", but the American pronunciation "Ever Rest" was already the norm by the time I was growing up in Britain. It's apropos, in any case.