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MOUNT EVEREST — If you've ever wanted to see the view from the tallest mountain in the world, Google has made it possible to do that from your couch.
Google Earth released its images of Mount Everest Monday, taken by Google employees who hiked for 50 hours to capture the sights from as high as 18,192 feet.
The images released include those from the base camp and the Tengboche Monastery, Everest's base camp, and at the group's highest, Kala Patthar. At each stop, viewers get a peek into the colorful, cold and rugged world of Nepal.
"While there's nothing quite like standing on the mountain, with Google Maps you can instantly transport yourself to the top of these peaks and enjoy the sights without all of the avalanches, rock slides, crevasses, and dangers from altitude and weather that mountaineers face," wrote Dan Fredinburg, a Google engineer and leader of the expedition team.
The hike up Everest was part of Google's project to photograph the world's tallest — and most famous — peaks, nicknamed the Seven Summits. Google transports their viewers to the highest peaks on each of the seven continents, including Kilimanjaro in Africa, Aconcagua in South America and Mount Elbrus in Europe.
Back in Nepal, Google goes inside the monastery in Tengboche, where colorful murals cover the walls and figurines line the cabinets.
"We stopped in Tengboche for lunch, then photographed the monastery with the fisheye lens. Amazing place," wrote Sara Pelosi, People Programs Manager at Google. "The monks watched us closely as we walked around. I don't know if they were more interested in the Americans or the photography."
Once at the base camp, viewers get a look at a summit expedition camp on the desolate ground of Everest.
"When we arrived at Base Camp, it was the most amazing feeling of accomplishment. We had finally made it to the base of the top of the world," Pelosi wrote. "I barely stopped to enjoy the moment before wanting to accomplish the next goal — photographing the Base Camp where a real summit expedition had actually set up camp."