Of course the best way to experience Mont Blanc is to climb it. But the next best thing is just a click away.
Google on Thursday released an incredible interactive guide to the iconic 15,777-foot mountain that is climbed by an estimated 20,000 people each year.
You can learn about iconic destinations like the Gouter Hut, explore the shrinking Mer de Glace glacier, and learn about ski-making in the Chamonix valley. There are maps, photos, and 360º videos — it’s really an impressive collection.
Google tapped some of the best athletes who train and climb around Mont Blanc for background (and to serve as digital guides to the region).
The project has broad appeal across many sports. Ice climb up a serac with record-setting alpine climber Ueli Steck, join French climbing legend Catherine Destivelle on the imposing yet beautiful Aiguille du Midi, watch skier Candide Thovex send it with his renowned style, or run to the summit with endurance icon Kilian Jornet.
Climbing photographer Jon Griffith, who shot for the project, discussed the guide on Facebook:
“I’m so excited that this has finally released! Last summer I partnered with Google and Sender Films to shoot Ueli Steck, Kilian Jornet, Patrick Gabarrou, Catherine Destivelle, Candide Thovex, and Laetitia Roux covering every alpine pursuit in the high mountains of Chamonix. All shot in high res 360° photos, with Renan Ozturk leading the filming…so you know it’s got to be worth your time! Thanks to Google and Sender Films for bringing me on board, this really was an incredible shoot.”
Climber and videographer Renan Ozturk was also fired up about the project, posting this to Facebook:
“Google Maps just launched the big Chamonix/Mont Blanc project I was ‘athlete chaser’ cinematographer for. With my old buddies SENDER FILMS it was a full on adventure running with Kilian Jornet across steep ridges, being on steep mixed terrain and sketchy seracs with Ueli Steck, witnessing Candide Thovex and his crew build a huge high-altitude kicker on Mont Blanc and spending time with legends Patrick Gabarrou and Catherine Destivelle. There is also a whole interactive website with 360 VR photos by Alpine Exposures, Jon Griffith Photography, climate change animations, epic street view, and other hidden gems. Stay tuned for more from this one!”
So, head on over to the site and check it out for yourself. You’ll learn a ton about Mont Blanc and the surrounding area and likely get the itch to head back there or visit for the first time in person some day.