For the first time since 1974, not a single climber summited Everest in 2015.
And between April’s devastating earthquake (which killed 24 climbers) and ongoing tensions between Sherpas and the Western tourists who contract them, it’s unclear what the future holds for mountaineering’s greatest prize.
Unless, of course, you prefer to climb it from the comfort of your own sofa.
Reykjavik VR specialist Sólfar Studios announced yesterday that they’ve teamed up with visual effects and animation house RVX to bring the mesmeric EVEREST VR simulator to virtual reality platforms in 2016.
The studio, which has worked on Hollywood films like Gravity and (shocker) Everest, said the experience will immerse players in a “virtual reality that feels both real and emotionally stunning.” There’s no cutting corners in EVEREST VR, you’ll have to prep for your expedition at Basecamp, cross the Khumbu Icefalls, scale Lhotse Face and ascend the Hillary Step before ultimately making the final push to the top of Earth’s tallest mountain.
In order to recreate the Everest experience, Sólfar and RVX used cutting edge technology to create a highly detailed 3D model of the mountain range based on a collection of more than 300,000 high resolution images. The realistic gameplay and authentic backdrop will take players on a “truly immersive VR journey” which won’t allow for skiing down the mountain or wingsuit jumps from its peak.
“You will learn to respect the mountain, you may even survive the encounter,” according to Sólfar. “You will leave the experience feeling like you were there.”
Don’t forget to tip your Sherpa.