Climbing the massive brow of El Capitan was once thought to be impossible. That is, until ace climber Warren Harding & Co. completed the first ascent in ’58. These days, the granite monolith serves as the standard for big-walling climbing and one of the most technical climbing routes in the world, towering 3,000 feet above the lush meadows of Yosemite National Park. Given just how iconic the wall has become in recent years – hell, Apple recently named the next iteration of Mac OS X after the stone structure – it’s not particularly surprising that Google jumped at the chance to photograph the ascent alongside professional climbers Lynn Hill, Alex Honnold, and Tommy Caldwell. Moreover, the latter climber had just completed what’s thought to be the world’s most difficult ascent, the Dawn Wall, using ropes only to catch falls.
“Maybe it was the sheer exhaustion from being in the middle of a 19-day climb of the Dawn Wall but when the guys at Google Maps and Yosemite National Park asked if I wanted to help them with their first-ever vertical Street View collection of El Capitan in Yosemite, I didn’t hesitate,” wrote Caldwell in an official blogpost in June.
Now, with Google Street View, you can view the entire vertigo-inducing climb of El Cap – complete with its jaw-dropping panoramas and maneuvers – without ever walking away from your computer. Those with acrophobia need not click on.