Google and Discovery Join Forces for Virtual Reality Travel Series.

Tech giant Google and media outlet Discovery Channel have joined forces to create what promises to be quite the interesting travel experience. The new Discovery TRVLR series uses virtual reality to take viewers on a 38-episode, globe spanning, adventure that visits all seven continents. The episodes will be available on YouTube and the Discovery VR website, as well as in the Discovery VR app for iOS and Android, as well as various VR headsets.

The actual series isn’t set to debut officially until November 3, but according to the show’s website, the first season will take viewers to Auckland, Hanoi, Mexico City, Yerevan, Cape Town, La Paz and Antarctica. Along the way, they’ll get to meet locals, see the landscapes, and immerse themselves in the culture without ever leaving home.

The show will feature 7 chapters, each of which focuses on one of the continents. The chapters for North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia will be made up of six episodes each, while Antarctica will see two episodes. Viewers will be introduced to four different personalities on each continent, the Guru, the Renegade, the Entertainer and the Explorer.

Of course, there is no substitute for real travel and actually visiting these places, but this looks like a promising use of VR technology. I’m told that it isn’t just a 360º video shot using a special camera, but will be fully immersive stereoscopic virtual reality, which should make for an impressive experience, particularly on higher end devices.

Production of the series reportedly has taken more than three months, with some shooting and editing still ongoing. The recent earthquake in Mexico disrupted the crew to a degree, and there are still other locations to capture in VR before the show makes its official debut in a few weeks time.

You can check out the teaser trailer Discovery TRVLR below. Then grab yourself a pair of Google Daydream VR goggles or even Google Cardboard, and get ready to span the globe.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Google and Discovery Join Forces for Virtual Reality Travel Series

** see also: – https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/video/

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Video: How Climbers Sleep on a Big Wall.

On more than one occasion I’ve been asked by non-climbers how rock climbers sleep on a big wall when they are doing a multi-day ascent. I’ve tried to describe to them the process to varying degrees of success, with most looking horrified just at the thought. In this video, we’ll see just how this is done, as we join Sasha DiGiulian as she takes on a massive climb, and elects to set up camp that night 1200 feet above the ground.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Video: How Climbers Sleep on a Big Wall

** see also: – https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/video/

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50 Parks to Visit in 50 U.S. States.

The U.S. has always been at the forefront of creating public lands for its citizens and foreign visitors to explore. After all, the country was the first to designate a national park when Yellowstone was first created way back in 1872. Today, there are fantastic parks to explore in every state in the Union, and Popular Mechanics wants to help you discover the best ones.

In a slideshow entitled “50 States, 50 Parks” readers will go through each state in alphabetical order, with the individual slides providing some information on the absolute best park to visit at that particular destination. So, for example, in Alaska you’ll learn that Denali National Park has earned a spot on the list, which is no small feat when you consider the fantastic national parks that exist there. The slide not only contains a brief explanation for what makes Denali special, but an epic photo from the location as well.

Other great parks that make the cut include Grand Canyon (Arizona), Yosemite (California), Starved Rock State Park (Illinois), and Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. I’ll leave the remaining 45 parks for you to discover, as it is a lot of fun to see what choices were made for each state.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the national parks, but there are some pretty spectacular state parks to be found as well. Thankfully, this list doesn’t count them out and you’re likely to discover plenty of new places to add to your “must visit” list. Check out the entire slideshow here.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – 50 Parks to Visit in 50 U.S. States

** see also: –

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Video: A Timelapse of the Italian Dolomites.

Located in northern Italy, the Dolomites offer a spectacular setting that is strikingly different from the Alps. Rugged and dramatic, these mountains look more like something you’d find in Patagonia rather than Europe. In this clip, we take a journey into the Dolomites, both during the day, and at night. You’ll get a brief glimpse at what makes this place so special, and if you haven’t been there yourself, it will definitely be added to your bucket list.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/231079200[4K] Sleepless In The Dolomites – Tiemo Weidemann (Panasonic GH4 / DJI Phantom 4 PRO)from Tiemo Weidemann on Vimeo.Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Video: A Timelapse of the Italian Dolomites

** see also: – https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/video/

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Video: Reinhold Messner Visits Alex Txikon in Everest Base Camp.

One of the major expeditions we followed closely last winter was Alex Txikon’s attempt to summit Everest solo in winter. There are some rumblings that he might be headed back to try again this year, but I haven’t seen official confirmation of those plans yet. This video was shot in Base Camp last winter and it features a special moment when Reinhold Messner – perhaps the greatest mountaineer of all time – came to visit Alex there. The two men share a common bond of the mountains and talk a bit of strategy for making the ascent in winter.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Video: Reinhold Messner Visits Alex Txikon in Everest Base Camp

** see also: – https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/video/

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The New York Times Looks at What it Takes to Climb Everest.

It isn’t often that mountaineering and adventure sports get coverage from the mainstream media, let alone the “paper of record.” But a few days back The New York Times posted an interesting article sharing details on just what it takes to climb Mt. Everest.

The article is written for someone who doesn’t necessarily know a lot about mountaineering in general, or Everest specifically. It answers basic questions like how tall is the mountain and how do you even get there? It tackles tougher issues such as how many people die on the mountain each year and how many summit too. It also talks about the costs involved, explains who the Sherpas are, and delves into the challenges of making the climb too.

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K2 Winter 2017: Final Preparations by alanarnette.com.

Autor: Alan Arnette

K2

After multiple attempts to summit K2 in winter, a Polish team is finalizing their plans to attempt the last 8000er not summited in winter. They will arrive in Pakistan after Christmas this year, 2017.

K2 is the world’s 2th highest mountain at 28,251’/8611m. It is located in northwest Pakistan about 30 miles from the border with India. K2 is called the Mountaineer Mountain and the Savage Mountain for its deadly and difficult reputation.

Additional Member

The expedition has been in the planning stages for years but perhaps one of the biggest last minute changes is that elite Kazakstan alpinist Denis Urubko will join the team. He has held Polish citizenship since February 2015. See this recent interview with Urubko in Alpinsimonline. 

The entire expedition is being lead by 67 year-old Krzysztof Wielicki who lead the last Polish K2 attempt in 2003. Wielicki has summited all of the 8000ers without supplemental oxygen.

This report from PPA revealed a tremendous amount of gear being transported to base camp: 600 kg (1322 lbs) of cargo in addition to 400 kg (881 lbs) they will travel with as they move to base camp. This includes thousands of meters of rope, anchors, pitons, snow bars, tents, food, stove, fuel and a lot more that’s part of modern expeditions.

The Polish Ministry of Sport and Tourism has funded the expedition to the tune of $275,000. Jasmine Tours in Pakistan is the ground agent for the team and will provide 6 high altitude climbers from Pakistan for the expedition support.

The team is composed of Adam Bielecki, Marek Chmielarski, Rafał Fronia, Janusz Gołąb, Marcin Kaczkan, Artur Małek, Piotr Tomala, Jarosław Botor and Dariusz Załuski in addiiton to Urubko and Wielicki.

K2 routes

K2 Routes: Abruzzi and Česen

It is planned that they will take the Česen aka Basque Route but may evaluate the Abruzzi as well.

The most significant obstacle the Poles will encounter is the weather. Even in the summer it is unpredictable, harsh and deadly. High winds have blown climbers off the summit, avalanches have killed climbers in their tents at high camps and some have simply disappeared. But the weather is the wild card. They will need winds under 60 kph/40mph for a safe ascent.

It appears the team will do the standard siege style climb establishing four camps as they set the route with a fixed rope and stock camps with food and fuel. They will not be using supplemental oxygen while climbing.

… more –  K2 Winter 2017: Final Preparations

Autor : Alan Arnette

* source: –  http://www.alanarnette.com/blog

** see also: – Everest and K2 in the Winter by alanarnette.com.

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