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From NPR’s “All Things Considered”: A report about GlacierWorks Project’s photographic tracking of glacial climate change has revealed a new image of Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain on the planet. The photograph comes in at a staggering 3.8 billion gigapixels, taken over the spring season this year as part of the project led by famed mountainieer David Breashears.

Utilizing a web browser, you can zoom in to any part of the picture to see the tiniest detail on this sprawling panoramic photo. What appears to be trash in the overall image, when zoomed in turns out to be hundreds of colorful tents located at the mountains populated base camp. Moving up the ice flow, you can also see ladders over crevasses, the worn foot path leading up the mountain, and—in the upper reaches—additional tents and individual climbers at the highest camps on the mountain.

[imageeffect type=”frame” align=”aligncenter” width=”960″ height=”587″ alt=”” url=”http://highsierraworkshops.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/EverestGigapixel.jpg” ]

In the interview, Breashears shares …

[styledbox type=”general shaded” align=”center”][blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”left”]It’s, I think, almost 400 images taken with a 300-millimeter lens that are then stitched together. When you view them in the browser, allowing you that deep zoom capability. … it’s just extraordinary and we’re so excited by that image. I have myself climbed Everest five times and been to the mountain 15 times. And when I’m breathless at almost 18 or 19,000 feet recording these images, I have very little time to study the mountain and learn about it. And, of course, I can’t focus my eyes as closely as that lens can. So, as I sit there and examine that image and all its beauty and glory, I find things that I’ve never noticed before…[/blockquote][/styledbox]

 A full-resolution cut from the 3.8 billion gigapixel image reveals incredible detail of the Everest Base Camp at the bottom of the ice flow:

[imageeffect type=”frame” align=”aligncenter” width=”960″ height=”545″ alt=”” url=”http://highsierraworkshops.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/EverestGigapixelDetail.jpg” ]

And in another full-resolution cut, taken from high up on the mountain near the summit, you can see individual tents and climbers:

[imageeffect type=”frame” align=”aligncenter” width=”960″ height=”300″ alt=”” url=”http://highsierraworkshops.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/EverestGigapixelDetailHigh.jpg” ]

You can view the full 3.8 billion gigapixel image online here, with the ability to zoom in and move around the sprawling panorama. You can read the entire interview or listen to the original broadcast with David Breashear’s on NPR’s “All Things Considered” here.