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Here's How You Can Climb Mount Everest Without Leaving Your House

♫ Ain't no (virtual) mountain high enough. ♫

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Mount Everest: Earth’s highest mountain. Adventurers spend weeks trying to scale this dangerous force of nature in Nepal.

Just look at that huge icy thing.
Danielprudek / Getty Images

Just look at that huge icy thing.

...But now with Everest VR you can complete the journey in an hour without having to go outside!

Just look at this huge virtual icy thing.
Sólfar Studios

Just look at this huge virtual icy thing.

Sólfar Studios has partnered with effects studio RVX to create an unprecedented virtual experience that gives users a feel for what the expedition would be like.

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This virtual reality game uses over 300,000 images of the actual Mount Everest to create highly realistic visuals. Everest VR will be released on HTC Vive, allowing users to walk around and interact with their environment.

Fortunately for us mere mortals, we got to try it out.

Neither one of us has had much experience with virtual reality so this was all new for us!
Sólfar Studios / Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

Neither one of us has had much experience with virtual reality so this was all new for us!

First, we had to gear up. Everest VR requires a HTC Vive headset, controllers, and headphones so you can take advantage of all the cool sound effects.

Anjali Patel / BuzzFeed

Once we had all that on, we were ready to play (AND we looked like badass cyborg warriors).

Two sensors in opposite corners of the room tracked our movements to help us interact with the virtual icy world.

Anjali Patel / BuzzFeed

The experience was immediately immersive, and the gear totally convinced us that we weren't in an 8 x 10 room.

Anjali Patel / BuzzFeed

When we first put on the headset, we were surrounded by a futuristic-looking blue grid marking the boundaries of the room. It basically felt like we were on a holodeck, and as huge Star Trek fans, we were pretty excited.

Once we had the headsets on, the controllers looked like mittens we could use to interact with the virtual world.

Clicking buttons on the controllers allowed us to grip objects like ladders and ropes, which was pretty helpful as we were trying to, you know, climb a mountain.
Anjali Patel / BuzzFeed

Clicking buttons on the controllers allowed us to grip objects like ladders and ropes, which was pretty helpful as we were trying to, you know, climb a mountain.

Even though we only had to click to grip, we still had to move our arms and body in the right motions to climb or move across anything.

So it basically counted as a workout?
Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

So it basically counted as a workout?

The first part of the short demo included interactive tasks, such as traversing an icy rope bridge and climbing a ladder.

Anjali Patel / BuzzFeed
Anjali Patel / Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

Although we knew it was virtual, the visuals still made it terrifyingly realistic. Looking down while crossing the rope bridge and climbing the ladder made our stomachs plummet.

And even though the room was really warm, Maritsa said she felt cooler once she put on the headset!

Which really speaks to how realistic the effects were.
Anjali Patel / Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

Which really speaks to how realistic the effects were.

For the second part, we were transformed into giant women and given freedom to walk around and through the mountain like we were ice gods.

Nothing gives you a rush of power like walking through mountains that only come up to your chest.
Sólfar Studios

Nothing gives you a rush of power like walking through mountains that only come up to your chest.

Playing through the entire game takes about an hour, and if you ever get to try it yourself, the ideal space should be 10 square feet.

So, maybe not ideal for a New York City apartment.
Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

So, maybe not ideal for a New York City apartment.

However, you can play in a smaller space. The bigger area ensures that you won't have motion sickness during gameplay.

Anjali Patel / Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

And that you won't bonk your head on doors.

Though we probably won't fly to Mount Everest to compare this experience to the real one, it was pretty cool trying to be virtual mountaineers for a few minutes.

Anjali Patel / Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

(It was cool, we promise.)

Keep an eye out for Everest VR, due to be released on Steam later this year!

Sólfar Studios

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