As I write this, it’s about 1 a.m. in Nepal and, according to National Geographic magazine’s iPad app, a group of climbers is camped on the side of Mount Everest, possibly sleeping (though we can’t be totally sure), at nearly 21,000 feet. They expect to make a final summit push in early May.
Implications aside for a moment, this knowledge is pretty amazing. Two years ago, for better or worse, a 3G network was installed around the foot of Mount Everest. Which allows intrepid climbers like Conrad Anker, Cory Richards and Mark Jenkins to basically live blog their ascent for the magazine.
It’s not the first time an Everest climb has been cataloged in almost real time (and really, you don’t need 3G to do it); but Nat Geo says this is the first time that a publisher is giving real-time updates in a tablet app. Some of the dispatches can be found on Geographic’s “Field Test” blog. But to see it all — including the map that tracks the climbers — you’ll have to get your hands on an iPad. More: