Google has partnered with a number of outdoor explorers, photographers, runners, skiers and filmmakers to take us closer than ever before to highest mountain in the Alps. Google’s new virtual exploration is simply breathtaking, and easily worth a few minutes of your time…

As well as a Street View trail which leads you ever step up the Goûter Route of Mont Blanc, Google has littered the mountain with a bunch of awesome 360-degree Photo Spheres. You’ll get a look around the summit alongside runner, Kilian Jornet (who happens to hold the record for ascending and descending Mont Blanc in under 5 hours). Similar to the El Capitan virtual vertical climb, you’ll be able to climb up a serac with an alpine climber named Ueli Steck. And that’s just a snippet of the resources available in Google Maps.

While the tour is fascinating, Google has another reason (besides entertainment) for the latest in a series of explorations through nature: Raising awareness for climate change.

Mont Blanc’s glaciers are receding because of climate change. To explain the changes, Google got Patrick Gabarrou (a guide who has lead people up Mont Blanc over 300 times) to describe the glacial melt. What’s more, Google wants to preserve what it can of Mont Blanc today so that future generations can see what it used to look like, and so that scientists can see how it’s changing.

Ueli Ice Climbing_25MB

This new exploration follows those created a couple of months ago during the major climate change conference in Paris. During that week, Google published a number of Street View tours of areas like the melting ice sheets in Churchill, Manitoba and the detrimental effect of climate change on California’s rare blue oak trees.

For the Mont Blanc exploration, Google partnered with the following people:

  • Kilian Jornet – record breaking runner
  • Ueli Steck – record holding alpine climber
  • Laetitia Roux – ski mountaineering champion
  • Patrick Gabarrou – Mont Blanc guide with over 300 ascents
  • Catherine Destivelle – climber
  • Candide Thovex – free skier
  • Renan Ozturk – cinematographer
  • Jonathan Griffith – photographer
  • Korra Pesce – guide who carried the Trekker camera all the up and down the Goûter Route

To check it out for yourself, head on over to the Explore Mont Blanc page, or view the entire collection of Photo Spheres here.