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Sports Illustrated Scales Mt. Everest in VR Series

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The multi-platform series launches in 2017 on LIFE VR and SI.com.

The folks who brought models Nina Agdal and Irina Shayk to life in VR with their Swimsuit Issue are now putting us in the shoes of four climbers as they summit Mount Everest.

Sports Illustrated and Endemol Shine Beyond USA have partnered to produce a virtual reality documentary series that promises to give you a first-person perspective on one of the most dangerous mountaineering journeys in the world.

Touted as the “first complete ascent of Everest in VR,” the multipart, multi-platform series titled “Capturing Everest” will premiere in early 2017 on Time Inc.’s new LIFE VR platform and SI.com in 360° video. Sports Illustrated will also feature coverage of this historic endeavor across its print and digital properties.

Time Inc. launched LIFE VR platform last month, a dedicated virtual reality platform featuring storytelling from across the company’s global titles. The forthcoming “Capturing Everest” series will be the first VR experience presented by Sports Illustrated to be housed on the new platform.

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The VR docu-series was shot on location over a two-month span, employing a variety of 360-degree video capture methods while enduring some of the planet’s most extreme conditions. Specialized cameras rigged to zip lines and body harnesses on the climbers offer first-person views of Mt. Everest in unprecedented fashion.

The upcoming series follows a team led by Garrett Madison, a six-time Everest summiteer who has led 37 climbers to the summit, the most by an American climber. The series focuses on four climbers including Brent Bishop, a three-time Everest summiteer, who is the son of legendary climber Barry Bishop, the third American to summit Everest. Jeff Glasbrenner joined the group with the aim of being the first American amputee to summit Everest. Lisa White, the lone female member of the team and a cancer survivor, quit her job in healthcare management to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime journey, and Nick Perks is fulfilling a promise to climb Everest in memory of his late father. Perks also hopes to raise £29,035 for UNICEF—one pound sterling for every foot climbed.

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Your virtual summit will begin in Kathmandu, Nepal, as the climbers make their way to Everest Base Camp and then through each ensuing pass, bottomless crevasse, ice wall and literally breathtaking moment all the way to the triumphant summit. The team affixed specialized cameras to 3mm zip lines and pulled them across Everest’s unforgiving landscape with motorized fishing poles. Cameras were also rigged to climbers so you can feel first-hand what it’s like to walk on thin suspension bridges and ladders above thousand-foot gorges.

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of VRScout.

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