New Apple iPad to make Mount Everest ascent with scientists

22 Mar 2012

View of Mount Everest from from Kala Patthar in Nepal

A National Geographic team, coupled with scientists from Montana State University, will be attempting to relive a successful 1963 expedition to the pinnacle of Mount Everest, and they’ll be sharing their alpine progress with the world via real-time updates from the latest iteration of the Apple iPad.

The team are setting out on their Mount Everest mission on 16 April next. Their aim is to repeat the climb of the 1963 expedition when the first Americans made the ascent to the summit via the West Ridge.

Scientists from Montana State University will also be taking part in the expedition. They’ll be using GPS technology to get a reading of the current height of the mountain. Plus they’ll also be taking a geological peek at Everest’s summit pyramid to learn more about decomposition on the peak of the mountain.

So here’s a little bit more about the planned ascent of the world’s highest mountain.

Mountaineer Conrad Anker and photographer Cory Richards will be attempting the West Ridge route in the alpine style. They’ll be carrying all their own food, shelter, and equipment, said National Geographic.

A second team will include scientists and researchers from Montana State University (MSU), along with National Geographic writer Mark Jenkins. This particular team will be taking on Mount Everest’s Southeastern Ridge in the expedition style. They’ll be using fixed ropes, stocked camps, help from porters, and supplemental oxygen.

National Geographic said Jenkins and the West Ridge team would be giving live updates from 16 April next via the National Geographic magazine app on the iPad.

“Everest remains a beacon of exploration. The ability to share the experience of Mount Everest with school children while conducting science is the foundation of our expedition,” said Anker.

A new survey of Mount Everest summit

MSU geologist Dr David Lageson will lead two scientific projects as part of the expedition. Lageson’s team will be re-surveying the summit of Mount Everest with the latest and most precise GPS equipment available to obtain a reading of the current height of the mountain. They said the mountain was last reliably measured in 1999.

In 1856, the Great Trigonometric Survey of British India established the first published height of Mount Everest.

The researchers are hoping that their new research will shed light on the compression between the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates that lie beneath the mountain.

The team will also be studying the make-up of Everest’s summit pyramid, taking samples to determine the composition of its rocks and the presence of the fossilised marine animals.

People will also be able to follow the expedition on Twitter via #oneverest.

The Mayo Clinic will be conducting medical research at Base Camp. Five Mayo Clinic researchers will be recording real-time data from the two teams to get a comprehensive look at the impacts of high altitude on human physiology.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic