El Capitan is already something I associate almost by default with Mac OS X, but it was a real mountain before that – millions of years before Apple previewed OS X 10.11, in fact, though it only got its name in 1851. Anyways, it’s the real mountain, not the Apple operating system, that Google now lets you virtually climb in Google Maps with its first ever vertical Street View feature.
Starting today, Google Maps users can use Street View for a first-person climb on both the The Nose and a portion of the Dawn Wall routes for scaling El Cap. Those are my personal favorite climbs in Yosemite – by which I mean I’ve never attempted either, or any mountain climbing at all because that seems terrifying.
The advantage of Google’s Street View mountaineering is that you don’t actually have to risk anything to do it, except maybe a static shock from your mouse depending on if you’ve been shuffling your feet around on carpeting.
Some people did incur risk to bring you the El Capitan Street View, however; Alex Honnold, Lynn Hill and Tommy Caldwell performed the climb used to capture the imagery, and they’re much better people than you or I will ever be.
I feel like there’s something going on around the timing of this and the El Capitan nomenclature for Apple’s OS X, too, but I can’t figure out what it is, so draw your own conclusions.