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#EverestNoFilter - Chronicling the Climb in Real Time With Snapchat

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Snapchat has the potential to be a real hub for drama. The ephemeral nature of the content, combined with the incentive to post updates almost by-the-minute means that when something interesting does happen, you more likely to Snap it than to Gram it or Book its Face, or whatever else. What about a truly epic undertaking though? Say, for example, climbing up the highest peak on the planet?

In a project sponsored by Soylent (not that kind), Stava and Eddie Bauer, mountaineer Adrian Ballinger and photographer Cory Richards have starting climbing Everest, and they're broadcasting it play-by-play in real time over Snapchat. The whole thing is geared towards raising awareness for the dZi Foundation, who are helping Nepali people rebuild their lives after the devastating 2015 earthquake. 

Throughout the ascent (and presumably descent) the pair will be posting photos and videos to the official account, stringing the experience together into a kind of "Snap-umentary". To add an extra twinge of tension to the proceedings, they're going up without a supply of bottled oxygen, something which has only ever been done successfully 193 times, compared to the other 7,000 successful attempts with the benefit of air tanks.  

Ballinger has summited Everest 6 times with oxygen, but never without. The appeal of Snapchat, as far as he and his team are concerned, is the authenticity, the fact that you don't get any time to filter or otherwise tinker with the images and videos means that you're getting a very raw insight into the team's progress up the mountain

Richards is probably relishing the opportunity to apply his photography skills to such an unusual task. One of his last big expeditions was the 8,000-meter ascension of Gasherbrum II in Pakistan in 2011. During the climb, adverse weather conditions caused a class 4 avalanche which buried Richards and his team, placing them all in mortal danger

Happily, they all survived, and the footage recorded was edited into Cold, a documentary which brutally details the dangers of climbing some of the worlds highest and hardest peaks. You can watch the trailer below, but fair warning, there's one sentence of spoken dialogue in the whole video and it contains a fairly prominent f-bomb, which is fair enough, given the context.



Richards has a fairly optimistic attitude towards this one. It will be challenging in different, but comparable ways, particularly having to think about basically reinventing the wheel in terms of how to document a climb whilst coping with high altitude, cold and the occasional Yeti attack. If this pays off, Snapchat may find it has another string to its already impressive bow of real time coverage approaches. 



Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum


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#EverestNoFilter - Chronicling the Climb in Real Time With Snapchat Reviewed by Callum Davies on Monday, April 18, 2016 Rating: 5

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