Whether you are an armchair tourist or simply going through mountain withdrawal, here is something to cheer you up. Google has launched a virtual tour of Nepal's Everest Region allowing you to see the roof of the world, up close and personal.
Armed with two single-lens tripod cameras and a 15-lens custom-built "Trekker" unit designed for backpacks, team of Kathmandu-based start-up Story Cycle and Nepalese climber Apa Sherpa, who scaled Mount Everest a record 21 times before he retired travelled on foot for 11 days to capture more than 45,000 panoramic images of the remote eastern Himalayan villages inhabited by the ethnic Sherpa community.
"Everyone in the world knows Mount Everest but very few people know how hard life is in these villages," said Apa Sherpa, who was forced to drop out of school at 12 and work as a porter after his father died.
"Thanks to Google Street View, everyone can see these villages and understand that people here need help. Hopefully, we can then raise funds to build more schools and hospitals for them."
Now, the visitors to the Google Street View website can scroll through a slideshow of 360-degree views created by digitally stitching together thousands of 75-megapixel photographs, or click on the online map to see images of individual sites.