National Geographic invites audiences to the peak of the forbidden mountain with two specials airing on June 30th. Following the premiere of Lost on Everest comes Expedition Everest, which has little to do with the roller coaster-type ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park of the same name. There’s no signs of a yeti here, disco or otherwise.
This hour-long special follows a team of scientific explorers climbing the mountain on a quest for research. They are trying to discover if climate change has had an effect on the remote high elevation area and will use a variety of disciplines to closely examine the environment. Like Lost on Everest, this special showcases just how challenging it is to climb Everest.
One of the groups is planning to install five weather stations, which will be the highest in the world. The devices will monitor wind speed, air quality, and humidity, transmitting the data back to Washington, D.C., where National Geographic headquarters is. Their ultimate goal is to put one as close to the top of the mountain as possible.
Another team of climate scientists are trying to extract some core samples to study more closely. A core sample of ice from the top of the mountain can tell a story of weather patterns in the region going back 5,000 years while a sediment core from the bottom of a glacier lake can give more information about how the region formed. But at such high altitudes, the human body can’t function at the same strength and getting these specimens will be a challenge.
A team of biologists are along for the ride to study the plants and insects that manage to exist in these extreme conditions. And glacial experts are using cutting edge technology to document the mountain as it exists today to help understand how it changes over time, using drones and Lidar to create a 3D map of the region.
With the assistance of a forty-year veteran climber and local sherpas, these scientists are scaling Everest for their first time in the name of research. Expedition Everest is really a story about how climate change is affecting this legendary area and what we can expect it to look like in the future based on current patterns. It’s a thrilling ride that viewers will want to check out and if you love what you see here, July’s issue of National Geographic magazine is completely dedicated to Everest.
I give Expedition Everest 4 out of 5 National Geographic North Face jackets.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.