Point of No Return

Point of No Return

Commercialized Climbing and the Fall of Mount Everest

This interactive, informational website exposes the complicated issues surrounding the commercialized climbing industry on Mount Everest. While the general public views successfully summiting the mountain as a feat of endurance, bravery, and human achievement, corrupt business practices and a lack of regulation has left the mountain and its native peoples, Sherpas, in utter despair. 

The goal of the site is to educate the general public about Mount Everest's current state and enable positive reform within the commercialized climbing industry. After experiencing the site, users can sign a petition addressed to the highest grossing climbing companies in the world, asking for self-regulation of the industry through fewer, smaller expedition teams.

This site was created as my BFA senior thesis in the Spring of 2014. I had five weeks to develop content and complete my visual design, and five weeks to learn the needed HTML and build the site. After completion, I gave a 10 minute presentation of my work to local designers, faculty, and students. 

On April 18th, 2014, during my last week of coding the site, 16 Sherpas were killed by an avalanche in the single deadliest accident Everest has ever seen. 

Please note: This page is very image & animation heavy, so it might take some extra time to load!  




Menu Interaction

Users can scroll through the site chronologically or use the pop-out menu to switch between chapters at any time. The animated landing page shown below. 


Introductory chapter

This section recounts the first successful summit of Mount Everest in 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, serving as a contrast to the following chapters detailing the current situation.


Scrolling animations

Each chapter has at least one scrolling photo animation, each with a poignant quote and photograph. These communicate main points for a user looking for a quicker experience.  


Body infographic

Each flag represents the body of a dead climber at its approximate location on the mountain. When clicked, a pop up window will give the name, nationality, date, and cause of death, if known. 


Promotional poster



Installation view