Seeing the Mountains from the Trees – Web Cams on the 7 summits

Stuck at home, or close to home, it can still be good to see what is happening on the 7 summits, from looking up at Mt Blanc from Chamonix, to checking out the weather on the South Col of Everest.

There is nothing quite like a streaming webcam to make it more real.

In Antarctica you have some great options, all the way from the sea up to the immense blue ice runway on Union Glacier, with links below.

Two years ago a National Geographic and Rolex supported climbing team led by Pete Athans, installed the worlds’ highest weather stations on Everest. Weather data is now being recorded at the Balcony (8,430 meters) the South Col (7,945 meters), Camp 2 (6,464 meters) and at Base Camp (5,315 meters).

Eliza, George and Peter Hillary, with Eric Daft, National Geographic photographer, whose superb photos are featured in the National Geographic article on their work. We met Eric in Phortse and he overviewed the season while on our In Hillary’s Footsteps trek to Everest Base Camp.

So while Everest teams gather customized weather forecasts from meteorologists like Michael Fagin or Marc De Kayser, the rest of us can simply click to get the weather Live from the South Col.

With temperature, wind speed, barometric pressure and humidity, it’s the first time we now know in real time what is actually happening at very close to the highest point on Earth.

Webcams from the 7 Summits – from Asia, to Africa, to Antarctica

Besides the weather data, there is nothing better than seeing a mountain live. The clouds, the climb, the route, all become real and plans can be made.

Looking up from Camp 2, Everest, a blast of wind at the South Summit and along the ridge to the top – not yet streaming live to our cell phones.

As expected, on lower peaks and in more developed countries you will see more from a webcam, and at some points during the climbing season there may be short term viewing options. Some of the 7 summits are devoid of real coverage and most common is a single webcam, or perhaps two, with still frames uploaded at intervals.

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Union Glacier, Antarctica – a choice of 4 Cams to choose from in the area.

Here are a few options for viewing the 7 summits – which I’ll be updating while also welcoming input in the comments below on Webcams I’ve yet to locate.

These links are live now – but this is an area where technology, operators, weather and a high number of variables all play a part. So click as an Explorer would, not with the expectation of an HD live-stream.

Kosciusko – showing the track towards the top from the Thredbo chairlift and also the view from the base of Thredbo ski area. Not bad for checking the ski conditions for your descent as well depending on the season.

Kosciusko – the Snowcam from Thredbo ski area

Carstenz – I’m sure the Freeport Mine has the technology, but I’m not sure they are too eager to share. If you would just like to learn more about our climb with Peter Hillary and his sons George and Alex from our recent climb of Carstenz, you can do that here.

Mont Blanc – ok, we know it isn’t often regarded as a 7 Summit, but as so many of us climb Mont Blanc as well, here is a great camera across at the mountain, and a number of different options from the Alps around Chamonix.

Mont Blanc – from across the Chamonix Valley

Leaprus hotel, leaprus hut, Mt Elbrus
Leaprus Hotel, Mt. Elbrus, Italian design comes to the Caucasus. great place to wait out the weather should the need arise.

Elbrus – it may may not be live updates, but there is a good camera at the top of the Mir Gondola station looking up towards the summit of Elbrus for the southern side of the mountain. Not as high as we would like, but it gives an idea of the overall weather.

Elbrus – Station Mir looking up Elbrus towards summit

Vinson – as one might expect from Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions, they have some of the latest and the best technology. You have a choice of 4 cameras, 2 at Union Glacier which is the gateway to Vinson and the South Pole, one camera out close to the Weddell Sea to monitor incoming cloud, and another at Thiels Corner, halfway from Union Glacier to the South Pole. Perhaps just a bit white at times, but it is Antarctica.

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Eye in the sky view of the luxury lodge at 3 Glaciers Retreat, Antarctica. In season we just get to look out the window and call home with a report on the view.

Vinson – 2 cameras at Union Glacier and an overview on their Webcams

Ice and the Weddell Sea

Thiels Corner – a lot more ice, halfway from Union Glacier to the South Pole

Kilimanjaro – options from Moshi, Tanzania when it is working, and hourly screen shots closer to the mountain at the aptly named Kilicam. Our expedition report and a 360 summit view is here.

Kilimanjaro – from Moshi, Tanzania

Kilimanjaro – the Kilicam, another view from Moshi from Tusker Trails

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Afternoon clouds building over the Western Breach, Kilimanjaro.

Denali – a number of the air taxi services in Talkeetna have webcams – but still 60 miles out from the mountain. The National Park Service has Webcams dotted around the park, but more scenic than useful for climbers.

Denali – Talkeetna Air, looking from Talkeetna towards Denali

There is also an FAA Webcam at Kahiltna Glacier, but links are troublesome, you can reach the page and then a map of Webcams here which may get you there. When we climbed in 2019, the weather was so good we really didn’t need a cam – we could see the mountain all the way from Talkeetna to the summit.

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Who needs a web cam? Brook Bennett enjoying a rather fine summit day, 2019 on the summit ridge of Denali.

Aconcagua – while the facilities at Plaza de Mulas expand, the webcam that once lived here seems to be out of operation currently – updates welcome if anything comes up during the upcoming climbing season.

Everest – with the high interest levels and cell service right to Base Camp and beyond, hopefully there will be something here in – season. The webcam at the Italian observatory just above Lobuche is currently out of service.

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Everest North Face from the Pang La, Tibet. Clarity of the December season making a weather forecast rather unnecessary, though the temperature may be a bit frightening.

What we would really like to see is a webcam on the South Summit so we can see how many people are in line on the Hillary Step.

I welcome your updates on Webcams and will update that here – this is a rapidly advancing area and a great way to really see and finalize plans for the heights.