In 2019, a joint National Geographic and Rolex supported climbing team led by Pete Athans, installed the worlds’ highest weather stations at the Balcony (8,430 meters) the South Col (7,945 meters), Camp 2 (6,464 meters) and at Base Camp (5,315 meters).
While they understandably have various degrees of reliability, particularly with no-one even having been to the South Col in the last year, they still provide a good overview of what to look forward to on the mountain.
So while Everest teams gather customized weather forecasts from meteorologists like Michael Fagin or Marc De Kayser (and their newly launched site and details, weather4expeditions, the rest of us can simple click to see the weather at the 5 locations, from Phortse in the Khumbu, to Base Camp, and on up through Camp 2, the South Col, and sometimes with a readout as high as the Balcony.
With temperature, wind speed, barometric pressure and humidity, it’s the first time we can see in real time what is actually happening.
While scientists will be using it to learn more about the jet stream, climate change and how it is likely to effect the Himalayan eco-system, climbers can simply look and say, “too cold and too windy” right now. And for the weather forecasters it will provide the real-time data to refine and update their models based on current information.
And should you wish to have a look beyond Everest?
These links are live now, though can go on and offline – this is an area where technology, 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 – two options here, showing the track towards the top from the Thredbo chairlift and also the view from the base of Thredbo ski area. Great to see the weather and the slopes at any time of year in Australia and a host of good views here:
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 see the helicopter flight in and our recent climb of Carstenz, you can do that here.
Mont Blanc – ok, we know it isn’t highly credited as a 7 Summit, but as so many of us climb Mont Blanc as well, and there is a great camera looking up the mountain, and a number of different options in the Alps around Chamonix, I’ve included it. The occasional compete white-out makes it a good time to plan another activity perhaps?
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. With both a weather map here and time-lapse 24 hour replays, great to see how the day is looking, if not just to watch the gondola spin around and day and night pass by from the slopes of Elbrus.
Vinson – as one might expect from ALE, they have some of the latest and the best technology – you have a choice of 4 cameras, 2 at Union Glacier, one out close to the Weddell Sea to monitor incoming cloud, and another at Thiels Corner, 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.
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.
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 this season, 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.
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 climbing season.
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.