Advancing the Science

Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog

Extreme Cold

If you’ve lived in tropical or even temperate climates all of your life, Everest may not be for you. During the optimal months for climbing – late spring – the daytime temperature can hover around 27 degrees (F) at base camp on a nice day. At the summit it may be around 0 degrees (F), but that’s not counting wind chill which can bring it to 65 below. Wind chill at base camp in May can make it feel about 6 degrees. In winter – you don’t want to be there anyway – the average summit temp with wind chill is 90 below zero.

So, if it’s just below freezing on a nice spring or early summer day at base camp, you can expect it to be around 0 at night. Not great sleeping weather – and one of many factors being studied by the Mayo physiologists.

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