Coldest Summit

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Re: Coldest Summit

Postby Scott P » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:52 pm

Then again, WI and MN are much colder but no one is out there building in -40 degrees.

It actually does get that cold in parts of Colorado.

Here is a screen shot I took of Craig's (where I live) weather summary in February 2011:


On the 2nd, it was officially -40F at the weather station and -48F at my house. Maybell, 30 miles west has a record low of -61F, colder than the record lows in MN or WI.
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Re: Coldest Summit

Postby GregMiller » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:40 pm

mike_kadow wrote:
Then again, WI and MN are much colder but no one is out there building in -40 degrees.

Pssh, pansy. We went out sledding when it was 40 below. :-D

I worked at an aircraft mechanics, one winter, always a nice shock, stepping from the 60 degree inside to the 40 below outside, felt like a kick directly to the lungs.

Definitely can't remember it being too cold in Fairbanks for cross-country ski practice, only 'too cold' for ski races, although they'd blow on the thermometer to try to warm it up to the required -20.

Can't say I was ever stupid enough to try for anything approaching a summit in that sort of weather :shock:
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Re: Coldest Summit

Postby J-RockandRockpile » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:00 am

Spend a few winters in Gunnison. I don't even feel cold any more.
I have been to the top of the mountain, and it is good

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Re: Coldest Summit

Postby ChrisinAZ » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:42 am

In Colorado? Probably Quandary in January--I'm guessing 10 or 15 degrees with hurricane-force winds, but only the last hundred feet or so to the summit. We didn't linger long!

Coldest summit ever? My money would be several years ago on Mt. Lafayette, up in the Whites of New Hampshire. It was around 0 degrees at the base of the mountain that day--my eyelids were starting to freeze shut--and the wind only got more vicious as we got higher. The windchill at the summit was probably -40 or so. While I was sufficiently bundled up from the cold, we had a brush with disaster when we encountered whiteout conditions on the summit and inadvertently took the wrong way off the summit. Luckily, we ran into another climber who let us know *which* ridge we were on. I've learned from that experience and now always know where the $#*% I'm going when I climb!
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Re: Coldest Summit

Postby Duffus Kentucky Climber » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:48 am

Stayed in Keystone to climb Torrey's via Chihuahua Gulch one October. A front moved in overnight. When we got to the turn off Peru Creek road to Chi...gulch road it had been barracaded for some reason. We went on to the Peru Mine or Argentine basin so we could climb Grey's and then Torrey's. 14 degrees at the TH. When I needed a drink we discovered our camelbak bladders were frozen. My wife's went into my shirt next to my skin and melted enough to drink in about three hours. The wind really dropped the temps, so there were several stops to put her hands in my armpits to defrost her fingers. (This is while wearing Marmot Mountaineering gloves, that I almost left behind) We summited Grey's then Torrey's and back up to Grey's for the return to the car. By that time my gloves were damp from perspiration, so I put them on my trekking poles to dry in the summit air.............right you are: you can't pull a frozen carp over your hands.

Like John Wayne said, "Life is hard, Pilgrim." "It's even harder when you are stupid."

When we got back to Keystone, there were guys playing golf in shorts. :shock:
It looks like the ridge is just right up there!

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Re: Coldest Summit

Postby Billy the Kid » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:53 am

This conversation got me wondering, so I found this: The coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth, according to Wikipedia...

I couldn't even imagine... negative 128.6 degrees F! I wonder if the summit of Mt. Everest gets colder than this?
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Re: Coldest Summit

Postby Scott P » Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:02 pm

I wonder if the summit of Mt. Everest gets colder than this?

No, not even close. Thus far the coldest recorded temp anywhere on Everest has apparently been -49F (though the windchill plunges far below that), though even this one was apparently unverified. A weather station has lasted several seasons throughout the winter on the South Col as well as it hasn't gotten near as cold as -129F, but has reached -40F a couple times.
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Re: Coldest Summit

Postby James Scott » Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:05 pm

Waiting for the ex wife jokes to begin, as in-

"I once experienced temperatures about 15 below on Elbert in July, but that's because of a wicked false summit and my ex wife. Boy, I get chills just thinking about it."
"Some climb... to get to Terrapin."

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Re: Coldest Summit

Postby davebks » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:12 pm

We were on Keystone a few years back hiking into that new bowl they opened for cat skiing access/hiking access only. It was a bigger day than we imagined but as we started climbing out a HUGE storm rolled in. It was blue bird and by the time we got mid way up it was brutal.

When we finally got near the top (we saw NO ONE) a ski patrol snowmobile came up and told us that the bowl was closed and didn't know why or how we got there. We explained that we were miserable but the snow cat REFUSED to pick us up so we had no choice but to hike out.

He said that it was registering at -60 wind chill on the top where we were. He followed us to the exit until we could get back to the lift. It was rough. One of the coldest I have ever been in my life.
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Re: Coldest Summit

Postby zoriloco » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:43 pm

I dont remember the exact tempeture, but my coldest summit would have to be the trip organized here over at Uncompaghre... Does someone remember how cold it got with the wind chill factor?? I remember it was way below zero but cant remember the exact number.


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Re: Coldest Summit

Postby Tony1 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:28 pm

For me, it's gotta be Mt. Lincoln in mid-September of last year. It probably wasn't colder than when I hiked La Plata in January, but it sure felt like it! The temperature may not have been too low, but the wind... Oh the wind. It was FREEZING!

Mt Lincoln.jpg
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Re: Coldest Summit

Postby SchralpTheGnar » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:45 pm

I had two occassions, one was on Mount Columbia, we camped up on a ridge around 11k and it was -30 with 20-30mph winds. But that didn't feel as cold as a -25 night climb and ski of Bierdstat in 2006, I remember taking my gloves off to switch over from skinning to bootpacking and my hands actually froze and were unable to move. Fortunately the winds were light, around 10mph. We summited right around sunrise in surreal beauty magnified by the intense cold.



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