The Tour of Mont-Blanc


Cold and wind in the mountains


Atmospheric temperature is highly variable in a mountain environment: changes in altitude, the arrival of cloud cover and passing from sunny to shady areas are some of the main causes of sudden temperature drops.

There are a variety of factors that cause the human body to get cold, wind is the an exemple.

Wind: an atmospheric agent that is often underestimated and that, as a consequence, can be the source of general discomfort or even outright pathologies. The human body is a machine that produces heat. The main purpose of clothing is not to produce heat, but to hold bodyheat in by insulating the body surface from the outside. The heat exchange between body and air is ongoing, as a matter of fact. In essence, we lose a modest part of our heat through conduction. When it is windy, however, the thin layer of heated air around our body is dispersed more rapidly, which speeds up the exchange of heat. This is why the sensation of coldness can increase significantly even when the air temperature remains unchanged (the "windchill" effect).