“You know you’re there to endure and suffer” – climate scientist discusses extraordinary expedition to install world’s highest weather station on Mt. Everest

“There's a reason that it is so famous; it's not just that it's the highest mountain on earth, it is an incredibly awe-inspiring landscape”, says climate scientist Dr Tom Matthews, who was part of the team that installed the world’s highest weather station on Mount Everest in 2019.

“You hear the ground shake most nights when you're lying in your tent from avalanches that are happening far enough away that you're not worried about them but it's just such a dynamic and imposing landscape.

“I had heard from other people that because you're already up high, you don't really see the great grandiose nature of the mountains because they're not that much higher than you.

“But it's incredible, they are like nothing I’ve ever seen anywhere else. They are monsters in every way and really, really impressive.

“So, coming back [to Loughborough], you're leaving that landscape behind and getting back into the day job is the same as it is after many great events, it's a bit of a shock to the system.

“But actually, there are so many things to do in our case…”

In a bonus episode of ‘Cuppa with a Scientist’, Dr Matthews discusses the National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Extreme Expedition to Mt. Everest, getting sick on the mountain, and what the world’s highest weather station could tell us about the effects of climate change.

Cuppa with a Scientist is a brand new podcast launched by the Loughborough University PR team that aims to inspire the next generation of scientists.

The first episode saw Dr Matthews discuss his academic journey (from GCSEs to PhD), frosty fieldwork trips, ongoing research, and the importance of studying climate science and science as a whole – the tea was hot but the conversations were hotter, so a bonus episode was in order!

You can listen to the episode below:


For more information on the ‘Cuppa with a Scientist’ podcast series, click here.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 21/23

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2020 QS World University Rankings and University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 7th in the Guardian University League Table 2021, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 and 6th in The UK Complete University Guide 2021.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.