Altitude Issues - 2011 MBP13


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 25, 2014
Hey Everyone,

This May, I will be travelling to Nepal. During my time there, I am going on a trip to the base camp at Mount Everest. It's a 12 day trek, and days 2 - 10 are spent above 10 000 feet. Also, the maximum altitude that we will be at is 17 598 feet.

My plan from the beginning was to turn it off completely so that the hard drive won't be spinning, due to the problems caused by high altitude. It will be stored in its sleeve (possibly inside a larger soft case as well), and will remain inside my backpack the whole time.

I did a live chat with Apple Support, and the guy that I spoke to mentioned the hard drive problems, LCD issues with high altitude, as well as low temperature issues. Any idea if these will be major concerns, if my laptop is shutdown for the entire trek and is stored in my backpack the whole time? It's not like I'm going to be trying to run it at base camp, where temperatures can be in the negatives during the day. Plus, body heat should (theoretically) transfer through to the laptop.

I appreciated any help. Leaving it at home isn't an option (as people on Trip Advisor so rudely suggested in other ways regarding other electronics questions), since part of my trip involves school, so I need it.

Thanks in advance!


Jul 11, 2006
If you aren't planning on using it then you'll have no issue. Considering that Everest expeditions will update blogs from Base camp and possibly through Camp I or II you most likely wouldn't have much of an issue even if you were to actually use it up there.


macrumors 6502
Jan 24, 2008
How about upgrading your harddisk to an SSD. SSD's have no moving parts affected by air pressure so you should be able to use it at altitude as long as you don't freeze your LCD.
I have to say though...professionally I have been using computers at temperatures as low as -25 degrees Celcius and yes the LCD's froze. But after we warmed the computers up they came back to life without a problem.


macrumors 6502
Apr 23, 2008
I used my macbook at over 12 000 feet and I don't think it damaged it. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it that much, but I am certainly no expert.


macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
Friend of mine climbed Everest and used his HDD equipped Mac at some 7500 m. I've been to the base camp and never had issues with my computers.

I did a road trip in Tibet over the course of ten days, and there were plenty of places above 5000 m. Yes the car struggled, but my computers ran fine. I didn't even consider the altitude.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2012
Well i just went through the user manual of my late 2009 it states storage temps as -20c to 45c and operating from 10c. Humidity is listed as 5%-90% and max operating altitude as 10,000 feet.
Hard drives usually have breather holes to adjust to atmospheric pressures. I dont see any issue with it being switched of. However the humidity would be of concern if it condenses.