the best way to go.
We already know they have issues with loud audio:
Here is the link for the manual for the SR12:
And for the HF10:
Check the environmental specs...
Page 5 in the Sony handbook has some things to say about not using the camcorder in extreme environments, including altitude limitation.
Page 34 of the Operating guide has some specifics about the operating temperature range
Page 122 of the HF10 manual has limited information about operating temperature range.
The internal hard drive used is similar to that found in some laptop computers - they too should not be used in extreme conditions unless specially "ruggedized" for extreme environments.
You will find similar temperature limits with consumer flash and miniDV tape based camcorders - but generally not altitude or loud noise/vibration/drop limits. Sony HDR-HC series; HVR series; Canon FS series; HV series
Im looking at buying my first camcorder that I can use in my vacation trips. I was looking at getting a Sony SR12 or Canon HF10. What cam can you recommend if I often go on ski trips and hiking -- were the cam will be exposed in high altitude and extreme temperature?