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The tallest mountain in America shrunk

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Re: The tallest mountain in America shrunk

Postby TravelingMatt » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:23 pm

MonGoose wrote:If sea level were to rise as little as 5' we'd lose a chunk of Florida and a lot of Louisiana.


More importantly, Huron, Sunshine and perhaps Holy Cross would no longer be 14ers. (We'd lose two 13ers, but gain the demoted 14ers.)
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' increasing prospects tire our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!
-- Alexander Pope

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Re: The tallest mountain in America shrunk

Postby tlongpine » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:59 pm

TravelingMatt wrote:
MonGoose wrote:If sea level were to rise as little as 5' we'd lose a chunk of Florida and a lot of Louisiana.


More importantly, Huron, Sunshine and perhaps Holy Cross would no longer be 14ers. (We'd lose two 13ers, but gain the demoted 14ers.)


I'll make that trade anyday.
I am unable to walk away from the mountain without climbing it. An unclimbed mountain tugs at my consciousness with the eternal weight of time itself. Until I've pressed my face into it's alpine winds, hugged it's ancient granite walls, and put it's weathered summit beneath my heal I'm unable to resist it's attraction.Knowing nature gives the mountain more time than she gives us adds urgency to the obsession. As has been said before; the mountain doesn't care.

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Re: The tallest mountain in America shrunk

Postby jeremy27 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:53 pm

I blame Team OMG.

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Re: The tallest mountain in America shrunk

Postby djkest » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:59 pm

Based on most agreed upon data the sea levels have risen about 8" in the last 140 years, although the trend does appear to be speeding up. So, perhaps when I am 80 years old they will have risen a foot since 1870.
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Re: The tallest mountain in America shrunk

Postby Derby Ale » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:13 pm

Wouldn't a GPS unit be able to confirm this fairly easily? 87 feet seems like a lot for no one to have noticed in the last 15-20 years.

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Re: The tallest mountain in America shrunk

Postby Tortoise1 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:14 pm

MountainHiker wrote:I shouldn't really tell you this .... but when Canadians move to the US, we are instructed to take rocks from the tallest US mountains, then return to Canada and add them to Canadian mountains. Eventually Logan will be higher! :twisted:


Acutally we've known about this for some time and have taken the corrective counter measures. So we have 300+ million people working on it - you maybe 35 million on a good day.

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Re: The tallest mountain in America shrunk

Postby MountainHiker » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:24 pm

Tortoise1 wrote:
MountainHiker wrote:I shouldn't really tell you this .... but when Canadians move to the US, we are instructed to take rocks from the tallest US mountains, then return to Canada and add them to Canadian mountains. Eventually Logan will be higher! :twisted:


Acutally we've known about this for some time and have taken the corrective counter measures. So we have 300+ million people working on it - you maybe 35 million on a good day.

The numbers even out if you only consider those that can find Canada on a map! :lol:
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Re: The tallest mountain in America shrunk

Postby im_t_wal » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:27 pm

MountainHiker wrote:The numbers even out if you only consider those that can find Canada on a map! :lol:


To be fair, anyone could miss Canada, all tucked away down there.

Re: The tallest mountain in America shrunk

Postby MonGoose » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:31 pm

Derby Ale wrote:Wouldn't a GPS unit be able to confirm this fairly easily? 87 feet seems like a lot for no one to have noticed in the last 15-20 years.

While GPS units can quickly pinpoint your horizontal location, acquiring a vertical elevation is more difficult due to the angle of the satellites. To acquire an elevation using GPS in the field, the GPS unit works for a significant amount of time (somewhere around 6-12 hours) and must remain undisturbed to acquire the reading. A handheld unit would not be able to give an accurate measurement, at least for mapping purposes. Obviously the top of Denali is a pretty hostile environment, so leaving equipment on top that remains undisturbed would present a challenge. But I do agree with you, I think they would have had some clue that they were off. But after all, who wants to be the one responsible for lowering America's highest peak?

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Re: The tallest mountain in America shrunk

Postby TravelingMatt » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:37 pm

MonGoose wrote:
Derby Ale wrote:Wouldn't a GPS unit be able to confirm this fairly easily? 87 feet seems like a lot for no one to have noticed in the last 15-20 years.

While GPS units can quickly pinpoint your horizontal location, acquiring a vertical elevation is more difficult due to the angle of the satellites. To acquire an elevation using GPS in the field, the GPS unit works for a significant amount of time (somewhere around 6-12 hours) and must remain undisturbed to acquire the reading. A handheld unit would not be able to give an accurate measurement, at least for mapping purposes. Obviously the top of Denali is a pretty hostile environment, so leaving equipment on top that remains undisturbed would present a challenge. But I do agree with you, I think they would have had some clue that they were off. But after all, who wants to be the one responsible for lowering America's highest peak?


Could the discrepancy also have something to with assumptions for the shape of the geoid, especially that far north (ie, close to the pole)?
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' increasing prospects tire our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!
-- Alexander Pope

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Re: The tallest mountain in America shrunk

Postby Derby Ale » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:51 pm

I can't speak to how accurate they are, but I know that even the handheld units are fairly quick at getting pretty close ... certainly better than 87 feet! :shock:

When I sold Material Handling equipment, when I needed a rough elevation game to quote long belt conveyors, I would pull out my Garmin Nav unit from the car. It was always very, very close to what blueprints indicated. I just set the unit on the belt at the inlet and at the discharge, let it settle for a minute and take a reading.

Though I can possibly imagine that the latitude Denali sits at might have some influence, still doubtful it would be much.

I suspect a lot has to do with the idea of not coming back and telling everyone that they climbed McKinley to 80 feet shy of the accepted summit.

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Re: The tallest mountain in America shrunk

Postby USAKeller » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:07 pm

jeremy27 wrote:I blame Team OMG.

You know, I was going to say something in our trip report about how it felt a little shorter than 20,320' but decided to save that discussion for a rainy day (pun intended)! :wink:
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