NPR : News

Filed Under:

Mount McKinley's Gotten Shorter Again

Could Alaska's Mount McKinley be in danger of developing a Napoleon complex?

Well, it's still said to be the tallest peak in North America, so perhaps it won't need to worry about its height just yet. But for the second time in recent decades, the mountain's been shortened.

This week's announcement by Alaska's lieutenant governor, Mead Treadwell, that the U.S. Geological Survey now thinks McKinley is 20,237 feet tall rather than 20,320 is getting plenty of attention:

-- "Say it ain't so!" writes Alaska Dispatch.

-- "McKinley's perch as the tallest mountain in North America just got a little less comfortable," says the Anchorage Daily News.

McKinley is also known as Denali. According to Treadwell's office:

"Denali's elevation was originally measured to stand 20,320 feet in 1952, based on photogrammetry. A 1989 field survey recorded an elevation of 20,306 feet — 14 feet shorter than the 1952 recording.

"The 2012 revision of 20,327 feet was recorded with radar technology deployed as a result of Alaska's Statewide Digital Mapping Initiative (SDMI), which also revealed that an entire ridgeline of Mt. Dickey in Denali National Park was missing from previous maps — one of many discrepancies corrected by recent map updates.

"The State of Alaska invested $9.59 million in SDMI since 2010, and the federal government has invested $14 million toward the overall cost of creating a digital elevation model for Alaska. The initiative, nearly 50% complete, is on schedule for statewide completion by 2016."

Which mountain is still North America's No. 2? It's thought to be Canada's Mount Logan, which comes in around 19,550 feet.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

For Japanese Parents, Gorgeous Bento Lunches Are Packed With High Stakes

It's cute ... but is it too much cultural pressure?
NPR

For Japanese Parents, Gorgeous Bento Lunches Are Packed With High Stakes

It's cute ... but is it too much cultural pressure?
NPR

Green Party's Jill Stein Wants To Be 'Plan B' For Bernie Sanders Supporters

"I will feel horrible if Donald Trump is elected, I will feel horrible if Hillary Clinton is elected," says Green Party candidate Jill Stein. She says the two big parties lock out other voices.
NPR

Experimental Plane Sets Off On Final Leg Of Its Round-The-World Journey

It's the first time for a solar-powered plane to circumnavigate the globe. Now it's en route to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates — and you can watch the journey in a live video from the cockpit.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.