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14,505 or 14,508 -- Mt Whitney Elevation?
#1701 01/13/10 09:48 PM
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AxeMan Offline OP
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I guess I never got the memo...

Re: 14,505 ?
AxeMan #1703 01/13/10 09:54 PM
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Well, since you started the thread...

I am trying to figure out how they changed the official elevation of Mt Whitney, and if I ever get the explanation straight, I'll post a little writeup.

It has to do with where the zero-elevation point is (now it is someplace in Canada near the St. Lawrence river). And also with tying multiple elevation survey grids together.

But I haven't got my questions answered yet, and every time I ask one or two, the answers cause more. confused

Does anyone here have a handle on the elevation changes?

Re: 14,505 ?
Steve C #1704 01/14/10 06:50 AM
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Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII
Re: 14,505 ?
Steve C #1705 01/14/10 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted By: Steve C
Does anyone here have a handle on the elevation changes?


Plate tectonics?

El Nino?

Human error?

14,505 sounds better than 14,497.61 feet...less keystrokes on the numberpad! whistle


Journey well...
Re: 14,505 ?
Steve C #1706 01/14/10 09:02 AM
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CaT Offline
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Unless it got deleted, there was a sizeable thread on WPSMB about this, probably within the last year or two.

CaT


If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)
Re: 14,505 ?
+ @ti2d #1708 01/14/10 09:09 AM
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The 14,505 elevation is the National Geodetic Survey's official Mt. Whitney elevation, established in 1994.

Granted, the elevation jumped then by over 5 feet, but not by any earthquake movement. As I wrote above, it was due to readjustment of the zero elevation.

Here's the NGS datasheet on the Mt. Whitney elevation:
    14505 -- Datasheet GT1811
    14508 -- Datasheet GT1810

And here are some others on the summit -- likely a datasheet for each of those brass survey medallions you can see on the summit:
    14499.2 -- Datasheet GT0238
    14499.6 -- Datasheet GT0239
    14499.6 -- Datasheet GT1808, "MT WHITNEY SMITHSONIAN HOUSE"

CaT wrote:
> Unless it got deleted, there was a sizeable thread on the WPSMB about this, probably within the last year or two.
I don't remember that, CaT. Any chance anyone can find it?

Re: 14,505 ?
Steve C #1709 01/14/10 09:17 AM
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Quote:
I don't remember that, CaT. Any chance anyone can find it?

I'll take a look (again, if it is still there...).

Edits:
It wasn't quite as extensive as I remembered, but here are two threads.

The first one begins with the post dated 6/29/09 @ 11:34pm post, which should appear at the top of your screen when the "First thread" link is clicked on, and it ends prior to the end of the thread -- with the post dated 7/2/09 @ 12:35 a.m.):

First thread

The second thread, which begins as a discussion about the elevation of Trail Crest, does eventually get into the summit elevation, and includes some links of interest.

Second thread

At the very end of the second thread, a message board discussion is referred to that was apparently had back in 2003; but I don't think the archives go back that far.

CaT

Last edited by CaT; 01/14/10 09:55 AM. Reason: To add further info links on subject

If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)
Re: 14,505 ?
wagga #1713 01/14/10 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted By: wagga


Interesting article. Don't know what struck me more - the amount of change over a relatively short time, or our ability to now measure it so quickly/precisely.

Re: 14,505 ?
CaT #1715 01/14/10 11:09 AM
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Oh my...

CaT's first thread came about when Doug wrote, "Hi Great job Steve only problem is the Elevation of Whitney on the Photo is wrong, it will stay about a day and then will be deleted, Thanks Doug" That was Doug's way of saying he didn't want our picture with the 14505 elevation displayed. He has come out STRONGLY against using the 14505 elevation. Not sure why, but it probably comes from a dislike of bureaucratic decisions. His mandate caused Wayne, Dale and I to scurry around and modify HIS annotated Whitney picture with his preferred elevation. You can see the results here and here. Bottom line, he was telling us to ignore the official NGS datasheet.

The second thread also shows some misinformation by referencing a different datasheet (1808)

But that second thread does refer to a student project by Robert Nielsen to determine the elevations of Mt. Whitney, Mt. Williamson, White Mountain, and North Palisade "using high precision GPS technology." Unfortunately, they were unable to set up their equipment on Whitney due to a storm in May. According to the article, Nielson measured Whitney at 14,500 ft.

Before I am done, I'll try to track him down, and maybe he can give me more info on what the "zero elevation" factor is. Maybe he can explain it better than my other sources.

Re: 14,505 ?
Steve C #1716 01/14/10 11:43 AM
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Just to clarify, I'm no expert on any of this, and only dug up and posted these threads so others could have the benefit of whatever had been discussed, since the 14,505 subject had been brought up again here. I would have no way of knowing what is correct (or not). Thanks for clarifying the information within those posts, Steve. I just find and post and leave it for others more knowledgeable to comment on it.

Interestingly, my sister-in-law bought me a "hoodie" sweatshirt back around the time I first summitted Whitney as a congratulatory gift. While I don't have a picture of it, it does prominently display the summit elevation as 14,505'. So this information has at least made it to those who make Whitney shirts.

CaT


If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)
Re: 14,505 ?
CaT #1717 01/14/10 01:26 PM
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Yes, I was more or less goofing on the height. If you do a search, you'll get many different answers:

Wikipedia = 14,505
Inyo NFS = 14,496
SEKI NPS = 14,494
Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce = 14,497.61
and the summit sign = 14,496.811

In Doug's defense (separate of his years as a surveyor), think of the cost in changing and reordering all the store & hostel stock. There's a point at which a few feet really do amount to a hill of beans...

And for my next topic: Exactly how many switchbacks are there on the trail?

[insert devil smiley here]

Re: 14,505 ?
CaT #1718 01/14/10 01:28 PM
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Oh, and CaT. Where's your profile pic from? Looks a lot like Sespe Gorge...

Re: 14,505 ?
AxeMan #1719 01/14/10 02:01 PM
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I motion that the picture in question on the WHA website with the numbers "14,505" be stricken from the photographic record and in place of said numbers an asterisk (*). Upon clicking said asterisk, these words in small font...

WE WERE ALL UP HERE AT LEAST ONCE!

And the aforementioned phrase will display a mural of mountaineer extraordinaires who accomplished this tremendous feat of endurance.

And at the bottom of the mural, these words...

IF WE CAN DO IT, SO CAN YOU!




Have fun..


Journey well...
Re: 14,505 ?
+ @ti2d #1720 01/14/10 03:26 PM
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If you click on webcam notes on WPSMB's front page, you get the picture with a little edit...


Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII
Re: 14,505 ?
AxeMan #1721 01/14/10 03:49 PM
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CaT Offline
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Originally Posted By: AxeMan
Oh, and CaT. Where's your profile pic from? Looks a lot like Sespe Gorge...

Just a few miles east of Skagway, Alaska this past August.

CaT


If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)
Re: 14,505 ?
wagga #1722 01/14/10 03:59 PM
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DOH!

sigh...

Not what I had motioned fer...dag gone darn it!


Journey well...
Re: 14,505 ?
Steve C #1723 01/14/10 04:06 PM
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If it is 14,505' above sea level (sea level: The datum against which land elevation and sea depth are measured. Mean sea level is the average of high and low tides.) and it used to be only 14,498'+/- a tad, where did all the water go?


Mike
Re: 14,505 ?
Mike Condron #1724 01/14/10 04:37 PM
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You owe me a keyboard cleaning.


Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII
Re: 14,505 ?
Mike Condron #1725 01/14/10 04:43 PM
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AxeMan Offline OP
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Okay, so I just figured it out:
Steve's measuring from the west side and Doug's measuring from the east...

Actually, maybe this should be the main page pic:

Whitney from the west side



cool myspace layouts

Re: 14,505 ?
AxeMan #1726 01/14/10 05:01 PM
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Cool pic! That's Whitney from the west side, with Russell in the left corner. Nice.

If I get around to changing front page pictures daily, that would be a nice one.

..and I found a little red devil for you.

So when are you going to get around to posting the Starbucks hut as your profile picture? cool

Last edited by Steve C; 01/14/10 05:25 PM.
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