Did You Know: Nobody Knows the Actual Height of Denali

Did You Know: Nobody Knows the Actual Height of Denali


Did You Know: Nobody Knows the Actual Height of Denali


“Rising more than 20,000 feet above sea level, Denali is the highest peak in North America. But here’s the thing: Nobody knows exactly how high it is.”- Outside Magazine

“Mt. McKinley, Denali National Park” by Nic McPhee – Wikipedia

That is all about to change according to Outside Magazine.

“Three weeks ago, a group of climbers headed to the mountain to answer this question. They’re part of a new project led by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and survey company CompassData and funded by various governmental agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to put an end to the controversy once and for all.”

Supposedly the height of the mountain can vary by up to 75 feet, which in the age of GPS seems almost blasphemous. Yet, these individuals will place multiple sensors on or near the summit that will give us an accurate reading of how tall North America’s tallest mountain really is. As of now, the team is off the mountain and waiting for the survey results, which should be available by Mid-August.

“We have no doubt that this peak is the highest in North America, and estimate that it is over 20,000 feet (6,100 m) high.”William Dickey circa 1897

Photo by ArcticHokie - Wikipedia

Photo by ArcticHokie – Wikipedia

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Denali

  • The base-to-peak rise is considered the largest of any mountain situated entirely above sea level
  • Measured by topographic prominence, it is the third most prominent peak after Mount Everest and Aconcagua
  • The first sighting of the mountain by a non native was by George Vancouver in 1794
  • The Koyukon Athabaskan people call the peak Dinale or Denali meaning the “High One” or “Great One” 
  • The lowest recorded temperature on the mountain is -100 degrees fahrenheit (not including wind chill)

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