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Mount McKinley 83 feet shorter than thought, new data show

Mount McKinley is 83 feet shorter than thought, still North America's tallest mountain.
Posted By KRISTEN BUTLER, UPI.com   |   Sept. 12, 2013 at 4:21 PM   |   Comments

Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Alaska's lieutenant governor announced Wednesday that Mount McKinley is 20,237 feet tall rather than the 20,320 it was previously labeled.

"That's 83 feet shorter than we thought," Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell said in a statement.

New radar mapping technology from the Statewide Digital Mapping Initiative in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey revealed Mount McKinley's more accurate height, which Treadwell announced at a symposium of the International Map Collectors' Society in Anchorage.

The 20,320 feet height previously recorded was measured in 1952 using photogrammetry, a technique where distance is measured on a photograph when the scale of the photograph is known.

The height was actually updated in 1989, and dropped 14 feet, but the earlier number is still more widely cited.

But climbers and Alaskans, who know the mountain as Denali, say that last 83 feet doesn't change a tough climb.

"It's still high, it's still hard, it's still cold," climber Nick Parker told the Anchorage Daily News. "As long as it's higher than Texas, I don't care."

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