Just How Tall Is It? Scientific Team to Remeasure Highest U.S. Peak

From United Press International

Eight scientific adventurers packed the last of their food and arctic gear Monday and tested their high-tech equipment before setting out to climb Mt. McKinley and find out exactly how high North America’s tallest peak really is.

“Everyone says we better make the mountain larger,” Jeff Yates, assistant project coordinator, said.

“Nobody wants to hear it’s (smaller),” project leader Ron Cothren added.

“We expect it will be different,” surveyor Peter Richter said. “I’m guessing 10 feet.”

Whatever the results of the survey expedition, Mt. McKinley will remain the biggest thing on the continent.


But, whether its huge hulk will grow from the generally accepted 20,320 feet or whether it will shrink depends on the data to be collected by the 1989 Mt. McKinley Global Positioning System Survey.

The outcome probably will mean a new page in geography texts dealing with the mountain. But the results, which will not be known until fall after computers analyze all the data, depend on the team’s reaching the summit.

The seven Anchorage residents and a documentary video cameramen from San Anselmo, Calif., depart Wednesday for Talkeetna, a town north of Anchorage, where they take a ski-plane to the 7,000-foot base camp on Thursday.