Nation's Highest Peak Gets a Little Shorter

New mapping downgrades McKinley by 83 feet

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 12, 2013 3:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – The tallest peak in North America is a smidge shorter than thought: Mount McKinley is actually 20,237 feet high, down 83 feet from the previous measurement of 20,320, reports the News-Miner of Fairbanks. The new figure has nothing to do with shifting plates or melting glaciers, it's simply the result of a more sophisticated radar mapping system used by Alaska and the US Geological Society. The earlier measurement of McKinley, also known as Denali, took place in 1952.

"It's still high, it's still hard, it's still cold," a climber tells the Anchorage Daily News, which notes that McKinley is still 686 feet higher than the continent's No. 2 peak, Mount Logan in Canada. Not everyone's on board just yet, however. The US Park Service, which runs Denali National Park, says it won't start changing the height on hats, T-shirts, and the like until its own experts examine the new data. (Scientists this month also made a fascinating discovery about the Alps.)

Mount McKinley is a little shorter than we thought.   (AP Photo/Al Grillo, File)
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