Researchers confirm Huascarán is actually 11 metres lower than previously assumed

S ince 1873, nine measurements of the south and north peaks of Huascarán have been made estimating all different heights. The first height of Peru´s tallest mountain was given by Hindle-Raimondi in 1873 and the last measurement was carried out by an expedition team of the National Institute of Research on Glaciers and Mountain Ecosystems (INAIGEM), in August of 2017. Hindle-Raimondi set the height of Huascarán´s South Peak at 6,721 metres above sea-level, according to the use of topographical triangulation.

Charles Reginald Enock (November 23, 1868, Edgbaston, Birmingham, England – April 7, 1970 in Midhurst, West Sussex, England) in 1904 calculated the south peak of Huascarán at 6,760 metres above sea-level. The General Society of Studies and Topographic Works (Société général d’études et de Travaux Topographiques) determined the height of Mount Huascarán in 1909 at the request of Mrs. F. Bullock-Workman. They set the height at 6,763 metres, three metres higher than Enock´s calculations. According to an estimated topographical unknown method, Steinmann believed that its height was actually 6,668 metres. McLaughlin in 1924 corrected Steinmann´s previous assumptions and calculated the Cumbre Sur of Huascarán at 6,614 metres above sea-level.

Scientists Philipp Borchers, Wilhelm Bernard, Erwin Hein, Hermann Hörlin, Hans Kinzl and Erwin Schneider and Peruvian porters Néstor Montes and Faustino Rojo were the first people to conquer the south peak of Huascarán on the 20th of July in 1932 and the German and Austrian Alpine Club expeditioners were part of a climbing and cartographic survey conducted in the years 1932, 1936, and 1939, resulting in the first topographical maps of the Cordillera Blanca.  This team set the height of Huascarán´s South Peak at 6,768 metres above sea-level. In 1964 an updated 1:25,000-scale topographical survey of Huascarán Norte by the Deutscher und Österreichischer Alpenverein, titled Nevada Huascarán, Cordillera Blanca, Perú, also set the summit at 6,768 metres.

The penultimate measurement was completed in 1972 by the Military Geographical Institute (IGM) calculating the height of Huascarán according to aerial photogrammetry at 6,746 metres. It would then take 45 long years for a new scientific measurement. The latter was executed by the INAIGEM expedition team who used a global navigation satellite equipment of the TOPCON GR5 brand. GPS differential technology provides greater accuracy to height measurements and was previously applied in 1992 on Mount Everest, in 1999 on Kilimanjaro, in 2001 on Aconcagua and in 2014 on K2.

To measure the height of Huascarán, a high precision satellite navigation equipment was used. Its use consists of the practice of a mobile receiver and a reference station on known coordinates. INAIGEM used the roof of the Cultural Center in Yungay as a geodesic reference point. The monographic description of this point was acquired to the National Geographical Institute and the distance from the town of Yungay to the southern summit of Huascarán is 16 km. The global navigation satellite TOPCON GR5 equipment calculated the elevation of the South Peak of Huascarán at 6,756.697 metres above sea-level, 11,303 metres lower compared to 1972.

Author: Glenn Fezvi
Sources: Nota Técnica 01 – Expedición Científica Huascarán – INAIGEM-2017 and James M. Wise; The highest point in Peru – A short history on the survey of Huascarán
Photo: INAIGEM – Topcon GR5 on Huascarán

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply


Locals question Huanchaco’s 25th spot in South American beach ranking

In a beach ranking which was created by the FlightNetwork team who talked to over 1,200 travel journalists, editors, bloggers […]

BREAKING: Three Spanish mountaineers and Peruvian guide die on Mateo

An expedition counting four Spanish climbers and their mountain guide from Huaraz (Rubén Dario Alva) was hit by surprise and […]

Early seismic movement awakens citizens Ancash coast

A perceptible tremor of 4.6 on the Richter scale awoke many people on the Ancash shore living in Huarmey, Casma, […]

Baby with 12 fingers and 12 toes born in Chimbote hospital

A beautiful baby was born in the Hospital La Caleta in Chimbote on the eve of New Year. However, when […]

Huanchaco Beach in top 50 best beaches of South America

Earlier this week, the Chamber of Tourism of Huanchaco announced to be proud that Huanchaco Beach was chosen among South […]

Visitors are prohibited to take plastic into Huascaran National Park

William Martínez Shiñquin, head of the Huascarán National Park, announced that they have issued a provision that prohibits the entry […]

Local guide shares search details and reveals that Jesse Galganov was last seen in Taullipampa

Earlier this week, the editor of The Huaraz Telegraph spoke with Beto Pinto Toledo, manager and founder of local tourism […]

Meet cebiche de chocho, Huaraz’s hearty food icon

Perhaps one of the most popular local dishes of Huaraz, yet one which is often overlooked by travellers, is cebiche […]

Local newspaper spreads painful fake news on Jesse Galganov

What was announced as a huge scoop on the front page of the Friday morning edition of local newspaper Prensa […]

No visits to Pastoruri Glacier; access road closed until the 29th of December

Jesús López Gómez, head of the Huascarán National Park (SERNANP – Huaraz) informed the press and agencies in Huaraz and […]

Memories of the 76th anniversary of the glacial lake outburst of 1941

In 1941, while Europe was suffering the deadliest military conflict in history in absolute terms of total casualties, Huaraz and […]

Priest involved in US pedophile scandal now preaches in Chimbote

Last night, Cuarto Poder, a journalistic research programme broadcasted on America T.V. (channel 4 in Peru) revealed that a priest […]

Sport Rosario extends contracts and will participate in the Copa Sudamericana

On Sunday the 3rd of December, the last matches for the Clausura Tournament of the Primera División were played and […]

Weather expert warns Huaraz will not be spared from waterlogging

University professor and local meteorologist Rafael Figueroa Tauquino lamented that despite of the warnings realised by the Santiago Antúnez de […]

Traditional System of Corongo’s Water Judges become Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

The Traditional System of Corongo’s Water Judges (Sistema de Jueces de Agua de Corongo) is inscribed on the Representative List […]

Human excrements, plastic bags and remains of food found on Huascarán

The team consisted of eight specialists from the National Research Institute of Glaciers and Mountain Ecosystems (INAIGEM) which between August […]

A brief history of Mataraju; Peru´s tallest mountain

Mount Huascarán (in Ancash Quechua language: Mataraju, ‘Twin Nevados’), is a massif located in the Western Cordillera of the Andes, […]

Dutchman seeking to educate Peruvian citizens and farmers about climate change

Henk Smeenk is a Dutch man with a mission: to help farmers in developing countries face the challenges of climate […]