November 18, 2002

cartographical modifications

For those ya’ll of the skiing and snowboarding persuasion, there’s some good news. Rockies may be Higher than Thought.

Reflecting cartographic accuracy more than geologic uplifting, the new calculations set the official heights of many Colorado landmarks and the central Rockies as much as 7 feet higher than previously thought.

The changes weren’t big enough to shake up the rankings of any of the state’s 54 14,000-foot peaks, or create any new 14ers.

Pikes Peak west of Colorado Springs gained 5 feet to 14,115 feet, while the state’s highest point, Mount Elbert near Leadville, gained 7 feet to make it 14,440 feet above sea level.

Other areas of the country also changed, but some of the biggest differences were found in the central Rockies, where the range’s strong gravitational pull has thrown off instruments used to measure elevation since the days of the Hayden survey in the 19th century.

Watch your step, Luke. That gravity out there sounds dangerous.