Talk:Vinson Massif

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Require photos that view from the ground.

Correct coordinates?[edit]

The article gives the coordinates as 78°35′S 85°25′W

but on I found them listed as 78° 31' 59" S, 85° 37' 59" W or -78.533333, -85.633333 (WGS84)

Could an editor with more knowledge about this mountain comment on the relative merits of the current coordinates or the ones given at TerraWiki? —SaxTeacher (talk) 15:26, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

There is Vinson Massif, a 13 mi long and 8 mi wide mountain range, and there is Mount Vinson, its summit. The coordinates of the former (i.e. its midpoint) are given as 78°35′S, 85°25′W by the USGS, while the other quoted figures apparently relate to the latter. Damien Gildea's coordinates of 78°31'31.74"S, 85°37'01.73" W for the summit itself were measured with great precision, however the article is on the massif not on the peak, hence the table should feature 78°35′S, 85°25′W; if the coordinates of the peak are given in addition too, that should be clearly stated. It is inappropriate to give only the peak's coordinates. Apcbg 17:04, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
No, the reason for the discrepancy in the coordianates from the USGS is that these coordinates, like most coordinates from the USGS, are approximate, with a large error margin. "Mount Vinson" redirects to this page. We should give the coordinates of the highest point of the massif, i.e. the point to which Seven Summits climbers are expected to reach. Viewfinder 17:13, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I can assure you that you are quite wrong about USGS. Their Antarctic database GNIS gives the coordinates of Antarctic features rounded to the nearest minute, and the precision of their figures is normally half minute. In the course of my work on the coordinates of hundreds of Antarctic features I have regularly dealt with the USGS data, and it practically never varies more than one minute from confirmed precise data from other sources. A discrepancy of 3.5 minutes of latitude is out of the question —— meaning that the USGS coordinates here are those of the midpoint of Vinson Massif, which is not Mt Vinson, and which coordinates should be restored in the table. That "Mount Vinson" redirects here is because the article for that peak is not yet written, clearly these are two distinct features that need articles of their own, with the massif having other prominent peaks as well. Apcbg 17:57, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
The USGS coordinates appear to me to be to the nearest 5', or is this a 1/25 coincidence? I have worked with USGS coordinates too, although not specifically in the Antarctic. They are usually accurate to one minute (about 2 km) but I consider that to be a large error margin, although perhaps not by Antarctic standards. For large area entities like countries and ranges, they are often on degree intersections (how do you determine the mid-point of the Andes?)
Imo a separate article about Mount Vinson would be more a less a carbon copy of the existing article and would create unnecessary confusion and duplication. Mount McKinley and Kilimanjaro are also massifs with several separate summits and high points. Should we change the coordinates of these and hundreds of others from high points to mid points?
I am not sure how the "Vinson Massif" is defined. It seems to include Craddock (I agree that this is a separate mountain) and Slaughter (arguably a separate mountain), but does it include Tyree and Shinn? The best way would probably be to list all the principal summits. If their coordinates are included (I can determine these accurately enough if necessary from 1:250,000 mapping), then if you insist on having a mid-point lead figure, I will not delete it so long as there is a clarifying footnote. Something on the lines of Annapurna woul be OK. Viewfinder 19:05, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
As I get it from the USGS map and the descriptions of particular peaks and the massif itself given by the USGS GNIS and the SCAR Composite Antarctic Gazetteer, Vinson Massif comprises the portion of Sentinel Range bounded by thy saddle between Mt. Craddock (included) and Mt. Strybing (excluded) to the southeast, and the saddle between Mt. Vinson (included) and Mt. Shinn (excluded) to the northwest. Peaks like Mt. Atkinson, Mt. Slaughter and Mt. Mohl are included too. My reading for the midpoint of the massif from that map is 78°36'S, so the USGS figures are definitely NOT to the nearest 5' as you suggest, and the map confirms that they refer to the midpoint as appropriate for an extensive feature. Regarding the accuracy of USGS figures, yes in terms of latitude it’s 1' = 1 nm, which is considered adequate in most cases for the purposes of identification of Antarctic features, and that’s the purpose those figures released (at least in the data bases quoted above) are intended for; while the USGS has much more precise figures in most cases (as obviously in this case as the 1:250,000 topographic map in question is theirs), these are not released but rounded to the nearest 1'. Your parallel with Kilimanjaro and Denali is less than plausible; indeed we have both Vinson Massif AND Mt. Vinson, but only Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Denali – no Kilimanjaro Massif, and no Denali Massif. I have made my point, please feel free to organize the article as you like. Apcbg 08:57, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Thank you adding the map. Viewfinder 16:59, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

First Welshman??[edit]

The article contains this line: "The first Welsh man to climb Vinson Massiff was Mark Lewis in 1997 (aged 22 - the youngest person to have done so at the time)" Is there a specific reason we are singling out the first Welshman? Why not the first American? Or the first Japanese? etc. If Mark Lewis was still the youngest person to have climbed the peak, then I could see why we would leave a reworded version of this in. However, since he no longer is (see Samantha Larson), I will remove it. Any objections? -Sarfa (talk) 22:19, 22 January 2008 (UTC)


Near the end of the article is the phrase "... 16,077 ft (4,900 m), eclipsing the earlier established heights recorded in 1959 and ...." It doesn't seem to make much sense to say that 16,077 eclipses measurements from 1959 when a 1959 measurement is given in the article as being something like 16,864 feet. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:21, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Distance from South Pole[edit]

The article said it's 600 miles from the Pole, but I changed it to 1200 km (750 mi) because (a) 1200 km matches what some other sites state, and (b) calculating the distance using this tool indicates around 1200 km is more accurate.--A bit iffy (talk) 16:50, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

How many climbers?[edit]

The intro says 700 have climbed the peak as of 2010. Towards the end of the article a figure of 2000 climbers is given. Which is it?1812ahill (talk) 02:50, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

How Cold Does It Get?[edit]

At 16,000 feet in Antartica does it hold any low temperature records? Whats the coldest it's ever been there? (talk) 19:39, 20 December 2011 (UTC)