Talk:Mount McKinley

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Perhaps this should be mentioned? I am looking at a 2012 US 25 cent coin, which opposite some old dead guy has an engraving of this mountain, with inscriptions at the circumference of "Denali" at the top, "Alaska" around 8 o'clock, and "E Pluribus Unum" around 4 o'clock. Yes, it should be in the article. I'll look for an image. Huw Powell (talk) 04:16, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps it should be mentioned in Denali National Park and Preserve instead? HueSatLum 22:26, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I don't see the fact that Mount McKinley appeared on the Denali National Park Quarter as being especially noteworthy. (talk) 23:48, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Dear Editors;

The "Timeline" section of the Wikipedia article about Mt. McKinley omits reference to the first ascent of the East side of the peak via the difficult Southeast Spur. This ascent is reported in an article by Boyd J.Everett, Jr. in the American Alpine Journal 13, no. 2, page 381, 1963, in an article by Christopher Wren in Look Magazine vol 26 no. 21,page 69, (October 9, 1962), in an article by Samuel C. Silverstein in the Mountain World 1962/63 pages 149-160, and constitutes a full chapter (Chapter 14, pages 179-186) of Fred Becky's book Mount McKinley. The prominence of the magazines, journals, and books in which this article was reported indicate the high level of alpinism demonstrated by the members of the team that made this first ascent. I believe this noteworthy first ascent of Mt. McKinley via its eastern side should be recognized in the "Timeline" section, along with the first ascents of the peak from the north, west, and south. Thank you for your consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Samuel C. Silverstein, M.D. — Preceding unsigned comment added by SamSilvers (talkcontribs) 03:54, 23 March 2013 (UTC)


The new, lower figure for McKinley's elevation has gotten a lot of press, but I don't think it is the "official" elevation of McKinley yet as far as the USGS is concerned. At least as of today, the USGS’s National Map website says with regard to McKinley’s elevation that “While the DEM produced from the raw IFSAR data shows a somewhat significant drop in elevation from the 1952 survey, the USGS takes no position in favor of either elevation.” So for us to say that the USGS has "accepted" the new figure is a little misleading. (talk) 15:03, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Source Issue[edit]

  • At the bottom of this section of this article [1] I provided a source (#30) that has been allowed to stand since late 2013. It is this [2]

The source was removed today by this user [3], because I linked to this Denali article at an article on [Tina Sjogren] yesterday, under the Controversy section. The user 97198 [4] is clearly biased -- the user removed the source because of having bias for Tina Sjorgen. Again, the source has been allowed to stand at this Denali article since 2013. While blogs are typically not considered reliable sources, as is evident the report at the blog is reliable journalism.

  • I will in the meantime add another source[5] where the report is linked to. Everestrecords (talk) 15:33, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
    • User MONGO has done unilateral edits without taking part in this discussion in the Talk page. I removed the blog source, and replaced it with a well established Everest historian's website, who published an article about speedclimbing records on Everest. The source qualifies as reliable. I will begin a dispute resolution request if the user MONGO persists.Everestrecords (talk) 04:23, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
      • There isn't anything to dispute since your additions and references are not reliable sources. Self published websites are not peer reviewed and are not reliable. I'll clean up the rest of the article tomorrow.--MONGO 05:26, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
      • The source is from Collin Wallace, an Everest historian. This is the About section of his website [6] He has on his own accord published the article on Everest speedclimbing on his website Articles section [7]. It's the first article at the top. This is a reliable source. It is not "self published". Everestrecords (talk) 05:34, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
That is a self published website.--MONGO 05:38, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
This help request has been answered. If you need more help, you can ask another question on your talk page, contact the responding user(s) directly on their user talk page, or consider visiting the Teahouse.
  • Please help. User Mongo MONGO has been staking me around wikipedia over the last day, on the 3 different articles I've been trying to add to. Please help with asking he/she to discontinue stalking me. Demonstrates inappropriate interest in what I'm doing. Also, I'm using a source from England, Collin Wallace's Everest history and Everest news website. and this in particular The source is well established and well respected. Also, many news sources are self published, such as Explorers Web, which is published by 1 person, Tina Sjorgen.Everestrecords (talk) 06:04, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Don't forget to tell the admins about how you consider me to be mentally ill, etc. as you posted at my user page.--MONGO 06:14, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
This is clearly an issue that should either be resolved between the editors, and if it can't, be taken to the dispute resolution process. I'm not going to get involved, but at first glance, it seems pretty obvious that the source being used here is not a reliable source and seems to have serious COI/POV problems given your apparent affiliation with the website. I'll close the helpme-tag. I'll leave the admin tag in place for an admin to deal with. ~ twsx | talkcont | ~ 07:28, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
I see neither "staking" nor "stalking" by MONGO. I do, however see edit-warring, persistent use of unreliable sources, grossly unacceptable personal attacks, and other disruptive editing from Everestrecords. The editor who uses the pseudonym "JamesBWatson" (talk) 08:48, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Factual error on "base-to-peak rise"[edit]

The current article quotes a base-to-summit rise of 5500 meters and claims this is the largest in the world, citing an erroneous statement by Helman 2005. To get even 5000 meters, you have to go far enough out on the tundra (more than 25km from the North Summit) that you're hardly "on the mountain", but more importantly, Rakaposhi rises 5900 meters above the Hunza River in 11km horizontal. There is no question that this is bigger than Denali and the Rakaposhi article says as much. Would the primary authors of this page prefer the statement removed completely or toned down to "one of the biggest"? In the latter case, Helman cannot be cited without a caveat explaining that part of his statement is incorrect. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JedKBrown (talkcontribs) 05:10, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

User:MONGO Before reverting my change, can we please discuss it here? Helman's book is not peer-reviewed either and it's very clear from any map that the claim is erroneous. Let's not perpetuate factually inaccurate information simply because it found its way into a book. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JedKBrown (talkcontribs) 00:35, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Helman's book is a published you have a published source to support your claim? I don't know if Helman is right or not but I have seen the same figures in other published sources. We only write what we can based on reliable sources.--MONGO 01:02, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

User:MONGO, what is your favorite map? Because all modern maps, Google Earth, and satellite DEMs agree that the Hunza River 11 km north of Rakaposhi is at an elevation of 1890 meters (36°14'37" N, 74°29'25" E) while the summit is 7786 meters. I've stood there and ground-truthed it on my way further up the Hunza. If you'd prefer words instead of data, John Cleare, "The World Guide to Mountains and Mountaineering", 1979, p161: "Nearly 19,000ft (5,800m) above the Hunza River stands the bastion of Rakaposhi." This figure is about 100 m shy of reality, presumably due to old/inaccurate data. Are these sources sufficient to reinstate my change or otherwise correct the article? JedKBrown (talk) 06:16, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

We use only written published sources. One example I found in a few seconds was this one which states twice that McKinley is the tallest above its base. You may be confusing base for something else. A gorge 11 km away may not geologically speaking be the base of a peak. We can work on rephrasing and I am not opposed to wording that McKinley is one of the tallest peaks in the world above its base but however we word it, that must be referenced to a reliable source. Allow me a few days to look for more definitive answers.--MONGO 07:44, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
@JedKBrown: can we find more than one written reference that supports the issue of Rakaposhi? I'll look some more because it would be nice to get this sorted out.--MONGO 00:27, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
@MONGO: "There is no precise definition of surrounding base" (from Mountain). To get 5500 meters for Denali, you have to place the "base" out on the tundra beyond the foothills and 30 km from the summit. This is a very generous definition and Nanga Parbat has a more continuous grade for 6400 m in less horizontal. I used Rakaposhi instead of Nanga Parbat (both of which are the tallest in their vicinity) as a counter-point because it is a steeper grade and indisputably continuous from summit to river. As for printed sources, it is very clear that the books repeating the misconception about Denali are not using the terms precisely and are not peer reviewed (and peer review can miss a lot). As someone that grew up in Alaska, I've heard the statement repeated many times, but repeating it doesn't make it true. We're proud of our big mountain, but these people and the authors in question are not quantitatively comparing it to the likes of Rakaposhi and Nanga Parbat. In lieu of scholarly work with precise definitions, I think maps are the best source. (I don't see how the veracity of maps are affected by printing on paper, but there are many printed maps, any of which will confirm my statements.) I can look for other books that mention Rakaposhi or Nanga Parbat, but facts are not democratically elected and if Wikipedia is interested in facts, looking at a map will remove any doubt in this matter. JedKBrown (talk) 05:06, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
@MONGO: Page 47 of Gritzner's book says "This spectacular peak rises 20320 feet (6194 meters) above the surrounding plains, which are near sea level. No mountain in the world can match its vertical rise from base to peak in such a close horizontal distance." This is unambiguously erroneous because (a) the rivers even 50km away are at 500 meters, so quoting the full height of the mountain is imprecise, and (b) Nanga Parbat's 6400 meter rise is greater than the entire elevation of Mt McKinley in less than 25 km horizontal with no intermediate foothills. I have emailed the author in hopes that he will acknowledge the errata. I also attempted to write Helman some weeks ago, but he has not replied. JedKBrown (talk) 05:48, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
The problem with maps is that they are primary sources. The problem with writing the authors is that it is original research. Unfortunately we are bound by what the secondary sources say until a better source comes along. If writing the authors causes one of them to change their book (or to write a new book) then we'd have a good secondary-source, but we really need one to support the statement before we can start refuting other sources. Zaereth (talk) 06:11, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I've done a bit of checking online, like with google books, but can only find sources about Denali being the tallest. The Guinness book says Rakaposhi has the "sheerest" vertical rise, but only addresses Hawaii as the tallest. (It does say that Denali can be seen from the farthest distance.) Your best bet may be to write a book of your own, make some money, refute these claims yourself, and then wait for someone to add it to Wikipedia. (Just sayin'.) Zaereth (talk) 08:17, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Thats what I am seeing too. I agree with Jed that McKinley is likely not the worlds tallest peak above its land base but whenever we write about superlatives such as that we must follow what the reliable sources say even if they are wrong....otherwise we engage in original research. I have no problem rewriting the passage as I have suggested which would have the caveat that McKinley is one of but that isn't even what the sources say. I confess that I use maps all the time when I wrote short stub articles about mountains and take great leeway as to incorporating what I see but those don't have superlative statements.--MONGO 13:51, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
The secondary sources in question are demonstrably *unreliable* because they contradict the primary sources. WP:Using_maps_and_similar_sources_in_Wikipedia_articles says that it is appropriate to use maps "to source elevations, [...] or relative locations". Vertical rise is a statement about relative elevations and the data is staring us in the face. Can we either use the map to source a factual statement or simply remove the statement that is obviously false? Perpetuating a known-false statement seems contrary to the goals of Wikipedia. JedKBrown (talk) 20:24, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I think you misunderstand us slightly. The point is that while maps could be used to reference a specific point, we can't conjure up statements based just on what we see as that becomes a violation of a core policy which is no original research...this is especially the case when we make any superlative claim such as the ones proposed. It would be greatly preferable is we had written and published works that support and override what we currently have.--MONGO 11:51, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
If we had a precise definition of "base", then we could measure on the map and at least say that Rakaposhi and Nanga Parbat have greater elevation difference, thus contradicting the claim. But there is no universal definition of "base" (as stated in Mountain), so even though we are allowed to use measurements from the map as sources, and even though the statement is false with almost any imaginable definition of "base", we helplessly repeat folk legends because some secondary source wrote it down? Editors of other articles exercise discretion by choosing not to repeat fables and creationist propaganda as fact, though by the logic in this thread, the Creationists need only invent terms faster than the scientific literature can figure out what the terms mean and publish refutations. Should Wikipedia contain every published claim that isn't directly refuted by a majority of secondary sources? Does every printed document get a vote? Here we have secondary sources that might otherwise appear reliable, but make claims that are obviously wrong. Let's use discretion to avoid repeating them as fact. If you refuse to cite a map for an amendment to "one of the biggest", please just remove the statement entirely so that the article can be factual. JedKBrown (talk) 23:35, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The first thing to understand is that we are not against you here. Sure, we can arbitrarily remove it ... just to have it reverted again. That could lead to a nice edit-war and possibly to some great drama here on the talk page. Even if we get consensus from everybody, the information is still out there and will eventually get added again, and the whole thing begins anew. What we're suggesting is a more-permanent solution. Google books isn't everything, and there are plenty of places to look where reliable information can be found, but it may require some legwork on your part. (We looked around, but as the person who wants to make the change, the burden is really on you to do so.) This is why a really good, reliable source is the most desirable. (Personally, I don't feel qualified to interpret raw topographical-data from maps and then try to verify what you are saying, and many of our readers will feel the same way. Most of us will want to read it as interpreted by a qualified reliable-source.)
What we are talking about is not a statement of fact, but a superlative. You are always on tricky ground when dealing with the suffix "-est." Whose to really say what is the best, highest, tallest, tastiest, etc..., and what standards did they use. It is really just a conclusion based upon raw, available data, but we Wikipedians can't make those conclusions ourselves. If what you say is correct (which I do not doubt it very well could be), then you would think someone has written about. If not, then as technology advances I'm sure they will write about it soon, because people love their superlatives. (My suggestion above to you was sincere, and not outside the realm of possibility.) Zaereth (talk) 00:12, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Using_maps_and_similar_sources_in_Wikipedia_articles says "It is quite in order to state the “Valley X is ‘U’ shaped with glacial moraine at its entrance”". This appears to grant that at least some editors have sufficient expertise to reach this conclusion without relying on secondary sources. I want to use an equally simple observation (elevation at two nearby coordinates, given earlier in this thread) as a counter-example to the claim made by a secondary source. I don't need to say that Rakaposhi or Nanga Parbat is the highest (to do that, you'd have to define the terms and look at a lot of maps, which I'll grant qualifies as original research). I only want to justify removing the false statement. If a hypothetical secondary source said "Zaereth lives in the highest elevation residential dwelling in the world", would it be incumbent on the editors to find two or more published sources claiming a different dwelling is highest, or would it be enough to identify cities that are higher? As a mathematician and scientist, a counter-example is all that is required to refute a claim. Since the counter-example can be verified with only a passing familiarity with maps (certainly within the scope of the WP guidelines above), I think it should be admissible as evidence to classify the printed source as unreliable. I originally came here because a friend repeated the statement and when I pointed out counter-examples, he was embarrassed and wondered why the Wikipedia page was incorrect. I've never gotten this much resistance to correcting a factual error on Wikipedia before. I have my own science to do and cannot justify the time to write a book just to fix a simple factual error. Finally, I'm optimistic that we can delete the statement without causing an edit war. Surely there are more controversial pages on Wikipedia, to which a great body of published-but-unreliable material applies, yet the editors use discretion to keep the articles factual. JedKBrown (talk) 01:02, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I understand what you are saying, but how many times are you prepared to explain it? I have a very reliable source that says the beaches of Ecuador are higher than Everest, simply because the Earth is not round but oblong shaped. It all depends on a point of reference.
My point is this: I know a losing battle when I see one and I'm trying to help you avoid that. Eventually you will grow tired of defending this point you have so eloquently made and the statement will get added again. Somebody, somewhere will read it and try to add it, I predict sooner than later. Unless you can provide a source I'm afraid you may be fighting it a long time, and battlefields are not what we want to turn this place into. If you can't change it immediately it is not the end of the world, but patience and a little elbow-grease will serve you well on this. Zaereth (talk) 01:20, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
As a simple, immediate, and maintainable compromise that avoids outright factual errors, could we change the wording to "some authors [cite Helman] consider the base-to-peak rise to be the largest of any mountain situated entirely above sea level [this is disputed, see talk page]."? JedKBrown (talk) 02:48, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

I think this whole discussion about "factual errors" in base to peak rise misses the point, because there are no facts, nor is there a definition of the subject being spoken about. If Guinness or anyone else wants to define "base-to-peak rise", we can report it, but we should report it along with their definition, or at least a reference. There could be multiple sources with differing definitions, and we could report them all. But we cannot define it ourselves, nor can we create a category where none exists. I don't think we even know Helman's definition. Merely citing data about the elevation gain over a certain distance (which doesn't even satisfy the intuitive notion of base-to-peak rise anyway, for which we would need a circumference at the lower elevation) doesn't create a noteworthy category "base-to-peak rise" for mountains. I think the best we can do here is to say something clearly factual like "Helman (2005) reports Denali to have the greatest base to peak rise of any terrestrial mountain, at 5500 meters," along with any other relevant contradictory *published* statements we can find. Automeris (talk) 21:43, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

This source says that Rakaposhi is the only peak which drops uninterrupted for 6000m. --Guajara3718 (talk) 12:55, 25 April 2015 (UTC)