Monday, March 31, 2008

Happy Anniversary "Oddball" Earth

False-color satellite image of Chimborazo (center, left), Carihuairazo (10km northwest of Chimborazo), Tungurahua (center, right with ash plume) and El Altar (bottom, right), Ecuador. Pale blue indicates snow/ice cover, bright green indicates lush vegetation, and red indicates sparser vegetation. Tungurahua’s volcanic ash plume appears in lavender. Image width is 78km, image direction is top to North. Image Credit: Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory, based on data provided by the Landsat 7 science team and the University of Maryland’s Global Land Cover Facility.

Happy Anniversary "Oddball" Earth

An interesting fact was revealed in a highlighted segment of the mornings news on ABC7 one year ago today, Los Angeles and that is - Mount Everest is NOT the tallest place on Earth, ie. the place on Earth that would be the closest spot next to any other celestial object.

The segment pointed out that the Earth is not perfectly spherical. The Earth has a shape that a beach ball would assume when someone sits on the ball. Kind of an oval silhouette type of shape known formally as an "Oblate Spheroid"! ... Hence the name of this weblog.

The point here is that when one takes this spheroid shape into consideration ... the "tallest" place on Earth would be located logically somewhere around the Equator and it has been found as a volcano in Ecuador.

Mount Chimborazo is located in the Cordillera Occidental of the Andes of central Ecuador, 150 km (93 miles) south-southwest of the capital Quito.

The shadow of Chimborazo as seen from the top of the mountain. Image Credit: Gerd Breitenbach

This description from Wikipedia -

Farthest point from earth center

Although the summit of Mount Everest reaches a higher elevation above sea level, the summit of Chimborazo is widely reported to be the farthest point from earth center (Senne 2000), although this could be challenged by Huascarán. Chimborazo is just one degree south of the equator and the earth's diameter at the equator is greater than at Everest's latitude (nearly 28° north), with sea level also being elevated. So, despite being 2,581 m (8,568 ft) lower in elevation above sea level, it is 6,384.4 km (3,968 mi) from the Earth's center, 2.1 km farther than the summit of Everest.

Mount Chimborazo as viewed from the Southwest. Image Credit: Wikipedia
Reference Here>>

After eating some rats and nearly being killed by a mudslide in Baños, we took off more or less at random and decided for the other side of Chimborazo. First day of approach walking up scree slopes with big packs. Then we didn't feel like going to the summit the next day (that is to say, Vincent was altitude-sick, as usual), so we just went for some ice-climbing on the face on a route that led to nowhere. Basically the rule was: "go where it's steepest". In fact it is hard for us ice climbers to find any routes of technical interest on those gentle-sloped volcanoes. Well, we managed to find a couple pitches of 80° ice. The rock around is real bad though. Image Credit: Guillaume Dargaud

Traditional summit picture on Chimborazo, this time with some sun. The Altar is visible on the right and Iliniza (?) on the left. The Altar is not very well known but it is one of the nicest mountains of Ecuador. It is also one of the hardest, having been first climbed only in the 50's by an italian team. Image Credit: Guillaume Dargaud

With this change in perspective, it's funny ya' know but the gentlemen pictured above did not know that they had just scaled the tallest point on the planet Earth.

Poll Answers


Who was the first person to climb and conquer Chimborazo and replace Sir Edmund Hillary as the first person to the "Top Of The World"?

Any comments?

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