Teaching Students About Mount Whitney’s Height

When teaching students about Mount Whitney’s height, there are several key points to cover:

1. Mount Whitney is the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, with a summit elevation of 14,505 feet (4,421 meters).

2. There are several ways to measure a mountain’s height, including elevation above sea level, prominence (the vertical distance between a mountain summit and the base of the lowest contour line encircling it and no higher summit), and topographic prominence (the height difference between the summit and the highest point that must be crossed to get to a higher mountain).

3. The elevation of Mount Whitney has been measured using a variety of methods, including satellite imaging, laser altimetry, and traditional surveying techniques.

4. The peak was named after Josiah Whitney, a prominent geologist and surveyor who conducted detailed surveys of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the mid-1800s.

5. Climbing Mount Whitney is a popular activity for outdoor enthusiasts, with three main routes to the summit: the Whitney Portal Trail, the Mountaineers Route, and the John Muir Trail.

6. Students may also be interested in learning about the geologic history of the Sierra Nevada range and the unique ecosystem of the mountaintop, which includes alpine tundra and rare plant species.

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