American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

China, Higher than Mt. Everest?

  • Notes
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1945

China

Higher than Mt. Everest? In March, 1944, a pilot based at Chungking reported sighting a peak in Sikang Province, Western China, which appeared to be higher than Mt. Everest. Our member, Mr. Terris Moore, wrote a reply to the New York Times, from which we quote: “A little more information from the pilot would clarify his interesting discovery. If he could reveal: (a) the approximate latitude and longitude of his mountain, (b) its approximate distance in air miles from Chungking, a reasonably accurate opinion could be formed of the new peak’s being higher than Everest. If it is of the order of 300 air miles distant from Chungking, and especially if anywhere within 100 miles of Lat. 29° N., Long. 102° E., the new peak is almost certainly Minya Konka, hitherto considered the highest in Sikang Province, and the American ascent of which is fully recorded. It is reasonably certain that nothing over 25,000 ft. exists within 100 miles of Minya Konka. Ground parties have already covered the rest of Sikang Province in pre-war years sufficiently well to make it reasonably sure that nothing higher than Minya Konka exists elsewhere in Sikang. If, however, the new aerial discovery is of the order of 600 air miles from Chungking, and if it is also within about 100 miles of Lat. 35° N., Long. 100° E., the discovery is of great interest to geographers. This would place it in the Amne Machin Range of Tsinghai Province, the last remaining unexplored mountain range that has any reasonable chance at all of harboring a peak higher than Everest. The highest summit of the Amne Machin Range, as yet untriangulated, is a very high peak indeed, and may be higher than Everest, though the chances have hitherto been considered probably against it.”

Since the above was written, two American planes went out to check on the peak, which proved to be in the Amne Machin Range. It was necessary to go above 30,000 ft. in order to fly over it, but doubt is expressed as to its being higher than Everest.

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