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Look who made it to the top of Kilimanjaro this week!
Friday 7th September 2007
A Swiss mapping company who have recently visited Kilimanjaro in order to produce a new and accurate (at last!) map of the mountain, have confirmed that Uhuru Peak remains the highest point in Africa. They also confirmed that the height is 5895m – the traditional figure you’ll see on certificates and in books, and one that contradicts the estimate of another group of scientists a few years ago, who estimated the height to be 5892.55m.
What is perhaps most interesting about their survey, however, is that Furtwangler Point, a spot on the crater rim around 220m west of Uhuru, is only slightly shorter at 5894m.
You’ll note that both these figures have rounded up or down to the nearest whole number. Therefore, Furtwangler could be 5894.49cm (which means it would be rounded down to 5894m), while Uhuru could be just 5894.51m (which means it would be rounded up at 5895m.). In other words, there could be just 2cm difference in height between them.
So, given the number of people who stand at Uhuru Peak every year, the relatively soft soil at the top, the number of times the summit board blows down, digging up the earth, and the harsh wind and weather conditions which the peak is subjected to, it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that, in time, Uhuru Peak could eventually be eroded to the extent that it loses its place as the highest point in Africa to its neighbour!
We, of course, hope that doesn’t happen -
We suggest to those about to embark on their Kilimanjaro climb that, should they make it to Uhuru, that they continue on for a couple of hundred metres to Furtwangler – just to be sure!