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Thread: Denali says hello...

  1. #1
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    Denali says hello...

    I was out running some errands and even though we’re overcast here in the Peters Creek area, Denali made an appearance on the horizon. Mt. Foraker is on the far left and I think that’s Mt. Hunter in between.

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    Nice. How much zoom do you have on that?
    Here's a similar view from somewhere near the Skwentna River.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Grant Hutchison

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    Great photo Peterscreek. At first glance I thought that they were icebergs on the ocean and it took a few seconds for me to realise that they were mountains peeping/looming over some hills.

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    I was weirdly hoping it was erupting, but it's not even a volcano.
    Only time I've seen it was in Anchorage, in January, where the US Army sent me for "annual summer training" in 1974. It was quite pretty from the barracks window in Fort Richardson, for the 2 or 3 hours a day of daylight.
    Fun fact: About October, the Army had sent me a letter warning that I would be called for "annual summer training" in January. I joked to my parents that it would probably be Ft. Richardson, AK. I should have suggested someplace warmer.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    I was out running some errands and even though we’re overcast here in the Peters Creek area, Denali made an appearance on the horizon. Mt. Foraker is on the far left and I think that’s Mt. Hunter in between.

    Nice!
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    I was out running some errands and even though we’re overcast here in the Peters Creek area, Denali made an appearance on the horizon. Mt. Foraker is on the far left and I think that’s Mt. Hunter in between.
    Isn't there a substantial waterway between you and those mountains? The Knik Arm or Cook Inlet?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Nice. How much zoom do you have on that?
    A fair bit since cell phones tend to make things look farther away, thanks to wide angle lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Selenite View Post
    Isn't there a substantial waterway between you and those mountains? The Knik Arm or Cook Inlet?
    Yes, along that line of sight lie the Knik Arm, Wasilla, and Talkeetna...more or less.
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  8. #8
    Like.
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    Say “hello” back!

    Almost 30 years since I have seen my old friend.
    A: "Things that are equal to the same are equal to each other"
    B: "The two sides of this triangle are things that are equal to the same"
    C: "If A and B are true, Z must be true"
    D: "If A and B and C are true, Z must be true"
    E: "If A and B and C and D are true, Z must be true"

    Therefore, Z: "The two sides of this triangle are equal to each other"

  10. #10
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    Wow! That's especially impressive given that Denali is at least 200 km away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    Wow! That's especially impressive given that Denali is at least 200 km away.
    That's what I was thinking. I've seen Denali from Resolution Park in Anchorage, but it was "far and wee", to quote E.E. Cummings.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    Wow! That's especially impressive given that Denali is at least 200 km away.
    Double wow about it being impressive. With my pretty abysmal grasp of Alaskan geography I assumed that it was only about 20 or 30 km away. Living in a state devoid of any actual mountains I am easily caught out in such a way. Our highest point, in an area of more than 2.5 million km˛, is 1, 249 metres as against Mt Denali's 6,190 metres!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Double wow about it being impressive. With my pretty abysmal grasp of Alaskan geography I assumed that it was only about 20 or 30 km away. Living in a state devoid of any actual mountains I am easily caught out in such a way. Our highest point, in an area of more than 2.5 million km˛, is 1, 249 metres as against Mt Denali's 6,190 metres!
    All day I've been wondering how much of that mountain lies out of sight because it is below the horizon and behind that hill in the middle ground. I think I've figured it out...

    The image was taken at an elevation of about 107 m, and Denali is about 203 km away. The hill between Denali and Mt. Hunter is about 39.5 km away at an elevation of 466 m, and I'll use that as the height of the obscuring terrain. I figure this geometry leaves ~5007 m of Denali below the line of sight to the crest of that hill. So we're seeing somewhat more than the upper 1183 m of the mountain, or 19% of its height. That's one big mountain.

    (Even without considering atmospheric effects, I keep thinking I've made a mistake in calculating these angles. Happy to be corrected.)

    ETA: The ground level view using Google Earth doesn't show Mt. Hunter. It's ~192 km away and stands at 4441 m. Using the same reasoning as above puts its peak out of sight. I suspect atmospheric effects were helping get this amazing view.
    Last edited by Torsten; 2020-Dec-14 at 03:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    That's one big mountain.
    It's one of the biggest in the world, measured from the base.
    A: "Things that are equal to the same are equal to each other"
    B: "The two sides of this triangle are things that are equal to the same"
    C: "If A and B are true, Z must be true"
    D: "If A and B and C are true, Z must be true"
    E: "If A and B and C and D are true, Z must be true"

    Therefore, Z: "The two sides of this triangle are equal to each other"

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    That sure tops my view. On a clear day I can see the top of our local Mt Trashmore landfill located ~10 miles away. :-(

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Fun fact: About October, the Army had sent me a letter warning that I would be called for "annual summer training" in January. I joked to my parents that it would probably be Ft. Richardson, AK. I should have suggested someplace warmer.
    Coulda been worse: Fort Wainwright, "Home of the Arctic Warrior".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    All day I've been wondering how much of that mountain lies out of sight because it is below the horizon and behind that hill in the middle ground. I think I've figured it out...

    The image was taken at an elevation of about 107 m, and Denali is about 203 km away. The hill between Denali and Mt. Hunter is about 39.5 km away at an elevation of 466 m, and I'll use that as the height of the obscuring terrain. I figure this geometry leaves ~5007 m of Denali below the line of sight to the crest of that hill. So we're seeing somewhat more than the upper 1183 m of the mountain, or 19% of its height. That's one big mountain.

    (Even without considering atmospheric effects, I keep thinking I've made a mistake in calculating these angles. Happy to be corrected.)

    ETA: The ground level view using Google Earth doesn't show Mt. Hunter. It's ~192 km away and stands at 4441 m. Using the same reasoning as above puts its peak out of sight. I suspect atmospheric effects were helping get this amazing view.
    PeakFinder is pretty helpful in these situations.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I gave it the lat/long of Peter's Creek on Google Earth and let it choose the elevation from its own terrain model. I found I needed to lift the viewpoint 10m off the "ground" to reproduce the photograph.
    This link should take you to it: https://www.peakfinder.org/?lat=61.4...er%27s%20Creek
    PeakFinder uses a standard model for refraction, which I can't recall off the top of my head but can look up if you're interested--I corresponded with Fabio some time ago, because I once did some research on the intervisibility of different mountains in Scotland, and I was curious what allowance he made. I guess there's also the issue of Earth curvature, which will be significantly different from average at those latitudes. I don't know if PeakFinder has a good model for oblateness.
    Anyway, it seems that a modest increase in elevation over Google Earth's model, or a modest increase in refraction, will produce the view in the photograph.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by 21st Century Schizoid Man View Post
    It's one of the biggest in the world, measured from the base.
    Measured from the centre of the Earth, it turns out to be pretty low. It's a curiosity of latitude that the summit of Denali, despite being the highest point in the USA, is closer to the centre of the Earth than the lowest point in the USA, in Death Valley.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    PeakFinder is pretty helpful in these situations.
    Thanks for that link. I immediately downloaded their PeakFinder AR app.

    I gave it the lat/long of Peter's Creek on Google Earth and let it choose the elevation from its own terrain model. I found I needed to lift the viewpoint 10m off the "ground" to reproduce the photograph.
    I was down the road in the Birchwood community but that's only a couple of kilometers away or so. I can't think of a place I could stand in Peters Creek and get that view. Trees, ya know. Anyway, I had pulled over in front of the elementary school, so I plugged those coordinates into PeakFinder with the camera height set at zero. After some cropping and resizing, I came up with a pretty fair match.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Measured from the centre of the Earth, it turns out to be pretty low. It's a curiosity of latitude that the summit of Denali, despite being the highest point in the USA, is closer to the centre of the Earth than the lowest point in the USA, in Death Valley.

    Grant Hutchison
    One thing I remember that I found curious when I visited Denali 20 years ago was how low an altitude the tree line was. For mountains in temperate zones, the tree line is usually 2000 to 3000 meters. On Denali it is like 1000 meters, because the climate is already so harsh. Driving around much of the park there seemed to be very few tall trees, just a lot of shruby stuff.
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    A complete aside, on our way from Anchorage to Denali, we stopped for lunch in Talkeetna. Very cute town (and supposedly the model for Cicely in Northern Exposure). I had a really terrific roast beef sandwich (still remember it after 20 years) and a bowl of soup at some little lunch place there.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    PeakFinder is pretty helpful in these situations.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2020-12-14 16_47_23-PeakFinder - Peter's Creek – Mozilla Firefox.png 
Views:	9 
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    I gave it the lat/long of Peter's Creek on Google Earth and let it choose the elevation from its own terrain model. I found I needed to lift the viewpoint 10m off the "ground" to reproduce the photograph.
    This link should take you to it: https://www.peakfinder.org/?lat=61.4...er%27s%20Creek
    PeakFinder uses a standard model for refraction, which I can't recall off the top of my head but can look up if you're interested--I corresponded with Fabio some time ago, because I once did some research on the intervisibility of different mountains in Scotland, and I was curious what allowance he made. I guess there's also the issue of Earth curvature, which will be significantly different from average at those latitudes. I don't know if PeakFinder has a good model for oblateness.
    Anyway, it seems that a modest increase in elevation over Google Earth's model, or a modest increase in refraction, will produce the view in the photograph.

    Grant Hutchison
    More than helpful Grant, it's brilliant.

    I went back to Google Earth (GE) to the spot closest to where I think Brett took the picture that doesn't require rounding of the seconds portion of the coordinates, and put that location into Peakfinder. Its model says the elevation is 113 m, whereas GE reports 108 m, and the spot I used yesterday was 107 m. No camera elevation adjustment is necessary.

    https://www.peakfinder.org/?lat=61.3...0-12-14T18:22Z

    In the photograph there is a line of cloud obscuring the lowest portions of Mt Foraker. The Fin just shows up. By extending that line to the right, it shows that the peaks between Foraker and Hunter that Peakfinder shows are obscured in the photo. The model is really good!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    A complete aside, on our way from Anchorage to Denali, we stopped for lunch in Talkeetna. Very cute town (and supposedly the model for Cicely in Northern Exposure). I had a really terrific roast beef sandwich (still remember it after 20 years) and a bowl of soup at some little lunch place there.
    The Wife and I really like Talkeetna. Sadly, Mayor Stubbs passed away about four years ago but the town is still as eccentric as ever. But it has changed a bit. My favorite brewery (Alaska's second largest) is a bit outside the edge of the outskirts of town and they operate a brewpub in the town center. Many/most of our art pieces are local.
    Last edited by PetersCreek; 2020-Dec-14 at 07:38 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    One thing I remember that I found curious when I visited Denali 20 years ago was how low an altitude the tree line was. For mountains in temperate zones, the tree line is usually 2000 to 3000 meters. On Denali it is like 1000 meters, because the climate is already so harsh. Driving around much of the park there seemed to be very few tall trees, just a lot of shruby stuff.
    Interesting. In the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland, five or six degrees farther south than Denali, we don't really have any completely natural tree-lines, but the temperature data suggest about 750m. No-one ever seems to have established a forest at that altitude, however, and the evidence from Gaelic placenames suggests the true tree-line is about 100m lower, probably limited by wind.
    There's a little patch of larch at Bachnagairn in Glen Clova, which I've been visiting for a good fifty years now, during which time it has very noticeably expanded, creeping up the hillside to something distinctly over 600m. It was orginally planted as a windbreak for a hunting lodge in the throat of the glen, and there's general surprise in the area that it survived, let alone seems to be thriving.

    Grant Hutchison

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    I had thought about the Earth's oblateness and how inaccurate a simple circular model would be at that location, how much the distances reported by Google Earth's model would differ from line of sight, etc.

    Now I wonder how much of those mountains would appear on photos taken on different clear days. Maybe I need to learn about atmospheric refraction...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    Now I wonder how much of those mountains would appear on photos taken on different clear days. Maybe I need to learn about atmospheric refraction...
    I'll try to remember to follow up when both we and Denali have clear days.
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    Great pic! reminded me of this one taken by a friend in April 2019

    Click image for larger version. 

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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    One thing I remember that I found curious when I visited Denali 20 years ago was how low an altitude the tree line was. For mountains in temperate zones, the tree line is usually 2000 to 3000 meters. On Denali it is like 1000 meters, because the climate is already so harsh. Driving around much of the park there seemed to be very few tall trees, just a lot of shruby stuff.
    I took this photo four years ago, and if memory serves, it's about 21 km SW of Cantwell, and about 92 km east of the peak of Denali, where the highway passes through an area of fens and bogs at an elevation of about 700 m. Low tree line indeed.



    Where I grew up on the BC coast, at 54N, tree line is typically around 1200 m, but really varies with exposure, slope, and so on. I still live at the same latitude but in the interior of the province, and tree line here is usually around 1600-1700 m.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    I'll try to remember to follow up when both we and Denali have clear days.
    Oh oh, what have I done?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    Thanks for that link. I immediately downloaded their PeakFinder AR app.
    It's one of the few apps I actually added to my phone. Useful for settling the "Do you think that's Schiehallion in the distance?" arguments that occur when I'm sitting on a mountaintop with my walking buddies. I never managed to get it to correctly overlay the annotated view on my phone camera, but that's because my phone compass doesn't work, which is because I have a magnetic phone cover. But simply popping up the view for your current location and swiping around the horizon to find the right direction gets the job done.

    I also used it to provide some background information for a spoof gear review I wrote for April Fool's Day a few years ago.

    Grant Hutchison

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