Hi and thanks for your vote on my mountain page.
What improvements would you suggest to rate the site 4 stars?
Actully, after a closer look I must re-vote and give the page 4 stars. The photos are awesome. I was schedualed to travel to Peru in early July to do some climbing but my wife and I are expecting a baby at around the same time. I decided that I should stay close to home. Maybe next year.
Very good and informative page
Excellent Job !!! Very very fine photographs. Excellent route description and a very unique and insightful inclusion of the journal and periodical references !!! Great !!, just Great!! Thank you for taking time and caring and sharing your knowledge and insight on this peak !!
Fantastic Page for a fantastic Peak! Thanks for all the hard work!
Great page for a marvelous peak
Bautiful mountain and photos!
According to John Biggar, Tocllaraju is about 5980 meters in elevation, based on satellite topography data.
Thanks for pointing this out. I've looked into this, and considering that Biggar is one of the experts when it comes to peak elevations in the Andes, I've changed the elevation on the page from its previous value of 6034 down to 5980 m. I've now climbed one 6000-er less ;-).
Frankly, I think it would be a good thing if there were a new scientific expedition to the Cordillera Blanca to accurately measure all the main summits. The recent SRTM data are quite useful to detect significant errors (or deviations, if you will) from the measurements made in the first half of the previous century, but SRTM data are generally not good enough to give an accurate elevation for pointy summits. That said, if the SRTM data point to 5980 m, I agree with Biggar that it's unlikely that the actual summit lies above 6000 m, let alone 34 m higher.
I think we all know how many important international scientific mountaineering expeditions for decades have tried to determine the exact altitude of different 8000s, including Everest. This fact gives us the confirmation of the difficulty of determining with accuracy the elevation of a peak also with the use of sophisticated scientific instrumentation. Without wishing to question the authority of Biggar concerning listing of the Andes altitudes, it seems at least premature to change a historically elevation as defined in all the maps and guidebooks of various international authors and in official documents only on the basis of measurements taken by Biggar. The reputation of our site (SP) requires surely more authoritative confirmation!
I agree that SummitPost should provide the best possible information. As for elevations in the Cordillera Blanca, many were measured by the DAV expeditions in the 1930's, and while I have great respect for the scientists that did that, it can't be expected that they got every elevation perfectly accurate. Their measurements are only as good as their equipment would allow.
One of the outcomes of the DAV expeditions were the two Alpenvereinskarten of the Cordillera Blanca. They are still among the best maps around. However, as soon as an elevation appears on a map (or in a book), few people bother to look any further, so other maps and books will quote the same elevation. The fact that a particular elevation is on every map and in every book only implies that it hasn't been questioned until recently. Even after new official measurements are made, new editions and even totally new books and maps often keep repeating the old elevation.
Modern day satellite technology means far superior measurement methods and equipment, and elevations can be determined much more accurately than in the 30's. I presume that eventually the Peruvian IGN will deem it important enough to make a modern, accurate map, and determine the elevations using current techniques. Until then, we'll have to make do with SRTM data as the next best thing. SRTM has its limits, but if Biggar concludes that SRTM data show that Tocclaraju is less than 6000 m, I'll accept that. It's no definite proof, but it would be misleading to keep repeating the older values of 6032 or 5034 m if it's probably much lower.