National Geographic : 1891 Apr 30
40 Herbert G. Ogden-Geography of the Land. returned with notes, specimens, and data of the greatest interest. The topography was sketched over an area of about one thou sand square miles, and includes the determination of the geo graphical position and elevation of Mount St. Elias and many neighboring peaks. Mount St. Elias is indicated to be not so high by some 4,000 feet as the heretofore accepted elevation, 19,500 feet. The difficulties attending the determination of the height of this mountain are so great that the range between the extreme elevations that have been given by different explorers is nearly 6,000 feet. This is believed to be the first height for it that has been derived from a carefully measured base, and it therefore should receive great weight. But I regret to say that in the chain of triangles connecting with the top of the mount ain, the difficulty of placing well-conditioned triangles seems to have been so great that the observers were forced to accept very small included angles, which necessarily casts a doubt upon the resulting distances. We must therefore accept the new eleva tion with caution until it is verified by further observations. The party was unfortunately prevented from reaching the top of Mount St. Elias by severe storms, but the ascent was so nearly accomplished that Mr. Russell is confident he found a practica ble route; and it seems probable that had he been started ten days or two weeks earlier the first ascent of Mount St. Elias would have been recorded as a part of the work of the expedi tion. The full report of this expedition is now nearing completion, and will be published by the Society at an early date. To this I must refer you for the interesting details, and experiences en countered by the explorers. The expedition was organized by the Society, but in congratu lating ourselves we should not forget that our thanks are due to the United States Geological Survey for the assignment of officers to conduct the work in the field and for assistance rendered in the organization ; and we may hope the substantial results that have been secured will prove as pleasing to that great national work as they are to your board of managers. lWashington, January 23, 1891.
1891 Mar 28