Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ulugh Muztagh

Ulugh Muztagh, also Ulugh Muztag, is an extremely remote mountain group on the Northern Tibet plateau. It is part of the Kunlun Mountains of Central Asia.

For a long time its elevation was thought to be as high as 7,723 metres, but it was measured by a 1985 expedition, who established its true elevation of 6,973 m, which has since been confirmed by SRTM data and modern high resolution Chinese topographic mapping. The subsidiary West Peak was climbed by a expedition in 2003 and a height of 6925 meters was confirmed for Ulugh Muztagh II.

The 7,723 metre elevation claim was made by the English country gentleman and explorer St George Littledale in 1895. Despite the fact that earlier explorers had put forward elevations several hundred metres lower, and the scientific 6,973 metre measurement made in 1985, the Littledale elevation has been so resilient that even into the 21st century it still remains the most widely quoted; it is found in generally reliable publications including the ''Times Atlas'', ''Encyclopedia Britannica'', and fact books.

Other remote Tibetan mountains whose elevations have been established by SRTM and modern Chinese mapping include:
* Nganglong Kangri, , 6,720 m, but still often quoted at 7,315 m
* Amne Machin , , 6,282 m, but still often quoted at 7,160 m
* Buka Daban Feng, , 6,860 m, but still quoted much higher
* Zangser Kangri, , 6,540 m, but still sometimes quoted at 6,940 m.

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