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#81139 - 11/14/10 07:58 PM The most boring topic ever !
Doug Sr Offline


Member

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 2421
Loc: Whitney
Hi This will be about as exciting as watching concrete dry.

The last several days I went on the hunt for Benchmarks , these are set to record the elevation of that location and over the years are checked and adjustments are made. Some of these date back as far as 1905 , so they have a history, in many ways the roads did not exist, towns come and go and the trails are changed from game trails to foot paths.

One can go to NOAA.NGS.gov and search for datasheets and several ways are there to help you get the history. Several things are needed . First where they started from and how far it is away from that starting point TO THE Benchmark (BM) WHO SET THE MARK, AND THE ORDER, THE YEAR AND THE STAMPING ON THE MARK.

Next the person that set the mark will write a story of how you can find the mark . That person may or may not help you , example the mark is 120'n/w of the tree and on a large rock 14 miles from Lone Pine The distance is from the Post Office.

First is it the same post office and was the tree used for firewood ? also floods took out many rocks over the years and is this air miles or on the ground. So some clues are truck travel miles and "end of truck travel" This is where they started walking , was it on a trail or cross country , again how that is said will be a clue if it says north 1850' most likely it will be crosscountry if it says follow the use trail/ trail/ path start your distance on the trail and carry it as you walk.



OK with all the new toys several hints will get you to these points fast get the datasheet find the NAD83 position plug it into your GPS make sure your unit is set for NAD 83 , note the elevation of the BM and if you can a short note what you will find. Load some of these around your house and see if it works?

Now to the story how high is Whitney ??? We can either make something up or re measure the Vertical difference from Known adjusted Benchmarks in the Valley and add the corrected vertical difference to the elevation of record and calculate a elevation on the summit for that day and that time. Starting to get the ideal why it has not been done since 1928??

If enough existing BM's can be found from town to the summit (at least one First/Second Order Bm each mile) we may see if it is an ideal we can work with the Forest Service/ Park Service to get a permit to run the levels from the Portal to the summit.


Ok I have found the following BM's

Starting in town E44

206 FMK 1974 IN THE PARK

207 FMK 1974 CAP GONE

208 FMK 1974

209 FMK 1974

210 FMK 1974




F-44 1925

X 1161 RESET 1990


P 44 1925 ? STAMPING NOT CLEAR

WHITE 1962 A STATION I WILL CHECK FOR BM ORDER

K 44

210 FVK 1974

C 44 RESET 1984

212 FMK 1974

217 FMK 1974

B 44

W 1161 CAP GONE

W 1161 1962

A 44

222 FMK 1974

V 1161

223 FMK 1974

Z 43

224 FMK 1974

U 1161

225 FMK 1974

226 FMK 1974


Y 43 RESET 1984

227 FMK 1974

228 FMK 1974

Y 44


T 1161

229 FMK 1974

X 43

P 600 OLD ROAD S/O LP CAMPGROUND

N 600 '' ''

229 FMK 1974

230 FMK 1974

X 43

231 FMK 1974

232 FMK 1974

233 FMK 1974

P 600

234 FMK 1974

235 FMK 1974

236 FMK 1974

237 FMK 1974

238 FMK 1974

239 FMK 1974

240 FMK 1974

241 FMK 1974

M 600

242 FMK 1974

247 FMK 1974


P-2 1978 ENTRANCE TO PORTAL CAMPGROUND


325 DOR 1976 Near the VORTEX S/S OF ROAD

COR 1976 (A STATION) Above group site, near the drain below Admin

P 593 50' EAST OF THE STORE

8373 B 1905 PICNIC AREA

Q 593 1 MILE UP THE TRAIL BETWEEN THE OLD TRAIL AND

EXISTING TRAIL


A 72 1.5 MILES +/- UP THE TRAIL N/O THE TRAIL AND

NEAR THE LONG SWITCHBACK BELOW THE CHUTE EXITING THOR






Many of the BM's going above Lone Pine Lake have details that should make them easy to find .

Example from the datasheet X 71

17.4 MI W FROM LONE PINE.

17.4 MILES WEST ALONG A ROAD AND A TRAIL LEADING TO MT. WHITNEY FROM LONE PINE, INYO COUNTY, AT THE UPPER END OF THE MEADOW ABOVE LONE PINE LAKE, AT THE POINT WHERE THE TRAIL CROSSES A CREEK ,25 FEET EAST OF THE TRAIL, 10' SOUTH OF THE CREEK, IN THE TOP OF WEST END OF A LARGE GRANITE BOULDER (20'- BY 8- FEET), AND ABOUT 4 FEET ABOVE THE LEVEL OF THE GROUND. A STANDARD DISK, STAMPED X 71 1928


So this may be Outpost camp area one of the three creek crossing and was the trail now even close to the same location

I think the BM is on the rock on the right side of the trail just before you cross the creek near where people camp in the open area.


If you are heading up before the snow covers the upper section maybe give it a try, try the GPS. Focus on the logic of why set it at this point and they should be easy to see, they were not hid . You may become part of history , you can make a recovery note and sent a record to NGS they will update the information.

Last thing is a joke but held some truth if a point says only visited by a light tender , that was a clue they had hired local farm kids and had them hike to the tops of hills and turn on a light at a certain time .They would write the "story" on how to reach the point, so many times local Names were used and they would travel on back roads/ shortcuts across another farmers land ,jump fences . Most of these BM's should be easy to find I have not used any thing yet to find any of the ones I have found other than the notes and the trip milage on my truck. Thanks Doug


Edited by Doug Sr (01/31/11 05:05 PM)

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#81140 - 11/14/10 08:11 PM Re: The most boring topic ever ! [Re: Doug Sr]
Bee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 382
Loc: Northern Ca
We used to play a game called Orienteering which involved certain navigational clues/compass headings in order to find a hidden item. It sounds like a fun variation of this game could be had by using these Benchmarks. However, it would be required that only those who enjoy watching concrete dry or the equally intriguing activity of watching grass grow could participate.
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#81141 - 11/14/10 11:35 PM Re: The most boring topic ever ! [Re: Doug Sr]
jlovegren Offline
Member

Registered: 09/11/05
Posts: 43
Loc: SoCal
Doug Sr.
I have been thinking about a Mt.W. tattoo of the altitude on my left ankle, so I would sure like to have the altitude right! I have been waiting for a real altitude otherwise it would be like having "Mt. Whitknee" permanently written on my leg. Keep us updated with your progress!

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#81150 - 11/16/10 04:58 AM Benchmarksmanship [Re: Doug Sr]
hightinerary Offline
Member

Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 751
Loc: Maryland
Slow down, Doug! Leave some for me to find!

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#82488 - 01/31/11 05:10 PM Re: Benchmarksmanship [Re: hightinerary]
Doug Sr Offline


Member

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 2421
Loc: Whitney
HI OK walked up yesterday and found another BM , sad news is I read a report about Rainier being resurveyed the third time and a reported elevation of 14,532 (POB) Survey mag.


Edited by Doug Sr (01/31/11 05:18 PM)

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#82489 - 01/31/11 05:23 PM Re: Benchmarksmanship [Re: Doug Sr]
bulldog34 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 556
Loc: Atlanta
Wow! That's a big difference from the official elevation of 14,411 (which I guess is really 14,420 or so after last year's sea level adjustment?). I would think that's a pretty large margin of error for surveying - 120 feet? Hopefully it won't stick. Don't the folks in Washington know that if they're crowned with the highest peak in the lower 48, a tramway and a summit Starbucks is then mandatory?!

And I don't think the Thompsons are moving . . .

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#82490 - 01/31/11 05:32 PM Re: Benchmarksmanship [Re: bulldog34]
Richard P. Offline
Member

Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 4878
Loc: Ridgecrest, CA
Imagine how much easier it will be to get permits to climb Whitney...

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#82491 - 01/31/11 05:33 PM Re: Benchmarksmanship [Re: bulldog34]
Doug Sr Offline


Member

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 2421
Loc: Whitney
Hi The 14,532 was from the 1800's just put it out as a hint Whitney has a first order elevation reference , and Rainier has GPS and Vertical Angle reference. Thanks Doug

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#82492 - 01/31/11 06:02 PM Re: Benchmarksmanship [Re: Doug Sr]
Shin Offline
BaldyMaster
Member

Registered: 10/10/09
Posts: 377
Loc: Seal Beach
Hi Doug,
Mt. Rainier is a volcanic mountain but Mt. Whitney is not.
Mt. Rainier may be getting taller and taller for future explosion like Mt. Sent Helen. But we have to keep Mt. Rainier is lower elevation mountain than Mt. Whitney.
I don't want to fly up to Washington to climb the tallest mountain in lower 48.

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#82497 - 02/01/11 10:47 AM Re: Benchmarksmanship [Re: bulldog34]
SJ47 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/29/09
Posts: 40
Loc: Santa Monica, CA
Originally Posted By: bulldog34
Don't the folks in Washington know that if they're crowned with the highest peak in the lower 48, a tramway and a summit Starbucks is then mandatory?!


Ramp up the SAR teams...

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#82523 - 02/02/11 09:20 AM Re: The most boring topic ever ! [Re: Doug Sr]
garys Offline
Member

Registered: 06/28/05
Posts: 85
Loc: Desolation Basin, Calif.
Doug, you want to run levels up to the summit from Lone Pine? That's insane. You'd have to be a glutton for punishment to do that!

Automatic levels, or digital? Of course, you'll check back in at Lone Pine?

If you do this, contact me. I did three wire levels back in the dark ages. I'll start looking for my hand level, it's around here somewhere...

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#82560 - 02/03/11 05:48 PM Re: The most boring topic ever ! [Re: garys]
Doug Sr Offline


Member

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 2421
Loc: Whitney
Hi Garys Here is the plan I will try to get the run from LP to The Portal this spring double run , maybe bluebook and then search for the BM's above Lone Pine Lake to the Summit , I will talk with Inyo National Forest and put this in as an element of our operating plan.


I have talked with the NGS state advisor for Montana, He has many years on both types of leveling and almost has me sold on the digital level , this saves a note keeper and records in a format that stores most of the simple things time, temp, wind , calc's balance etc and will record the C factor. But these are the same reasons we did not trust them when they went on the market .

The older run was done to Whitney Pass so we would not be on the tight switchbacks above trailcamp .Bring a jacket if we get the approval to go Past the Portal. Thanks Doug

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#82593 - 02/05/11 06:24 PM A Revised Map of the High Sierra [Re: Doug Sr]
Dale Dalrymple Online   content
Member

Registered: 01/30/03
Posts: 370
From Volume 2 of the Siera Club Bulletin 1897-1899



For larger, click and zoom:
http://www.dbdimages.com/photos/1178660057_vcvyA-O.jpg





For larger, click and zoom:
http://www.dbdimages.com/photos/1178659465_u3LNP-O.jpg






For larger, click and zoom:
http://www.dbdimages.com/photos/1178659465_u3LNP-O.jpg


Dale B. Dalrymple
http://dbdimages.com

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#82826 - 02/23/11 08:02 AM Re: The most boring topic ever ! [Re: Doug Sr]
garys Offline
Member

Registered: 06/28/05
Posts: 85
Loc: Desolation Basin, Calif.
Doug, the digital levels work great. I was using them at the port of Long Beach for the precise levels we ran to check for subsidence in the oil fields. I think you might need invar rods with bipods for first order work?

Any estimate on how long it might take to run up and back? I might be able to get some time off of work for something like this.

Will we make the magazines? :-)

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#82854 - 02/24/11 06:26 PM Re: The most boring topic ever ! [Re: garys]
Doug Sr Offline


Member

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 2421
Loc: Whitney
Hi I thought a test run up to the Portal would be a way to judge the level and time . During our runs in th past we would average 10 miles a day/ 5 double runs , turns would slow us down but we found steady was the key, the front rod marking the level set-up and then staying in balance was the key, extra turns do add time but moving the rod/ level because out of balance stops the run.

The straight grade on the trail makes it easy to adjust the turns and the section above trailcamp I thought working the side slope, climbing up instead of a vertical line but move up as a contour should speed the run up to Whitneypass.From trail pass to the summit again is straight grade.

I think I have invar rods and trivots and maybe a level , things still missing are the temp. recorders and wind indicators


I will look over the software shortly and see what the new bluebook regs are . I will keep you posted on the time frame and how long it may take, Waiting on another group working on a GPS project.Thanks Doug

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#85224 - 06/22/11 04:49 PM Re: The most boring topic ever ! [Re: Doug Sr]
2600fromatari Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/10
Posts: 16
Loc: Mars

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#86139 - 08/09/11 04:29 PM Re: The most boring topic ever ! [Re: 2600fromatari]
ClimbHigh Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/06
Posts: 41
Loc: CA
Hey Doug Sr,

So what's the latest on this project? I was just in your store this weekend after a few years and I saw souvenirs with a variety of elevations from 14,497' to 14,505' to 14,508'. This is not boring for a civil engineer. It makes a lot of people wonder what's going on, especially when they see three decimal points on some measurements - implying a high degree of accuracy.

Thanks
ClimbHigh
_________________________
Help Find the Cure for Summit Fever (Not)

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#86182 - 08/10/11 10:57 PM Re: The most boring topic ever ! [Re: ClimbHigh]
CVHiker Offline
Member

Registered: 08/05/11
Posts: 2
Loc: Fresno, CA
I will be there Aug11-14th and just finished entering a bunch of the benchmarks from geocaching.com. There are hundreds for the Whitney area and the site has the gps coordinates and data sheets.

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#86208 - 08/11/11 08:05 PM Re: The most boring topic ever ! [Re: CVHiker]
Yury Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/06
Posts: 67
According to a few Internet sites (e.g. http://www.thenewstribune.com/2007/10/08...ue-measure.html) "Using Global Positioning Satellites, the Land Surveyors Association of Washington calculated Rainier's elevation at 14,411.1 in '89 and 14,411.05 in '99.".

Do you know whether anybody measured Mt.Whitney elevation using modern surveyors GPS?

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#86215 - 08/12/11 03:47 AM Re: The most boring topic ever ! [Re: Yury]
Wayne Offline
Member

Registered: 01/12/03
Posts: 715
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Back in 2003 we had extensive discussion on this board about Geologist Robert Nielsen's GPS survey done in 1996.

Robert Nielsen surveyed four mountains using the latest GPS technology: Whitney, Williamson, North Palisade and White Mountain.

As a result of his survey, he won the National Socity of Professional Surveyor's Student Project of the Year award in 1998.

The accomplishment was written up in The Nevada Observer, which you can see here.

Another write-up is contained in Nevada's State Library and Archives, which you can see here.

Robert Nielsen set Whitney's height at that time at 14,500 feet. However, since that date, scientists set the official sea level at a lower level, which raised Whitney's official National Geodetic Survey's height measurement to 14,505 feet. This, of course, has generated a lot of controversy on this board and a real headache to our Doug Sr., prompting "the most boring subject ever."

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