Highest points

Dear Editor:I suspect Dr. Alan Frischer is a much better doctor than he is a geographer, as his article last week (The Downey Patriot, 5/26/11) on altitude sickness contained a number of errors regarding the mountains. To wit: He states he climbed "Old Greyback Peak in the San Gorgonio Mountains." The peak's actual name is Mount San Gorgonio and it is located in the San Bernardino National Forest. He states that Mount Rainier at 14,410 feet in the state of Washington is the highest peak in the continental U.S. He probably meant the contiguous 48 states, but in any event, two of the lower 48 states have higher peaks than Mount Rainier: Colorado's Mount Elbert at 14,433 feet, and here in California, our very own Mount Whitney, at 14,495 feet, top Mount Rainier. Dr. Frischer further states that Mount McKinley in Alaska is the highest peak in the Americas at 20,320 feet. In fact, the highest peak in the Americas is Argentina's Cerro Aconcagua at 22,833 feet. Indeed, a number of peaks in the Andes are higher than Mount McKinley. The good doctor probably wouldn't have to worry about altitude sickness if he moved to Florida, as that state's highest point is only 345 feet. Our nearby Whittier Hills put that to shame. -- Jack Russell, Downey

********** Published: June 2, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 7