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What is the Highest Point on Earth?

Updated on March 14, 2015
Mount Chimborazo
Mount Chimborazo

Highest point on earth

If you ask people what is the highest point on Earth, the answer from most would be Mount Everest. Depending on how you measure the highest point, Everest is not right if you measure from the center of the Earth, and not from sea level.

The earth is not a true sphere. The spinning of the Earth, causes the equator to be pushed out and the poles flattened. The circumference around the equator is bigger than it is around the poles. The earth is shaped kinda like a beach ball that someone is sitting on.

Is it Everest

If you're looking for the the point on the Earth that is closest to the moon or farthest into the atmosphere, the farthest point from the center of the earth, it is mount Chimborazo.

If you’re looking for the point that is highest above sea level, then Everest is it. At 29,035 feet, Everest is almost 9,000 feet higher above sea level than mount Chimborazo, but Everest is 7,000 feet lower if you measure from the center of the earth.

Mount Chimborazo is sitting on a bulge on the Earth that makes it higher than Everest. Mount Chimborazo is a dormant volcano in the Andes mountains in Ecuador. If you measure the peak counting the bulge, Mount Chimborazo is about 1.5 miles higher than Everest.

mount Chimborazo


Mount Chimborazo has been inactive for around 1400 years. The upper elevations of the mountain are covered with glaciers and deep snow.

The origin of Chimborazo's name is not know other than it is likely named for the massive amounts of snow the mountain receives, and the extensive glaciers.The name Chimborazo means women of snow.

mount Chimborazo


Extreme weather

The weather on and around the mountain is truly harsh. On the north side, there is an amazing amount of snow. The wind pushes the clouds against the North side of the mountain and because of the mountains height, the clouds dump all their moisture. The south side of the mountain is shielded by the mountain from the weather, so it's an extremely dry desert on the southern side.

mount Chimborazo


Climbing the mountain

There are many climbers that atempt to climb Chimborazo every year. The climbing is very difficult because of the deep snow and extensive glaciers. Most climbers turn back due to blinding fog, heavy snow, ice, avalanches, and overall terrible weather.

In 1880 mount Chimborazo was first climbed by Edward Whymper and his 2 guides. Climbing mount Chimborazo can be done year round, but the best time of the year to climb Chimborazo is June and July, and December and January. There are 7 routes that are used to climb the peak, although most climbs are made on what is called the normal route.

From the high base camp to the summit is about a 9 hour climb. Most climbers leave on their summit quest around midnight so they can be back down by 10 am before the sun warming up the mountain starts causing rock falls and avalanches.

Beautiful shots from the mountain

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