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The Daily Volcano Quote: lofty Popocatépetl 24 September 2010

Posted by admin in daily volcano quote, Mexico, Popocatépetl.

Orizaba we were yet to see; but nothing could, we thought, exceed in interest the distant view of Popocatepetl from the top of our hotel in the City of Mexico, as the setting sun gilded its snowy dome, as it went down painted its snow fields with roseate hues. It is the grandest mountain summit of the valley of Anahuac. It repeats, but with emphasis, the purity of form and massiveness of Mt. Shasta, in Northern California. Its twin sister, the volcano of Iztacihuatl, or the “snowy woman,” forms a part of the same isolated range – the Cordillera of Ahualco – and was doubtless thrown up at the same time; but it has no central dome cleaving the sky, the mountain mass extending as a range running nearly north and south, with three broken irregular snow-covered summits, of which the central is the highest, reaching an altitude of 4786 meters or 15,705 feet above the sea. The height of Popocatepetl has been variously estimated. Humboldt placed it at 5400 meters, or 17,716 feet; Guyot gives its altitude as 17,784 feet; Humboldt’s measurement combined with those of two later observers, is 17,853 feet, while the French savans of the Maximilian expedition put it as high as 18,362 feet.

A. S. Packard, ‘Ascent of the Volcano of Popocatepetl’, The American Naturalist, vol. 20, no. 2 (February 1886), p. 109. For the record, the summit of Popocatépetl is 5426 metres or 17,802 feet above sea level.

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