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Measuring the height of Mt Olympus, a century later

A group of climbers, research geologists and topography specialists have recalculated the altitude of Mt Olympus, Greece’s highest mountain, with modern methods, a century after the Swiss surveyor and alpinist Marcel Kurz in 1921.

His work was completed in 1923, calculating the altitude at 2,917.85 meters.

The team calculated the elevation of Mytikas, the highest peak, to be 2,917.727 meters, which was not far off Kurz’s estimate. Calling their venture AltiZeus, the team took its first measurements in September 2022.

Then, on the sidelines of the PalAeolus science project, which studies the paleoclimate in Southeast Europe by collecting ice cores, the team packed its own topographic equipment (GPS/GNSS, high-altitude rovers, precision instruments, tripods, drones, computers and drills) in the 1.5 tons of tools, devices and other supplies it carried up the mountain.

The scientists came up with their final estimate after returning for new data collection in October 2023.