RECORD: FitzRoy, R. 1837. Notice of the Mountain Aconcagua in Chile. Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London 7: 143-144.

REVISION HISTORY: OCRed and corrected by John van Wyhe 3.2007. RN1

[page] 143

XII.—Notice of the Mountain Aconcagua in Chile. By Captain Robert Fitz Roy, Royal Navy.

DURING the Beagle's survey of the Chilian coast, it was ascertained that the mountain Aconcagua was higher than the famed Chimborazo. By the mean of the results of many observations made by the Beagle's officers at different stations on the coast of Chile, near Valparaiso, the height of Aconcagua above the sea appears to be 23,200 feet. Of various observations made at different times, no one result was less than 23,000, nor more than 23,400 feet.

According to recent accounts, the highest mountains in South, America are—

Sorata, whose height is said to be . . 25,400 feet

Illimani, said to be . . . 24,200 "

Next to which Aconcagua claims a place, as . 23,200 "

Gualtieri is said to be . . . 22,000 "

And Chimborazo . . . . . 21,000 "

above the level of the ocean. Amongst a variety of data for calculating the height of Aconcagua, the following are considered the best:—

Observation made at Fort San Antonio, Valparaiso, with a good theodolite, forty feet above the level of the sea at half tide. Angular elevation of the highest point of Aconcagua above the

[page] 144

horizontal plane 1° 55' 45". The true bearing of the same point was N. 74° 56' E., and the distance 89,3 miles (of 60 to a degree). Fort San Antonio, Valparaiso, is considered to be in lat. 33° 1' 53" S. and long. 71° 41' 15" W. of Greenwich.

Captain Beechey has since made observations for ascertaining the height of Aconcagua, and their result is greater than that of the Beagle's by some hundred feet.

Aconcagua is a volcano in the Cordillera of the Andes; at intervals it is active.

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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

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