Monday, January 17, 2011

Which US cities are higher than Ben Nevis?

There's a serious point to this question. We were intrigued by the research linking high-living (up a mountain) with mental health problems.

So when writing the story, our writer tried to google some facts, ie this question: which US cities are higher than Ben Nevis? You'd think it was the sort of strange fact you'd find on wiki-answers - but, no, it was not there.

We knew that Denver was high - and sure enough it is in fact about a mile above sea-level. Ben Nevis in Scotland - the highest mountain in the UK - is just 4,409 feet high - well below a mile high.

The US research linked high living to suicide risk and the researchers were not just talking about loners living in shacks on mountainsides. They had also taken in statistics from cities such as Denver.

The findings are interesting but may well not apply to the UK, where the population mostly lives a lot lower than Colorado. In fact there must be a whole clutch of cities on the Rocky Mountains higher than Ben Nevis. How many? Does anyone know?

In fact it's hard to think of any British cities with any sort of altitude at all. There are many very hilly cities, such as Edinburgh, Bristol and especially in Yorkshire. But they all cluster on river beds or on the coast. I've googled cities such as Bradford in Yorkshire and the altitude is clearly so unremarkable it does not even appear on Wikipedia.

So here's another question for anyone interested. Are there any British cities 2,000 feet above sea level?

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