Two bushwalkers are standing on different mountain sides. According to their maps, one of them is at a height of 2120m and the other is at a height of 1650m. If the horizontal between them is 950m, What is the direct distance between the two bushwalkers?
We have a right triangle with the legs = (2120 - 1650) = 470 m and 950 m
And the direct distance between them = the hypotenuse = √ ( 470^2 + 950^2) ≈ 1059.9 m
The horizontal distance between the two points is 950m ( starting at 2120m). A vertical line can be drawn from the 1650m point joining it to the horizontal line.
The length of the vertical line will be: 2120 - 1650 = 470
Since we are looking for the direct distance, consider it to be a diagonal line. The horizontal line, the vertical line and the diagonal will make a triangle. The lengths of the first two are already given, therefore we are only required to find the diagonal ( which is also the direct distance). This can be done using the Pythagoras Theorum.
a^2 + b^2 = c^2
950^2 + 470^2 = c^2
1123400 = c^2
square root of 1123400 = c
1059.91 = c (2 dp)