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Distance to the Center of
the Earth Distance to the Center of the Earth  by Klenke

This is the equation to determine the distance of any point on, below, or above the surface of the Earth to the center of the Earth. It was derived (solved as an explicit equation) last year (2012) but I had not included it due here to it being intended as an appendix to a book by a Canadian author who contacted me about the matter. But circumstances have coaxed me into providing it now.

This equation uses the WGS 84 ellipsoid as it is the most current for defining the oblate spheroid shape of the Earth. This ellipsoid defines nominal (mean) sea level for the world by way of the two ellipse parameters a and b, the semimajor and semiminor axes respectively.

Obscurity Conundrum The Obscurity Conundrum  by Bob Sihler

To Post or Not To Post? That is the question.

Before I go on, let me state that what follows is based on personal feelings and judgments. Although I am a site moderator, what I am going to talk about is not a new SP policy and is not under discussion as a new policy. Also, I am not going to bring it up for discussion among the staff as a new site policy. But please read with an open mind and consider this as something SP contributors might want to think about.

So...... I have deleted almost all of my pages for peaks that have no official names and no locally or historically accepted unofficial names as well. By this, I mean the many "Point..." and "Peak..." pages I had posted, not peaks unofficially named for the benchmarks found on them. In a few cases, I changed the page to a trip report or route or incorporated essential information into another page, and there are two over which I'm still pondering what to do, but most of the pages are gone. So are many of the pictures, though I left several behind if they were relevant to other pages.

Why have I done this, especially since I have long been among those who think SP's greatest value is as a source of information for obscure peaks and since I still am among those?

We Forget Sometimes We Forget  by Michael Hoyt

Admit it. Each of us who thoroughly enjoys "the wilderness" has felt – probably more than once – that we’re owed such experiences. We convince ourselves that, if for no other reason, wild places should be preserved so we can continue to indulge our desire for solitude. In this, I am as guilty as anyone. But...

Layton Kor - The Giant Layton Kor - The Giant  by Liba Kopeckova

Layton Kor was one of America’s greatest and most revered climbers. He came from a small town in Minnesota, born in 1938, and was a bricklayer by trade. He taught himself to climb by chopping steps with pickaxe up a clay embankment in Texas: “I’d seen the climbers in the movie with ice axes and I thought that as the way it was done”, he wrote.

In the mid 50s, Kor’s parents relocated to Boulder, where the area is abundant with rocks. He put up many routes here as a teenager, especially Eldorado Canyon, Boulder Canyon, the Flatirons and Lumpy Ridge.

By the late 1950s and mid 1960s Kor ecomplished many first ascents, including The Naked Edge, Ruper and Yellow Spur in Eldorado, the West Face of El Capitan, the South Face of Washington Column in Yosemite, the Yellow Wall on the Diamond (Longs Peak), the Cruise in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and Proboscis in the Yukon. Layton was also the driving force in opening up the American desert with first ascents of Castleton Tower, the Titan, Monster Tower, and Standing Rock in Utah, and Fast Draw and Bell Tower in Colorado National Monument. The exact number of routes he pioneered is unknown, but it goes into hundreds.

"My highest ones" - The "Seven Summits" downgraded  by Wolfgang Schaub

Also hooked on the "Seven Summits"? The highpoints of every continent? Not yet been on Mount Everest? Not even on Denali? And no chance ever standing on top of these? Too weak getting your ass off the sofa? You can be helped. Simply abandon the USUAL height spleen.

'Cause Everest is by no means automatically the highest mountain on Earth; it is only when you subscribe to the common, totally arbitrary convention that mountains' altitudes must be measured from sea level.

Measured from the center of the Earth, however, Chimborazo in Ecuador turns out highest, and he is even climbable for all those who really want.

So You Want to Make a Rope
Rug Eh! So You Want to Make a Rope Rug Eh!  by JScoles

Well since I was kicked out to the Guild of Radical Ice Climbing for publishing 'So you Want to Sharpen your Tools!'

I figured, 'what the hell!', I might as well get thrown out of the International Guild of Knot Tyers as well. So here is the result.

For a long time I have been tinkering with trying to tie a rope rug. Of course I could just get it professionally done and have it completed much more cheaply and quickly that I ever could but what is the fun in that?

A Petition to Outlaw
SummitPorn A Petition to Outlaw SummitPorn  by Deltaoperator17

That’s right, you could be doing anything like mowing the yard, killing ants and bugs or even messing with your gear, but NO. She or he walks in on you and finds you visiting SummitPost.org. Crap, caught again.

In the words of the great Bob Sihler,“At home, you try to visit SP only when your spouse isn’t looking (hence the term SummitPorn), and when he or she catches you, you get that look just like the one the dog does after it pees on the couch and gets scolded for it.”

I have no interest in trying to recreate a great paragraph like that. (Thank you Robert.)

So the battle begins. Why are you on that stupid SummitPorn (note my spouse uses that phrase—she loved Bob’s article) when you could be doing the things I asked you? My reply: Uh, I duuno?

She: “There ought to be a law against that stupid site. You are always on it and you get nothing done.” Me: “I will go for a climb or a hike then.”

Fat chance buddy. You are in the hot seat and you aint getting off it that easy.

Anchors: A few thoughts Rappel Anchors: A few thoughts  by Brian C

Going up results in coming back down and naturally, rappelling is an ever important part of climbing. In addition, many people use rappels that are not involved in technical climbing with some examples being canyoneering, sport rappelling and challenging scrambles.

Since rappelling puts your well-being entirely at the mercy of the technical system that you have established, if any point of the system fails you are likely going to be injured (or worse). Rappel accidents occur every year due a wide variety of mostly avoidable scenarios and even experienced climbers fall prey. Lastly, anchor skills for rappells are similar to climb (belay) anchors but do carry a slightly different set of rules.

This article is not intended to serve as an instruction manual or a "how to" on rappelling, but is written to give a small analysis of different portions of a rappelling set up. Seek instruction from an experienced climber before attempting anything on your own.

Why I have
to go to the mountains – a declaration of love ! Why I have to go to the mountains – a declaration of love !  by schmid_th

I can´t live without the mountains and when I´m not next to them I get an unbelievable aspiration…

So consecutively I tried to find the reasons for this…

This is a little funny attempted explanation or maybe better a declaration of love and I guess that you also feel similar to me…

I´m sure that after reading this article you will have that magic smile on your face and the feeling that you must soon get back to the mountains – independent of all concomitants!

Science in the Mountains Finding Science in the Mountains  by BobSmith

When I was sixteen years old, I was sitting on the cliff face of Charlies Bunion in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with one of my best friends, T---. We were in the midst of a two-week backpacking trip with a pair of other friends from school. Part of this excursion was a series of very leisurely strolls of only a few miles from shelter to shelter along the AT before we would reach Newfound Gap and a ride from his parents to another point farther south along the Appalachian Trail.

As T--- and I surveyed the amazing topography before us, under ideal conditions of clear, blue skies and cool breezes, my friend sat up from where he was reclining on the ancient rock and exclaimed, “How can anyone look at this and not believe in God?”

And I said, as I generally do, the first thing that popped into my head. That thing was, “How can anyone look at this and not believe in Plate Tectonics and erosion?”

“You asshole,” T--- exclaimed, rising and stalking off to where our other two friends were standing, joining his Christian company. Leaving me, as usual, sane man out.

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