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Northeast Alpine Peaks
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Northeast Alpine Peaks

 
Northeast Alpine Peaks

Page Type: List

Location: Maine/Massachusetts/New Hampshire/New York/Vermont, United States, North America

Object Title: Northeast Alpine Peaks

 

Page By: cbucker

Created/Edited: Jul 8, 2008 / Jul 12, 2010

Object ID: 419290

Hits: 10421 

Page Score: 83.72%  - 18 Votes 

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Introduction

As we all may know, sweeping alpine vistas are not the most abundant feature in the Northeastern United States. To a seasoned verteran or local resisdent it may be all too easy to find a picture perfect panorama to enjoy in the cool, crisp air above the treeline. As for a lowlander or non native it may be tedious to pick out such a spot amung the scope of literally thousands of named peaks, ridges, and ranges. While these gems of the Northeast loom above the hazy valleys seemingly undaunted to our presence, the vegetation and ecosystem that has clad their summits for so many millennia sadly, is not. Anyone who has hiked above the treeline in The Whites, Greens, Adirondacks, or the Longfellows has seen the "Re-Vegetaion Zone" sign accompanied by a roped off area. This is mostly because of a few careless hikers (probably not educated in the subject of alpine etiquette) that may leave trash, lay on some grass patches, or just walk on the vegetation which in fact destroys the ancient treasures we have inherited from the Mammoths, Dire Wolves, and Glaciers of the last great ice age.

Reasons, Research, and Criteria

After countless hours of E-mailing AMC, ADK, WMNF, and GMNF officials, reading many articles, and peeling through a number of books I feel this is the most comprehensive list of its type. If you have any dissagreements, additions, or questions let me know, I had taken great pride in making this page and invested a month or two of research. The criteria I based the peaks on are as follows; The peak must have close to 360 degree views, a moderate-high amount of exposure, at least one zone of the alpine sub-alpine ecosystem, and at least one type of tundra vegetation. Any peak within this criteria, regardless of how it is met (fire, clearing, landslide, storm) will be considered in this list. The main goal of this list is to educate readers on the fragile yet resilient nature of the ecosystem while opening their eyes to rugged areas such as these that may be right out their back door. Another reason is to advertize lesser known peaks with an alpine zone to spread foot traffic more evenly.

Maine (order of height)

1) KATAHDIN (MASSIF)
2) SUGARLOAF
3) NORTH BROTHER
4) BIGELOW
5) SADDLEBACK
6) ABRAMS (a.k.a ABRAHAM)
7) GOOSE EYE MT.
8) WHITECAP MT.
9) BALDPATE
10)THE TRAVELER
11) DOUBLETOP
12) LITTLE JACKSON MT.
13) FULLING MILL MT.
14) TURNER MOUNTAIN
15) PEAK OF THE RIDGES
16) NORTH TRAVELER
17) TUMBLEDOWN MT.
18) OLD BLUE
19) FORT MT.
20) CADDILAC MT.
21) DORR MT.
22) CHAMPLAIN MT.

The treeline in Maine is approximately 3800'-4200' many factors play a role such as wind, exposure, soil depth, and precipitation such that in special cases it could be higher or much lower than expected. Katahdin massif alone contains 2.82 square miles or 1803.8 acres of alpine country, Mt. Abrams comes in second with a few hundred acres despite its elevation.

New Hampshire (order of height)

1) MT. WASHINGTON
2) MT. ADAMS
3) MT. JEFFERSON
4) MT. CLAY
5) MT. MONROE
6) MT. MADISON
7) MT. LAFAYETTE
8) MT. LINCOLN
9) SOUTH TWIN
10) LITTLE HAYSTACK
11) CARTER DOME
12) MT. MOOSILAUKE
13) MT. EISENHOWER
14) MT. BOND
15) MT. HEIGHT
16) MT. GUYOT
17) WEST BOND
18) MT. GARFIELD
19) MOUNT LIBERTY
20) NORTH KINSMAN
21) MT. FLUME
22) MT. PIERCE
23) BONDCLIFF
24) CANNON
25) NORTH BALDFACE
26) SOUTH BALDFACE
27) MT.CHOCORUA
28) NORTH MOAT MT.
29) MT. MONADNOCK
30) MT. CARDIGAN
31) MT. CRAWFORD
32) MIDDLE MOAT MT.
33) SOUTH MOAT MT.

Treeline in the Whites is about 4400'. The same environmental factors are in effect. The Presidential range contains the largest and most diverse alpine expance in the Northeast, covering 4.36 square miles or 2792.3 acres.

Vermont (order of height)

1) MT. MANSFIELD
2) KILLINGTON PEAK
3) CAMEL'S HUMP
4) MT. ABRAHAM
5) MT. HUNGER

Treeline apears to be @ around 4000'-4200' again, environmental effects prevailing. Mount Mansfield has by far the most expansive region of alpine growth in the Greens, only covering a ridge of a few hundred acres.

New York (order of height)

1) MT. MARCY
2) ALGONQUIN
3) HAYSTACK
4) SKYLIGHT
5) WHITEFACE
6) DIX MT.
7) IROQUOIS
8) BASIN MT.
9) GOTHICS
10) MT. COLDEN
11) GIANT MT.
12) NIPPLETOP
13) WRIGHT PEAK
14) ROCKY PEAK RIDGE
15) ARMSTRONG
16) CASCADE
17) PORTER
18) JAY MOUNTAIN

True timberline in the Adirondacks holds between 4200'-4800' although much lesser peaks have been chared by fire, stripped of their soil in a slide/storm, or cleared by some of the first mountain men of the area . It has been stated that peaks such as these with a "false" treeline are now growing tundra plants and have turned into alpine peaks due to the new climate imposed on them, so this list may grow as new plant discoveries are found in the A'Daks. Skylight holds the most arctic-alpine area in the Adirondacks.( by the way the Adirondacks are GROWING @ a rate of over 3mm per year)

Massachusetts

While no true alpine peaks lay within its borders, Massachussets does hold the southernmost sub-alpine peak in the northeast on Mount Greylock. Greylock is capped with stunted spruce and fir, it also has to southernmost pronounced Glacial cirque in whole East, "The hopper" is a very large glacial cirque on Greylocks Western flank. Although not an alpine peak, it does hold some defining alpine features.

Zones

In the sub-alpine/ arctic-alpine ecosystems that cover 13 square miles or 8401.6 acres in the Northeast there are a number of distinct specialized plants that grow only in their designated geographic, geologic, or climatic zones.

Krummholz- More of a subalpine zone contains mainly stunted Balsam Fir and Black Spruce. this area is designated when the vegetation is shorter than 2.5 meters tall.

Birch/Alder- Again subalpine, dominated by Paper Birch and Mountain Alder.

Fellfield- Arctic-alpine, includes; Map Lichen, Ring Lichen and Tock Tripe

Sedge meadow Arctic-alpine, dominated by Bigelows sedge (found almost exclusively in the Presidentials).

Heath Shrub-Rush- Arctic-alpine, Labrador tea and Black Crowberry flourish.

Herbaceous Snowbank- Arctic-alpine generally sheltered, Hairgrass,
Dwarf Bilberry, and Alpine Bluets dominate.

Cushion-tussock- Arctic-alpine, flowerfull plants such as Dispensia and Lapland Rosebay bloom here.

Cliff- Arctic-alpine, dominated by Neglected Reedgrass.

Alpine Etiquette

To properly travese these 70(+) spectacular mountains hikers MUST stay on the trail and never walk on plants or through revegitation areas. Even scrambling on off-trail rocks may be destroying some alpine life. Here are some tips, if it looks like grass - don't walk on it, if it has a flower - dont walk on it, and if its a shrub/bush/heath plant... It's probably 2-4 times older then you and don't walk on it. Please help keep our high country as it was when the blanket of glaciers was last pulled back, thank you.

Be Prepared

Hiking in the mountains regardless of exposure requires a certain degree of risk management. Hiking above the treeline or in an exposed area is a different story. Hypothermia, lightning, falls, avalanches, heat stroke, and heart attack are all much more likely to occur in and around such areas. Please take all necessary precautions while exploring the Northeasts' alpine peaks.

Additions and Corrections

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WalksWithBlackfliesSpelling

WalksWithBlackflies

Voted 10/10

NY: Iroquois is spelled wrong. Nice page though!!!
Posted Dec 3, 2008 9:01 am
cbuckerRe: Spelling

cbucker

Hasn't voted

sorry for the dumb mistake.... taken care of. thank you by the way.
Posted Mar 26, 2009 9:07 am

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