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100 Highest Peaks in North America

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100 Highest Peaks in North America

Postby gimpilator » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:30 pm

I recently noticed that one of my favorite list pages was in the adoption folder. 100 Highest Peaks in North America. The original owner Fletch did a wonderful job putting the list together but I thought I could improve it by removing the Central America and Hawaii peaks. To my pleasant surprise this made room at the bottom for a couple of other peaks which included Mount Robson and Mount Moffit.

I also thought the page would be more attractive if it included a few pictures and also a thumbnail image for each mountain on the list. Whenever possible I used photos from SP and included links to the selected image but otherwise I used outside sources for photographs. For the most part I had trouble with the St. Elias Range mountains as they are greatly underrepresented here on SP and there are very few pictures available. There were two peaks, Walsh and Strickland, for which I could not find an image anywhere on the internet. I would appreciate it if someone could tell me where to find those photos.

To my best knowledge, this list has never been completed by any climber. But it is likely that Gerry Roach came the closest, somewhere in the neighborhood of 70%. My personal count is 9% complete with one failed attempt on Iztaccihuatl. Since there is no forum section strictly for North America, I will post this thread in a couple different places.

Here's a small sampling of some of the nicer peaks on the list:

Popocatepetl #5
Fairweather #17
Hunter #21
Whitney #23
North Palisade #40

ImageImageImageImageImage

Gannett #61
Grand Teton #64
Waddington #85
Robson #99

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Re: 100 Highest Peaks in North America

Postby Fletch » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:00 pm

To sum up my opinions:

1) Include Guatemala and all of Central America/Carribbean
2) Include Greenland
3) Include Hawaii
4) Prom cutoff should be 300 for Colorado (but include N Maroon, Cameron, El Diente, N Eolus, Challenger and Connundrum)
5) Prom cutoff should be 300 for California (but include Muir, Polemonium, Starlight, and Thunderbolt)
6) No Liberty Cap
7) Do what the Mexicans, Alaskans, and Canadians do with regards to their mountains (trying to arrive at an agreement that sub-summits of the same massif are excluded)

OK, I'm over it for now... gonna let you guys figure it out. :lol:
Last edited by Fletch on Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 100 Highest Peaks in North America

Postby gimpilator » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:20 am

Fletch - I respect your opinion so I'm going to ask you some questions before I make any further changes. I don't want you to think that I just made a bunch of changes haphazardly and as the creator your influence still matters. I actually conferred with some other peakbaggers who I respect before deciding to change anything. I'm open to suggestions and I respect a good argument.

Hawaii is definitely debatable since there is confusion as to what side of the line it falls on. In an attempt to remove confusion, I decided that the location of two peaks in question were much too far removed to be considered part North America. So I admit it's largely still a matter of opinion, but personally I agree with the Oceana argument.

Now for the matter of Guatemala. In your original notes which I saved you wrote:
"Also, this list doesn't include Volcan Tajumulco (13,845 ft, 13,058 prom) in Guatemala. Some consider Central America not a part of North America."
So my question is why would you include one peak from Guatemala (Tacana) but exclude another? This seems inconsistent. Now technically speaking, by definition, you are right when you say that Central America falls into the category of North America. So it seems that either I should include both of the Guatemala peaks or add something to the page description that mentions that the list is not meant to include Central America.

Thank you for reminding me about adding a header. I also plan to do some research on the details of Gerry Roach and David Hart so that I can add a little paragraph about them.
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Re: 100 Highest Peaks in North America

Postby surgent » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:17 am

Would you include Greenland? Its landmass is "more" connected to the northern Canadian islands than to Europe, where it is connected "politically". That should put Gunnbjorn on the list.

Not to try to make your task more difficult, but you are facing a conundrum of which there may be no best solution. I personally would include Central America.

Your best bet may be to assemble the list as best you can under whatever guideline you use, then have an addendum list of "special cases", such as the Hawaiian peaks or other oddball situations like Greenland.

These lists are always going to be debatable. But this should not detract you. Half the fun is assembling it and the other half the fun is defending it! Kudos to you and to Fletch for the up-front work.
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Re: 100 Highest Peaks in North America

Postby Fletch » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:32 am

What I said here was mostly wrong.
Last edited by Fletch on Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 100 Highest Peaks in North America

Postby Scott » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:10 am

Some consider Central America not a part of North America."


Who? :?: I've never heard of anyone or any source that considers Central America as not a part of North America.

Hawaii and Greenland could be debatable, but not Central America. If not North America, which continent would it belong to? It is not a seperate continent nor belongs to South America, but only north.

PS, of interest, Windom is actually higher than Eolus. Gerry Roach has a discussion about this in his new book. Elevations on many list (especially old ones) incorrectly list Eolus as slightly higher. This is because the Windom elevation on some list is actually for the benchmark (which is below the summit) rather than for the true summit.
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Re: 100 Highest Peaks in North America

Postby Bill Kerr » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:42 am

Why not make it North American Peaks over 12,000 feet and include Hawaii, Greenland and Central America.
So what if the list is 120 peaks vs 100?
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Re: 100 Highest Peaks in North America

Postby Steve Gruhn » Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:39 am

My two cents: Greenland, the Central American nations, and the West Indies should be included in the continent of North America; Hawaii should be excluded.

If you decide to include list the peaks over 12,000 feet, you might find that the undertaking quickly grows. There are 15 such peaks in Alaska alone with prominences over 2,000 feet and summit elevations between 13,000 feet and 12,000 feet.

You might explain the rationale for the arbitrary selection of 2,000 feet as a prominence cutoff and you might also explain whether you use an interpolated prominence, the proven prominence, or the maximum possible prominence for each peak. I know it gets a little fuzzy, but attention to such details would explain a lot more to the reader.
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Re: 100 Highest Peaks in North America

Postby Fletch » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:13 pm

Scott wrote:Who? :?: I've never heard of anyone or any source that considers Central America as not a part of North America.

I lived there for three years. Quite a few folks actually.

Glimp! It's all yours buddy. Take care of her for me.

This is why you just pick it and stick it and ask for forgiveness later...
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Re: 100 Highest Peaks in North America

Postby DK » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:40 pm

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Re: 100 Highest Peaks in North America

Postby gimpilator » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:41 pm

Ok, I've listened to the arguments and come to a final decision. The Hawaii peaks will remain off the list but the two Guatemala peaks will be reinstated. For accuracy, I think this is the best possible decision. The result will be that the list ends neatly in the 13,000 foot bracket and Mount Robson then becomes #101 which I intend to mention in the description even though it won't show on the list. Thanks goes out to everyone that voiced their opinion. And thanks again to Fletch for all the work he put into this page.
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Re: 100 Highest Peaks in North America

Postby Steve Gruhn » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:38 am

It looks like wikipedia has a similar, but more extensive, list (albeit with some notable errors).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4000_meter ... th_America
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Re: 100 Highest Peaks in North America

Postby Damien Gildea » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:59 am

Steve Gruhn wrote:... (albeit with some notable errors).


Such as having a shot of the Wickersham Wall on Denali and calling it Mount Foraker :roll:
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Re: 100 Highest Peaks in North America

Postby Steve Gruhn » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:34 pm

And omitting Mount Crosson and Moby Dick, two Alaska Range peaks that warrant inclusion on the list.
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Re: 100 Highest Peaks in North America

Postby davehart » Sat May 26, 2012 10:32 am

The age-old discussion of what constitutes a distinct peak continues...

Unfortunately it is not as simple as a single prominance cutoff for all regions. Colorado, for example, uses 300' which makes sense, but the CMC includes El Diente and North Maroon Bell for historical reasons for a total of 54, but then excludes Challenger Point with a similar lower prominence. For conservative consistency and inclusion, I assume all 55 on my Colorado list.

California also claims a 300' hurdle, but many include Thunderbolt, Starlight and Polemonium with lesser prominence values resulting in 15 fourteeners. I concur with 15 on my California list.

Washington uses a 500' prominence, or Rainier would contain two peaks using a 300' rule. Absurd. There's only 1 fourteener in Washington.

Mexico uses 1,500' prominence to exclude the many summits of Ixta, among other duplicate summits. Then depending which elevation you assume for Perote and Colima, they float in and out of fourteener status. Giving each the benefit of the doubt, I assume each is a fourteener, resulting in 8 fourteeners in Mexico.

Alaska and Canada are perhaps the trickiest. The North Summit of Denali is not a distinct peak, so one must use a large enough prominence 1,350' to exclude it, but that also excludes other peaks like Churchill, Good Neighbor, and others. Using too large a prominence would exclude Aello at 1,450' prominence. So I assume arbitrarily a 1,400' prominence to exclude Denali north Peak but minimize other exclusions. The many summits of Logan must also be excluded with an appropriate promenence selection. a 1,400' prominence results in 10 Canada fourteeners, 10 Alaska fourteeners, and a shared 5 on the border of Canada and alaska.

Summing these all up (55+15+1+8+10+10+5) equals 104 peaks in North America over 14,000' tall. One could cull the lowest 4 fourteeners to create a hundred highest list. But I think it's more elegant to include all 104 fourteeners in North america. Central America, Hawaii, Greenland simply do not have any fourteeners, so the point is moot whether or not to include them.

This variable prominence list I describe is more appropriate than a hard 500 meter cut off for the entire region. Different geographies warrant different prominence criteria. Otherwise, many peaks in Colorado and California would be erroneously culled, which I guarantee would elicit disagreement in those areas.

I've stood atop 95 of these 104 fourteeners, lacking Popo (erupting), 5 Sierra peaks, 1 Alaska, 1 Canada and 1 border peak. I am planning a Sierra's trip in September 2012 to hike up the last five there. The three arctic peaks are on my horizon. Popo is on a geologic waiver for now...

*9-12-12 edit: I completed the 15 California fourteeners 9-9-12, bringing my tally to 100 of 104 North American fourteeners.

My thoughts... Dave
Last edited by davehart on Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
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