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Most elevation gain in the 48 States.

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Most elevation gain in the 48 States.

Postby Clark_Griswold » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:22 am

Can anyone shed some light on which mountain may have the most elevation gain from a starting point, in the 48 US states. In other words not the prominence it has from it's nearest saddle, but over it's local terrain. Also, only by hiking, or requiring no specialized gear like crampons or an ice ax? I have and have used both of those, but some of the folks I would hike this potential mountain with, do not. Rainier comes to mind as the king of this, except it requires gear. Most mountains seem to have high enough valleys that they do not have all that much prominence. Even Whitney and other high Sierra Giants have the Owens Valley to the east, and so you really can't gain more than 10,000', if you start from the lowest point in the valley, and that is something that is hard to do. Indeed there are only two mountains I can think of, San Jacinto and Telescope Peak, that probably offer a convenient elevation gain of over 10,000'. I think, because you actually start below sea level, that Telescope Peak, when done via Shorty's Well offers the most elevation gain that one can gain, at well over 11,000'. Anyone else?
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Re: Most elevation gain in the 48 States.

Postby desainme » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:07 am

Inconvenient gain allowed? Corcoran Ca. to Mt. Whitney 80 miles and 14,300 elevation gain. 80 miles for a crow that is.
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Re: Most elevation gain in the 48 States.

Postby blackhawk » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:27 pm

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Last edited by blackhawk on Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Most elevation gain in the 48 States.

Postby lcarreau » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:35 pm

I know you said in the Lower 48, but the Mauna Loa volcano on the island of Hawaii is somewhere between 13,675 to 13,680 feet above sea level, and you wouldn't need an ice axe or crampons.

Be aware : (Mauna Loa is still considered active). There is no shade and there is absolutely NO WATER (no snow to melt either).

I would stick with the Mojave desert peaks for this time of the year.
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Re: Most elevation gain in the 48 States.

Postby mstender » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:20 pm

Take a look at White Mountain Peak in CA. If approached from the East from outside the town of Dyer, NV, it is over 10000 ft elevation gain and 25 miles round trip.
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Re: Most elevation gain in the 48 States.

Postby Palisades79 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:24 pm

Take a look at Spanish Mountain in the Sierras which is above the deepest canyon in the 48 States. I do no know if anyone ever starts at the Kings River . The view from the summit of Tehipite Dome is grand.
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Re: Most elevation gain in the 48 States.

Postby MoapaPk » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:39 pm

If you want a "hike," Telescope via Shorty's Well and San Jacinto are most convenient... but both have weather windows, and both are currently snow climbs (at least above 7000') of a sort. Telescope peak via Shorty's Well is probably worse in snow*; there is a steep, talus-covered part from about 8000' to 9900', which is already slippery enough when there is no snow. When there is substantial snow, there can be slippery hard pack on the east, from about 9700' to the summit of Telescope. San Jacinto and C2C are so popular that within a few days after a snowstorm, the path from the tram to the summit is often broken and packed, and even the C2C gets packed on the upper part. I'm told that the most dangerous part of C2C in winter is about 7400', where the trail winds to the north side and traverses a steep slope; I went by there when the path was well-packed, but I can imagine that with harder snow, the bad runout could be fatal.

Telescope from Shorty's Well is more of a logistical problem. Unless you want to go all the way back down after the climb, you arrange for a shuttle car at Mahogany Camp, which is closed much of the year. In the shorter days of winter and late fall, people can almost always take the tram down from San Jacinto.

* there was little snow visible on the east side of Telescope on Dec 10, but I'm guessing that conditions have changed a lot recently.
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Re: Most elevation gain in the 48 States.

Postby Vitaliy M. » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:48 pm

NE ridge of Williamson is one of the biggest routes (about 9000ft of gain straight from owens valley).
Non standard routes on Rainier and Shasta have A LOT of gain. This year my friends and I did Whitney glacier from Bolam TH (5,500ft). That was 9000+ to the summit if you include up and downs. Liberty Ridge from White river TH is a lot of gain. Isn't white river TH at about 4500ft or something? And you have to climb over a pass and Curtis ridge on the way..So probably over 11K of gain from TH?
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Re: Most elevation gain in the 48 States.

Postby Baarb » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:03 pm

lcarreau wrote:I know you said in the Lower 48, but the Mauna Loa volcano on the island of Hawaii is somewhere between 13,675 to 13,680 feet above sea level...


Still not in the lower 48 but might be worth mentioning that Mauna Kea is slightly higher at 13,796 ft. This discussion probably wouldn't take long using some GIS software. You would just need a snow cover layer or two, and a topomap. Then remove all the area that has snow and look at elevation changes within specified radii from summits in the remaining area. Or something like that.
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Re: Most elevation gain in the 48 States.

Postby ExcitableBoy » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:04 pm

Vitaliy M. wrote:Liberty Ridge from White river TH is a lot of gain. Isn't white river TH at about 4500ft or something? And you have to climb over a pass and Curtis ridge on the way..So probably over 11K of gain from TH?


White River is 4,400 and you have to drop about 1,000 feet to the Carbon so I think you are correct, 11k+. If you starat at Ipsut Creel TH @ 2,300 ft that would be a 12,100 ft ascent. Climbing Tahoma Glacier from West Side Road would be like 12,200 ft. I am guessing these are the largest elevation gains in the contiguous U.S. starting from the highest normally used trailheads.
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Re: Most elevation gain in the 48 States.

Postby Clark_Griswold » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:23 pm

blackhawk wrote:Rainer and shasta were the first ones to come to my mind,and why does the use of crampons and an ice axe scare you away? If you truly wanted to do something like this then most mountains will require these tools and you would learn how to use them,and they're not that difficult to use on slopes under 50 degrees IMHO. Are you seriously inquiring because this is a goal you want to shoot for,or just a curious question?

Learn to read.
Lionel wrote:....I have and have used both of those, but some of the folks I would hike this potential mountain with, do not. Rainier comes to mind as the king of this...
...
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Re: Most elevation gain in the 48 States.

Postby blackhawk » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:35 pm

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Re: Most elevation gain in the 48 States.

Postby Clark_Griswold » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:37 pm

I would be doing this next summer or more likely early fall. The plan is to do Telescope from Shorty's, as that gives you about 11,500 of gain. Start and summit same day, and camp on descent. I had wanted to do San Jacinto, but learning about this route and not having to experience the urban side affects, I think Telescope will be far more enjoyable. I recognize that Cascade 14,000' volcanoes would offer far more elevation, but as stated, not everyone in the group is willing to want to deal with mountaineering conditions, and so this was a curiosity question to see if there were other dry hikes that offered this in the 48.
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Re: Most elevation gain in the 48 States.

Postby Vitaliy M. » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:42 pm

EB, how much elevation gain does Ptarmigan ridge have (approximately)?
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Re: Most elevation gain in the 48 States.

Postby lcarreau » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:43 pm

Lionel wrote:Learn to read.



BTW, please give us the DIRT on Dirton, AZ. Where is it located ??? :D
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