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Thread: The 14 highest peaks of Maine

  1. #1
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
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    The 14 highest peaks of Maine

    If asked what were the 14 highest peaks of ME, most knowledgeable folks would cite the AMC official footers which are based on 200' col depth. Choosing a col depth of 100' like the Trailwrights would add some Katahdin satellites while dropping some of the lower 4k, while increasing the col depth to 500' would add several lower peaks while removing some 4k connected by ridgelines.

    Prominent prominician Edward Earl has created an algorithm for determining the set of peaks necessary to climb a list of N peaks such that you have done that number for all prominence values (we agree to eliminate values less than the map contour interval as that would require detailed on-site surveys).
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/prominence/message/4424

    Here are my calculations of his list for ME, it appears to take 42 bumps to guarantee 14 :-)

    For P > 2079, there are not 14 peaks

    For 2079 >= P > 2062, the list is:
    5268 4293 Mt. Katahdin
    4250 3180 Sugarloaf Mtn.
    4145 2855 West Peak On Bigelow Mtn.
    4170 2720 Old Speck Mtn.
    3654 2624 White Cap Mtn.
    3730 2520 Coburn Mtn.
    4120 2450 Saddleback Mtn.
    3550 2340 The Traveler On Traveler Mtn.
    3960 2330 Snow Mtn.
    3654 2264 Kibby Mtn.
    3790 2240 East Peak On Baldpate Mtn.
    3521 2191 Baker Mtn.
    3194 2124 Big Moose Mtn.
    3489 2079 Doubletop Mtn.

    For 2062 >= P > 2002
    delete Big Moose, add
    3772 2062 Elephant Mtn.

    For 2002 >= P > 1801
    delete Doubletop, add
    3630 2002 Boundary Bald Mtn.

    For 1801 >= P > 1798
    delete Baker, add
    3791 1801 East Kennebago Mtn.

    For 1801 >= P > 1798
    delete Traveler, add
    3568 1798 Jackson Mtn.

    For 1798 >= P > 1524
    delete Jackson (didn't last long :-), add
    3654 1524 Rump Mtn.

    For 1524 >= P > 1435
    delete Boundary Bald, add
    3645 1435 Cow Ridge

    For 1435 >= P > 1274
    delete Cow (also didn't last long :-), add
    3870 1380 Goose Eye Mtn.

    For 1274 >= P > 1256
    delete one of (Kibby, Rump, White Cap 3654), add
    3784 1274 Snow Mtn.

    For 1256 >= P > 1218
    delete another of (Kibby, Rump, White Cap 3654), add
    4151 1256 North Brother

    For 1218 >= P > 1006
    delete last of (Kibby, Rump, White Cap 3654), add
    4228 1218 Crocker Mtn.

    For 1006 >= P > 899
    delete Coburn, add
    3856 1006 White Cap Mtn.

    For 899 >= P > 595
    delete Elephant, add
    4049 899 Mt. Abraham

    For 595 >= P > 520
    delete Snow 3784, add
    4010 595 Spaulding Mtn.

    For 520 >= P > 506
    delete Baldpate East, add
    3970 520 South Brother

    For 506 >= P > 471
    delete East Kennebago, add
    4756 506 Hamlin Peak

    For 471 >= P > 460
    delete White Cap 3856, add
    4041 471 The Horn

    For 460 >= P > 360
    delete Goose Eye, add
    4010 460 Mt. Redington

    For 360 >= P > 300
    delete Snow 3960, add
    4050 360 South Crocker Mtn.

    For 280 >= P > 100
    delete South Brother, add
    4120 280 Bigelow, Avery Peak

    Give me a break on the rest of these, my eyes aren't what they once were :-)

    For 100 >= P > 80
    delete one of (Redington, Spaulding), add
    4750 100 Howe Peaks (Katahdin)

    For 80 >= P > 60
    delete other of (Redington, Spaulding), add
    4910 80 Pamola

    For 60 >= P > 40
    delete The Horn and Abraham, add
    5260 60 South Peak (Katahdin)
    4890 60 Chimney Peak

    For 40 >= P > 20
    delete South Crocker, add
    4194 40 *North Bump of Howe, Katahdin

    For P >= 20
    delete Saddleback and Avery and West Bigelow and South Brother, add
    5250 20 *West Bump of South Peak, Katahdin
    4710 20 *another of the Howe Peaks
    4490 20 *Hunt Trail, Katahdin
    4410 20 *NW Plateau, Katahdin

    giving a 14 highest list of
    5268 4293 Mt. Katahdin
    5260 60 South Peak (Katahdin)
    5250 20 *West Bump of South Peak, Katahdin
    4910 80 Pamola
    4890 60 Chimney Peak
    4756 506 Hamlin Peak
    4750 100 Howe Peaks (Katahdin)
    4710 20 *another of the Howe Peaks
    4490 20 *Hunt Trail, Katahdin
    4410 20 *NW Plateau, Katahdin
    4250 3180 Sugarloaf Mtn.
    4228 1218 Crocker Mtn.
    4194 40 *North Bump of Howe, Katahdin
    4170 2720 Old Speck Mtn.
    Last edited by RoySwkr; 10-25-2007 at 11:18 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member NH_Mtn_Hiker's Avatar
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    Huh, run that by me again, will ya?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nadine's Avatar
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    And ten of the 14 end up being on Katahdin

    Thanks for all your hard work in compiling this list Roy. I've got a few more peaks to climb by the looks of things!

    Nadine

  4. #4
    Senior Member dr_wu002's Avatar
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    Makes sense to me. Too bad 14 ain't a freakin' prime number though. It's the third discrete biprime (2 x 7) woopee.

    -Dr. Wu
    To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
    -Thomas Paine

  5. #5
    Senior Member dr_wu002's Avatar
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    It would be interesting to make a list of the 48 most prominent mountains in NH. You'd be surprised -- I bet you'd get some 1000'ers on the bottom of the list.

    -Dr. Wu
    To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
    -Thomas Paine

  6. #6
    Senior Member Amicus's Avatar
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    Why is this list different from the top 14 Maine peaks on the "50 Finest" list? We're talking about different types of "prominence," I gather? (I should be able to figure this out from Roy's calculations, but have forgotten my algebra.)

  7. #7
    Senior Member dr_wu002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amicus
    Why is this list different from the top 14 Maine peaks on the "50 Finest" list? We're talking about different types of "prominence," I gather? (I should be able to figure this out from Roy's calculations, but have forgotten my algebra.)
    I don't think the top part is any different.

    No real algebra needed: The first part is most rigid: peaks in Maine with prominence over 2062' (or whatever) which is why there are a bunch of 3000'ers and so on. As he moves down the list he lessens the reliance on prominence so a lot of peaks that have a higher elevation (but lower prominence) now make the list, which automatically cuts off at 14. By the end of the list, the prominence requirement is like 20' so it's basically the 14 highest peaks and bumps in Maine -- most are on Katahdin and are usually considered shoulders (Hunt Trail) or just some bump on the table.

    Notice that on the top list w/ high prominence you have only one Katahdin 'peak' which is Baxter of course. The bottom of the list w/ low prominence you have mostly Katahdin "peaks".

    It's mainly an exercise showing that based on your defined criteria, a list of "X Highest" could look very different than someone else's. The NH48 is defined by a prominence (p) >200' (actually, p>160') which people usually call the 200' col rule. If you made it p > 500' (500' col rule) you'd have a much different list with either many 3k's (if you want 48 peaks on your list) or much less than 48 4000' peaks (if you set your criteria >4000' elevation). Conversely, if you have a prominence > 10' you would have basically the Trailwrights 72 list.

    -Dr. Wu
    Last edited by dr_wu002; 10-19-2007 at 11:36 AM.
    To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
    -Thomas Paine

  8. #8
    Senior Member Amicus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_wu002
    I don't think the top part is any different.
    Right you are. I think I get it now (close enough anyway). Thanks

  9. #9
    Senior Member albee's Avatar
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    So this exercise is just to define what the highest peaks are by using different col depth requirements? Seems like a pretty simple concept.

    These types of lists would come in handy when you're bragging to someone...
    You could say "I've climbed X number of the highest mountains in Maine" and you wouldn't have to clarify your statement by explaining how col depth factors into the equation. You could say you climbed them all and mean it.

    I can honestly say that I have climbed every 4,000'er down to a clean prominence of 160', but how dorky does that sound? Soon I will be able to say that I climbed the 20 most prominent mountains in Maine, or every peak with greater than 2,000' of prominence, but both of those sound pretty dorky, too. Next time somebody asks, I'm just gonna show them this spiffy patch I earned instead...
    Last edited by albee; 10-19-2007 at 12:47 PM.
    What is the meaning of life?

  10. #10
    Senior Member dr_wu002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by albee
    So this exercise is just to define what the highest peaks are by using different col depth requirements? Seems like a pretty simple concept.

    These types of lists would come in handy when you're bragging to someone...
    You could say "I've climbed X number of the highest mountains in Maine" and you wouldn't have to clarify your statement by explaining how col depth factors into the equation. You could say you climbed them all and mean it.

    I can honestly say that I have climbed every 4,000'er down to a clean prominence of 160', but how dorky does that sound? Soon I will be able to say that I climbed the 20 most prominent mountains in Maine, or every peak with greater than 2,000' of prominence, but both of those sound pretty dorky, too. Next time somebody asks, I'm just gonna show them this spiffy patch I earned instead...
    The point of the different variations of the list is to communicate different permutations of mountains/peaks to climb in Maine or anywhere else. So, you climb the 14 (or whatever it is) 4000 footers in Maine, now what? Well, here's a list of 14 of the highest peaks with 1000' prominence or 2000' prominence or 20' prominence. It's just a list of opportunities. When you've done them all, tweak the requirements and could have an entirely different list. You can also get something similar by looking at topo maps and pointing at things but some people might find lists a bit more refined.

    -Dr. Wu
    Last edited by dr_wu002; 10-19-2007 at 02:19 PM.
    To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
    -Thomas Paine

  11. #11
    Senior Member dr_wu002's Avatar
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    Another interesting aspect is that within the Whites there are 9 main "ridges" or mountains with prominence over 2000', these are Washington, Lafayette, Carter, Moosilauke, Carrigain, Kinsman, Osceola, Cabot and Old Spec. If you look at google earth or something with 3d topography and take a look at the entire "white mountain area" you will see, yes indeed there are 9 or 10 very large ridges, each with significant sub-ridges and whatnot. The names associated (Osceola for example) really only signify the highest point on that ridge. When I think of the Sandwich Area, I don't necessarily think of Osceola although it is the high point.

    Now, when you look at each of those ridges individually, if you apply a lower "col rule" the other, familiar peaks will emerge. Take Lafayette as an entire mountain. If you look within it, for things with 200' col you'll see Lincoln, Liberty, Flume, Garfield, South Twin, Bond, Owl's Head, Guyot, Hale, South Hale and not so well known ones like Coolidge, Bickford and whatnot. What the 2000' prominent peaks generally says to me is, these are the real mountains of the Whites, and the others are basically sub peaks.

    This is just, obviously, playing with numbers and in no way establishes "better" or "more fun" or "more challenging." The top 10 peaks in terms of elevation in the whites, to me, is just as interesting as the top 10 peaks in terms of prominence in the Whites. More places to go. More adventures to have. Making lists makes it so you have more hiking related things to think about when you're at home and not hiking.

    -Dr. Wu
    Last edited by dr_wu002; 10-19-2007 at 03:25 PM.
    To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
    -Thomas Paine

  12. #12
    Senior Member dr_wu002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoySwkr
    If asked what were the 14 highest peaks of ME, most knowledgeable folks would cite the AMC official footers which are based on 200' col depth. Choosing a col depth of 100' like the Trailwrights would add some Katahdin satellites while dropping some of the lower 4k, while increasing the col depth to 500' would add several lower peaks while removing some 4k connected by ridgelines.
    So, basically what Roy is saying is that when you say "highest" you should specify what you mean by "highest"

    You can see that with a 20' prominence requirement you get things like 5250' 20' *West Bump of South Peak, Katahdin and if you lower your prominence requirement to something like 2" you'll have to include every rock littered on Kathadin on your list. With a 2000' prominence requirement the only Kathadin on the list is the summit proper.

    I think it's an interesting concept because I could tell you that I've summited the 10,000 highest peaks in Maine with a 2 inch prominence and I'd be correct because I've walked around on quite a bit of rocks up there. But when talking about say, the 20 Highest Peaks in Maine, if you don't specify exactly what you mean by that it could mean a whole lot of different things.

    I think though that the general convention is "200' col requirement" so if you say nothing, in general that's what you mean. I can't go around telling people that yeah, I've done the North East 770 when what I mean is the North East 770 with 2" prominence (aka, Washington and the 769 highest rocks on the summit) -- actually, thinking about it that would be kinda difficult and fussy to do something like that: "Hey, Eric: this rock here is higher than that one over there! C'mon -- I gotta finish this list before dark!!"

    -Dr. Wu
    Last edited by dr_wu002; 10-19-2007 at 02:45 PM.
    To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
    -Thomas Paine

  13. #13
    Senior Member sapblatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by albee
    Next time somebody asks, I'm just gonna show them this spiffy patch I earned instead...
    After careful consideration, I have decided that I am just going to say "I hiked"
    - Mike

    How bad can it be?
    Bobby

  14. #14
    Senior Member albee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sapblatt
    After careful consideration, I have decided that I am just going to say "I hiked"
    I think the most respectful way of putting this, Mike, is:

    I think talking about peakbagging is interesting.
    Dr_Wu thinks talking about peakbagging rules is interesting.
    And you think talking about redlining is interesting.

    Hiking can be so fulfilling to so many different kinds of people.
    What is the meaning of life?

  15. #15
    dvbl
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    Quote Originally Posted by sapblatt
    After careful consideration, I have decided that I am just going to say "I hiked"
    Mike, please give this further consideration. If you're not gonna brag about your hiking...well, then what's the use of going?

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