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Thread: Summits that look higher than their neighbors

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    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Summits that look higher than their neighbors

    I was standing on the rock summit of Middle Tripyramid last weekend, looking at South Tripyramid--officially forty feet lower--thinking that South Tripyramid looks higher. People can claim it's the trees, but if I were asked to measure two summits, those would be the ones at which I would look.

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    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Bring the theodolite!

    Many years ago, before GPS days, a group of friends and I had the occasion to try to determine which was the high point among a group of "bumps" on a fairly flat topped hill. Of course not owning an actual theodolite (or even a laser level at that point) we had to improvise. We brought a 4 foot aluminum carpenters level. It was actually very effective, when braced on a rock or branch, with one person looking at the bubble, and another person sighting along the edge of the level. I would wager that we were able to determine "higher or lower" elevation at a range of 100 yards with an accuracy of a couple feet. This is cheap to do. You could certainly try this on the Tripyramids.

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    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Or bring a long section of icemaker line and enough water

    Tim
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    Member Salty's Avatar
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    I was feeling extra geeky today, and fortunately, the LIDAR data from GRANIT is available for the Tripyramids (which I believe has an error of <1m for this dataset). Looking at the bare earth data, I've got M. Tri. topping out at 4135', and S. Tri. at 4113'. Col is at 3962' if anyone's curious. So a mere 22' difference. That equates to only a difference of 0.8 below you (looking from Middle).

    I have The Bump is Higher on the Other Side Syndrome as well. Countless bushwhacks of, no that bump's higher, go to it, no wait, the other bump looks higher now...

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    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    If you want to go up and check that, a good carpenter's level is accurate to about 0.05 degrees, so you should be able to easily differentiate the 0.8 degree angle...

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salty View Post

    I have The Bump is Higher on the Other Side Syndrome as well. Countless bushwhacks of, no that bump's higher, go to it, no wait, the other bump looks higher now...
    I have that also. There's many peaks I went to what I thought was a higher bump just to look back and see where I was looks higher. But one that looked that way and I did not go to was Fort Mtn. in Baxter. But not only did the SE peak look higher when on the NW peak, it looked higher from North Brother. It was socked in when we left for it so we didn't notice that until we got back and it had cleared. All maps seem to confirm that the NW peak is the higher of the 2 by a dozen feet or so but you tell me which looks higher because the one on the left is the recognized peak.

    Last edited by JustJoe; 04-19-2019 at 07:27 AM.
    Joe

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    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    It's apparently a very common phenomenon. I took an elevation reading of Bond Cliff a few years ago, then walked down and back up Bond to the same elevation as displayed on the unit. I felt like I was looking up to see the Bond Cliff summit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salty View Post
    ...I have The Bump is Higher on the Other Side Syndrome as well...
    Mt Clay. Regardless of which of the two Clay bumps I'm on, the other one is higher. Same goes for South Twin.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    Trip pictures

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    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    The summit of Guyot on the Bondcliff Trail appears higher than the designated summit on the Twinway. It also looks and feels more like a "summit."
    Most if not all of these examples are probably just visual distortions of perspective.
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

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    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Maybe it's like the Moon. It's all in your head. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/...space-science/
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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    Member Salty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCD View Post
    If you want to go up and check that, a good carpenter's level is accurate to about 0.05 degrees, so you should be able to easily differentiate the 0.8 degree angle...
    Random hiker: "What's the level for???"

    "We're filling in the ravines."

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    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    The thing about the Tripyramids is that one is not seeing the summits but the treetops.

    I am open to being wrong, but I don't think it's an optical illusion--I think the tree tops are actually higher on South Tripyramid. I just don't know why that would be the case. But I could be wrong and it could be an optical illusion.

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    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    These photos are taken from the south from the general vicinity of Noon Peak. You would expect South Tripyramid to appear slightly higher than Middle because it is closer to the photographer. But it appears to me that they look pretty close to even in the first 2 photos. From a little higher up in photo 3, it appears that Middle is a just a bit higher. 40 feet is not much difference for the eye to perceive.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	047 N,M,S Tripyramid, W,E Sleeper.jpg 
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Name:	048 Tripyramids zoomed.jpg 
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Name:	056 Tripyramids, south slide.jpg 
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    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

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