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Thread: Lidar Article with comments about the AMC 4K list

  1. #16
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    And throw in that as MSL rises due to ocean level rise, mountains will get shorter unless they are still growing from the last glacial era.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    With all due respect, allow me to offer a different perspective. When you want to understand the actions of individuals inside an institution, start by reflecting upon their incentive structure.

    You have a bunch of folks on a committee whose primary task is to send out patches and certificates to people who attest to having hiked certain mountains in certain time periods. Committee members literally have to check calendars for winter patches, for example. The people who do this take satisfaction from it.

    Then one day someone tells them that they have a new task: determine how many "mountains" there are for the main patch. It's no small task! If the members add mountains, there are implications for environmental impacts, parking, and so forth. They grandfather existing patch holders in.

    No imagine those folks have to ask themselves if they should take a mountain away!

    What rewards do they get for doing so? What costs?

    Who will say to them, "Thank you for taking two mountains off this list!" Now imagine, who would be furious at them?

    So someone, somewhere, on the 48 Committee or elsewhere, is now tasked with a decision: either drop two mountains and now have "The New Hampshire 46," or keep the status quo ante and recognize that until this point, we got on with our hiking lives just fine in our ignorance.

    I just don't see a lot of incentive to take the two off the list.

    Brian
    And since it is just a list, there really is no reason to bother making changes. The "traditional 48" is all you need to call it. Millions of years from now it will not matter, assuming it matters now.

  3. #18
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    With all due respect, allow me to offer a different perspective. When you want to understand the actions of individuals inside an institution, start by reflecting upon their incentive structure.

    You have a bunch of folks on a committee whose primary task is to send out patches and certificates to people who attest to having hiked certain mountains in certain time periods. Committee members literally have to check calendars for winter patches, for example. The people who do this take satisfaction from it.

    Then one day someone tells them that they have a new task: determine how many "mountains" there are for the main patch. It's no small task! If the members add mountains, there are implications for environmental impacts, parking, and so forth. They grandfather existing patch holders in.

    No imagine those folks have to ask themselves if they should take a mountain away!

    What rewards do they get for doing so? What costs?

    Who will say to them, "Thank you for taking two mountains off this list!" Now imagine, who would be furious at them?

    So someone, somewhere, on the 48 Committee or elsewhere, is now tasked with a decision: either drop two mountains and now have "The New Hampshire 46," or keep the status quo ante and recognize that until this point, we got on with our hiking lives just fine in our ignorance.

    I just don't see a lot of incentive to take the two off the list.

    Brian
    Yes with all due respect I see your point but to make it sound like it is a burden is a farce IMO. While it is all just a game someone made up within the context of their own self-created paradigms. Again, all they are really doing is officiating a game. So why create the game to begin with or be an official if it is a task. I fail to see your premise of the need for there to be an incentive structure if it has been become a task. No one forces you to become an official in the first place. I think you are only accentuating what I am saying which is keep it fun. No one forces you to climb mountains and, in my perspective, I could give a rat's arse about some committee that is slaving over the administration of some list that is all about collecting a patch and a certificate. Some of us don't need recognition for fulfillment when they make accomplishments. As far as your comment about parking and impact maybe that would not be a problem if the list had not been created in the first place. Yet another farce is my understanding the list was created originally to disperse impact. People being mad or furious over changes in a list is just down comical IMO. Again relax, stop splitting hairs and have a good time and hike your own hike.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  4. #19
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    And throw in that as MSL rises due to ocean level rise, mountains will get shorter unless they are still growing from the last glacial era.
    I guess that is when this list will come into play. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...d_Fifty_Finest
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  5. #20
    Senior Member Puma concolor's Avatar
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    I am not a fan of either Lidar or the constant minor readjustments to peak-bagging lists. On many levels it takes some of the fun away from the game and forces all of us OCD types to go back and revisit mountains we’ve already summited because it turns out the tippy top is just over there and not right over here. The wooded summits of the Northeast are much more prone to minor inaccuracies than western peaks. Owl’s Head, NH for example … or the switch years ago from Wildcat E to Wildcat D … or the promotions of Redington and Spaulding. You think you’ve done it right and then somebody spits in your Wheaties and you find yourself redoing a 20 mile round trip hike for the sake of an insignificant bump just around the bend.

    And now Lidar has made its first impact on the State Highpoints list. It seems someone has found a bump one ridge north of Mount Davis, Pennsylvania that is less than one foot higher than the historical and well-established state highpoint. As of this past weekend, Lists of John has accepted this data and stripped Mount Davis of its status as the top of PA. So guess who is gonna spend 14 hours in a car on Saturday for the sake of a ridiculous adjustment that may or may not be accurate?

    https://www.listsofjohn.com/peak/218278
    Last edited by Puma concolor; 07-12-2022 at 05:43 PM.

  6. #21
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    I have no issues with the list or any changes to it. Some will enjoy ticking off a list, while others will be indifferent. There is no right or wrong here IMO and therefore no need to stress one way or the other.

  7. #22
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    That is why it is just a game.
    Ok, it's a game. But it's a game where the rules changed. That's what I don't like. There used to be very specific rules.

    Now instead of data, we have emotion. At least, if the list is the list, maybe it won't change anymore...
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  8. #23
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rankin View Post
    Ok, it's a game. But it's a game where the rules changed. That's what I don't like. There used to be very specific rules.

    Now instead of data, we have emotion. At least, if the list is the list, maybe it won't change anymore...
    I understand your point. Seems like either folks have a left or a right brain approach. I think I am a combination of both personally but to each their own. Any which way it's not worth IMO getting OCD about.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  9. #24
    Senior Member nartreb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rankin View Post
    Ok, it's a game. But it's a game where the rules changed. That's what I don't like. There used to be very specific rules.

    Now instead of data, we have emotion. At least, if the list is the list, maybe it won't change anymore...
    It's not clear to me that the rules *have* changed. The lists were originally made based on the best available maps. It's been quite a while since I paid any attention, but the rules as I recall them went something like this:

    *above 4000' based on USGS maps.
    * at least 200' prominence based on USGS maps.
    ** some rules for "questionable cols" where counting topo lines leaves the prominence uncertain (this has changed a bit, there is a "clean prominence" criterion but older peaks can be grandfathered in)
    *** something about having 1 questionable col being ok, but 2 meant leave it off the list? I think that's why Guyot was off originally.
    ** a rule about standards of proof for changing the list. Like, if Guyot only has one questionable col on a new map, that's not enough to add it now. It has to clearly belong, i.e. have no questionable cols.)

    I could be misremembering most of the above, but the point is that the rules are not quite as simple as you might think.

    The AMC 4K committee has consistently declined to accept good GPS evidence, until the evidence was reflected in new maps. They've always been less concerned with objective geographic truth than I would like.

    The rules specify *USGS* maps, so this new LIDAR map doesn't change anything as far as the 4K committee need be concerned.

    Personally, I think the new LIDAR maps should be accepted by the 4K committee and the list revised accordingly. But that would actually require a rule change.

    I have a vague worry that I'm forgetting some recent incident where the committee clearly ignored its own rules in favor of leaving some peak on or off the list for the sake of tradition. Hancock maybe? And of course there's the Nose on Mansfield, left off the [NE] list due to a map error (missing topo line).
    Last edited by nartreb; 07-14-2022 at 11:40 AM.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by nartreb View Post

    The AMC 4K committee has consistently declined to accept good GPS evidence, until the evidence was reflected in new maps. They've always been less concerned with objective geographic truth than I would like.

    The rules specify *USGS* maps, so this new LIDAR map doesn't change anything as far as the 4K committee need be concerned.
    I'm not sure the USGS maps show enough to have changed the Owls Head summit. What did they use in that case?

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    I'm not sure the USGS maps show enough to have changed the Owls Head summit. What did they use in that case?
    Nothing changed except the herd path and the placement of some unofficial markers. The summit was known all along, it was a question of which bump matched the map. Not easy before GPS, especially as the woods have gotten thicker over the years. It was not uncommon for hikers (myself included) to walk along the ridge a bit extra, rather than rely on the herd path, but anyone who did rely on the herd path and unofficial sign is allowed to keep their patch. (The general rule for the NH48 is you don't have to leave the trail to hunt down an exact summit, so for Owl's Head [and technically a few others - I think the trails on Isolation and Moriah are unofficial] the end of the herd path counts as the summit.)

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by nartreb View Post
    Nothing changed except the herd path and the placement of some unofficial markers. The summit was known all along, it was a question of which bump matched the map. Not easy before GPS, especially as the woods have gotten thicker over the years. It was not uncommon for hikers (myself included) to walk along the ridge a bit extra, rather than rely on the herd path, but anyone who did rely on the herd path and unofficial sign is allowed to keep their patch. (The general rule for the NH48 is you don't have to leave the trail to hunt down an exact summit, so for Owl's Head [and technically a few others - I think the trails on Isolation and Moriah are unofficial] the end of the herd path counts as the summit.)
    Osceola (both), Passaconaway, Tom, North Tripyramid, Wildcat A, Galehead, Cabot, Willey, North Twin, South Carter all come to mind (all have summits that are "slightly" off the trail.)

    Tim
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  13. #28
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    Everyone arguing for the "sacredness" of the current 48 is aware that that wasn't the original number that the Underhills proposed - right? It was 46 (ironic - eh?). That's what is was when I finished in November 1966. And was still the case when I finished them in winter a few years later.

  14. #29
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    If you want some more irony, there are 48 4Ks in NY, (at least according to the 46ers).
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  15. #30
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    I'm not on the committee, but it's my understanding that the list peaks will be reconsidered again when/if new USGS topo maps are produced. But I'm not holding my breath on when/if that might happen.

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