In the book "6194 Denali Solo" author Ed Darack states that Mt.Mckinley deserves that distinction however I have read a convincing argument that Mt.St.Elias is the true champ as its vertical rise begins closer to sea level. Im thinking that the true begining of 'vertical rise' can be a bit subjective and lead to some debate. I also am interested in any solid info. on this subject. Thanks for the post.
Some years ago when I inquired about steepness and vertical rise among professors of geography, I was told there was no accepted formula for determining either value.
I was told the base of a mountain can't easily be determined from the surrounding landscape that is rarely flat.
"Where do you measure from?" were common questions from such professors on vertical rise.
Also on steepest mountain claims, the question was once again, where do you measure from?
Still, taking some liberties, vertical rise and steepness of mountains are fascinating inquiries.
What I'd like to see is a 50-states list of the mountains with the most vertical rise (with an "estimate" on where the base starts, of course).
The mountains with the most vertical relief probably aren't always the high point in each state and that's what makes it so interesting.
The county highpointers site has a long piece on 'prominence' with a list of the most prominent mountains in each state. You might try there. Hmm.. it might be www.cohp.org. I think there is also a link from the America's Roof home page.
Prominence is a measure of how a mountain stands above it's neighbors - but most would agree it becomes unintuitive or unhelpful when measuring the very tallest (Denali, Everest, etc.). But it is certainly helpful for state most prominent peaks. Check it out. The state and country lists and some nice maps are all there.
There is another measure caled "spire" which attempts to measure steepness, appropriately defined. Someone else will have to give a reference of that.
There is little question upon gazing at Denali that it takes the title. Everest pales to be sure.
But as you've said, Mt. St. Elias on a clear day? Wow!
The verticality issue too.
After all, Mauna Kea doesn't "look" 13,600 from the beach as it's so broad.
I would seek input from our fellow observers?
It's a burning issue for me. Machapuchare doesn't have the numbers but my God is it vertical. Wrangell St. Elias has MANY contenders. It certainly 'looks' taller than Everest or Annapurna.
But Denali 'appears' to TOWER above them all, but a large margin.
Is it mere height above plateau?
Angular or lack of an angular nature? (ie: the 14,000 Wicksham Wall ON Denali itself)?
And of course, distance from the viewpoint. CRITICAL.
In Denali Park, it's not easy getting close. The rangers are so worried about upsetting the bears that you are on your own for 30+ miles of bush to get up close. The bears seemed indifferent to me. In fact, I think I bored them.
This came up before at another forum. If I remember right, those claiming to have summited it, said to expect very cold conditions, lots of red dust, and soft/rotten rock. They did say the chances of having to share the summit with anyone else were very slim. Unlike Everest, oxygen is not optional.
I too, thought Olympus Mons was a gas......CO2 mostly.
OK,OK, so you had to carry oxygen.......
BUT you only weighed 50lbs on Mars!
Piece of cake.
Bring water. Not Evian. Something more latin sounding, it "Pleases Mons". Try Pellegrino.
It's that cramped, 7 month ride, packed in with 6 other smelly, sweaty hikers eating granola bars 3 times a day for nearly a year. Worse then taking a Nepalese bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara...well, almost.
I hiked Olympus Mons a few years ago. It took 3 days to get to the top. Fortunately there were no storms to interfere as there was absolutely no tree cover. The only problem with the hike is that the red dust got in my camera and it ceased to work. Therefore, I don't have a summit picture to share. You'll just have to trust me.
Olympus Mons wasn't all that difficult. The most difficult hike I attempted was to summit a mammoth mountain on the southern hemisphere of Jupiter. Not only was the freezing cold a problem, but gravity was so strong, I had to have incredible strength just to take a step. After 2 steps, I gave up and decided against ever attempting another summit on Jupiter.
I'm interested in how anyone else has fared while hiking on Jupiter.
Obviously, you're full of it. Jupiter is made completely of gas, and therefore has no mountains. So you couldn't have climbed "Mammoth Mountain" as you so alledge. It's such a shame that people are willing to totally blow their credibility, just to claim another planetary highpoint.
Also, I was wondering, do you need ropes on the cliffs at the base of Olympus Mons? I know they are very high, and vertical, but the gravity is also less. I suppose it yould be a wise precaution. Also, would landing above the cliffs and climbing from there be counted as a true climb? Thanks,
Jupiter is supposed to have an ocean of metallic liquid hydrogen. Saturn might have one too. You could go for a swim, "water" ski, speedboat ride or a row on that. (or on Titan which may have a sea of liquid ethane; we should find out soon when Huygens descends to it). Neptune & Uranus are supposed to have solid surfaces under deep atmospheres; how deep, what conditions might be like down there or what sort of relief it might have I don't know.
Shuttle Columbia feared lost during reentry over Texas with crew of seven aboard
February 1 2003, 11:09 AM
CAPE CANAVERAL NASA lost communication with the space shuttle Columbia approximately sixteen minutes before its scheduled landing Saturday morning. At the time, Columbia was streaking over north-central Texas, at an altitude of approximately 200,000 feet, moving at about 12,500 mph. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration declared an emergency.
NASA was mobilizing search and rescue teams in and around the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and warned people to be on the look out for "debris" which was described as possibly being "toxic."
Witnesses reported falling debris, and video showed what seemed to be the shuttle breaking apart.
The shuttle was carrying the first Israeli astronaut and six Americans, and authorities had feared it would be a terrorist target.
WASHINGTON -- NASA is planning its first major hardware redesign since space shuttle Columbia's fatal breakup -- getting rid of the insulating foam suspected of triggering the Feb. 1 accident -- in hopes of getting the craft back in orbit by mid-December.
Briefing the NASA Advisory Council on Tuesday, Michael Greenfield, who co-chairs the agency's "return-to-flight" team, said NASA engineers are proposing to eliminate the foam that prevents ice from forming on the shuttle's troublesome bipod ramp area before liftoff.
For those interested in these off-world mountaineering challenges, check out "Higher than Everest" by Paul Hodge, Cambridge University Press, 2001 (available at Amazon.com). It covers Olympus Mons, the Moon's Mont Blanc, Venus' Mt. Maxwell and much more. Hey, one can dream...(and in doing so, honor the memories of the Columbia astronauts).
I remember reading that the world's talles mountain was a peak in the Andes near the eqautor. Not only did it rise directly from the ocean, but the earth bulges out at the equator, technically pushing the mountain higher into the atmosphere. I'll dig around and see if I can come up with a name and article.
Climbing mag. issue #188 (Sept. 1999) has a series of articles on the toughest climbs in the Himalaya. On page 141 an article on Nanga Parbat states, "Nanga Parbat ranks ninth amoung 8000-meter giants, but the base of the peak starts at a relatively low elevation, so it actually has more vertical relief from basecamp than any other mountain in the world." Again I say it depends on where you wish to call basecamp. Im still unsure as I recall the material on St.Elias more complete and convincing...?
I'd like to thank everyone for their help.(and creativity with the other worlds). The USGS agrees with Bill's answer of Mauna Kea, and has heard many times that it is Denali, but also thinks maybe Mt. Saint Elias or Canada's Mt. Logan. They are going to get back to me on the final decision. But let's keep the debate rolling...
There are at least 3 different ways to measure. First, the fartherest from the center of the earth. Second, highest from base to summit, even if that base is below sealevel. The third is highest from base - at or above sealevel - to summit.
Then there is no clear method to determine base.
As for the second definition, I thought that some island had that distinction. I don't recall the specific island.
As with most geographical things, when you get into the details things get complicated.