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Tallest Mountain

September 10 2000 at 11:29 PM
Craig  (no login)

I am trying to find out which mountain in the world has the greatest vertical rise from base to summit. If anyone can help me out, I'd appreciate it.

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(no login)

Vertical rise

September 11 2000, 1:28 AM 

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.

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Lynn Arave
(no login)

Questions from geographers

September 13 2000, 9:57 AM 

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.

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County Highpointers site

September 13 2000, 12:56 PM 

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 I think there is also a link from the America's Roof home page.

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Papa Bear
(Login Papa.Bear)

Prominence site

April 5 2004, 9:37 AM 

Check the prominence site (part of

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.


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(Login loanvest)


April 5 2004, 1:03 AM 

Yes, I too am bemused.

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.

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Mauna Kea

September 11 2000, 6:32 AM 

Moisture aside.

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September 11 2000, 9:13 AM 

Some people say that it is Kilimanjaro. The plain that it is on is between 5 and 6,000 feet and the summit is over 19,000 feet.

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Olympus Mons

September 11 2000, 11:27 AM 

Is something like 45,000 feet base to summit. I wanna see someone claim to dayhike that !

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Roger A.C. Williams
(no login)

Olympus Mons Highest

September 11 2000, 1:13 PM 

Wrong planet. (the message did ask for "highest in the world"; of course, you could extend that ie make it "worlds" or "solar system").
Roger Williams, Boulder, Colo.

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Adam Roddy
(no login)

Trip info

September 11 2000, 1:31 PM 

Does anyone have any climbing info on Olympus Mons?

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Olympus Mons Trip Info

September 11 2000, 2:19 PM 

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.

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(Login loanvest)

Thank you for the info:

April 5 2004, 12:50 AM 

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.

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Stephen Drake
(no login)

I hiked Olympus Mons a few years ago.

September 14 2000, 1:05 AM 

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.

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Adam Roddy
(no login)


September 14 2000, 11:44 AM 

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,

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Mountains of Jupiter

September 14 2000, 1:19 PM 

Actually, due to the tremendous pressures at the planet's core, it is theorized that gas giants could very well have some sort of solid core.

And we apparently have an eye witness testimony. What a discovery for science!!!

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Roger Williams
(Login rogerac)

Seas of Jupiter

April 5 2004, 7:58 PM 

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.

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(no login)

Higher than that !

September 14 2000, 12:51 PM 

Olympus Mons is 75,000 ft. The first 20k is straight up. The summit is easy from there. you won't even know you're climbing.

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Ken Akerman
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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.

Crew of space shuttle Columbia

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Ken Akerman
(no login)

NASA eyes December for next shuttle flight

June 11 2003, 8:46 PM 

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.

Click here to read the article.

NASA Moves Forward to Return Shuttles to Flight

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