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Hikin_Jim

More Peaks for your "To Do" List

I've been keeping a list of peaks over 10,000' in Southern California.  I've just added Shirley Peak (10,388'/3166m) to the list.

Shirley Peak (left) and Marion Mountain (right)


Why didn't I add Shirley Peak when I originally compiled the list?  Well, when is a peak a peak?  I mean, what exactly constitutes a peak as opposed to just a bump on a ridge?

I go into what constitutes a peak in my latest blog post.  There are also a couple of fun "peaks" that didn't quote make the list but are described on my blog.  Have a read if you like.

HJ
RichardK

Peak?

If the U.S. Board on Geographical Names (http://geonames.usgs.gov/) has named it, then it is a peak.

If you get brownie points from somebody like Sierra Club for climbing it, then it probably is a peak.

If nobody cares, then it is a bump on a ridgeline.

In any event, thanks for pointing this one out!
Hikin_Jim

Richard,

Here's what made me finally put it on my list:


That photo was taken from 95 miles away.  If a peak can be seen as a distinct landmark from 95 miles away, then, it deserves to be listed.

HJ
Sean

Re: Peak?

RichardK wrote:
If the U.S. Board on Geographical Names (http://geonames.usgs.gov/) has named it, then it is a peak.


I see a couple problems with this. First, the Board doesn't name peaks. It resolves disputes and standardizes peak names for official government purposes. Explorers and local interest groups name peaks.

Second, it follows from the previous point that the Board also does not determine the definition of a peak. In fact it uses a fairly typical dictionary definition for a "summit." The Board seems to have no interest in scientifically defining its terms.

Thus, simply because the Board forms a conclusion regarding a peak name, that does not mean the geographical feature is objectively a peak. Consider Burro Peak, which is a 100-foot bump along a minor ridge with a more substantial, higher point only a half-mile away.
Hikin_Jim

Yeah, why is the point marked on the map as Stockton peak lower than two points on the same summit bloc?

And why does West Dobbs bear the name "Dobbs Peak" when East Dobbs is 65 or so feet higher?

Not much rhyme or reason to peak names.

I've just been trying to capture names of common use.  It's up to the individual to decide which things are interesting to climb.

HJ
RichardK

Re: Peak?

Sean wrote:
RichardK wrote:
If the U.S. Board on Geographical Names (http://geonames.usgs.gov/) has named it, then it is a peak.


I see a couple problems with this. First, the Board doesn't name peaks. It resolves disputes and standardizes peak names for official government purposes. Explorers and local interest groups name peaks.


If that is the case, then why isn't Mt. Carl Heller an official name?  Bob Rockwell made an effort to have this peak named for his friend and co-founder of the China Lake Mountain Rescue Group.  The Geographical Board denied the application.  Yes, the Board may sort out conflicting names, but no other name has ever been considered for that peak.

From http://www.clmrg.org/taluspile/TPOct02.html:

After Carl's death in 1984, CLMRG began an attempt to get Peak 13,211 renamed Mt. Carl Heller, but the U.S. Congress's Board on Geographic Names rejected the idea. Nevertheless, common usage is winning out, with the prominent Sierra Nevada climbing guidebooks now referring to it by that name.

In any event, the original post was intended to be more humorous than scientific or legal. Lighten up!   Very Happy
Taco

Humans. Wink

Don't forget Burrito Peak! Cool
Sean

Re: Peak?

RichardK wrote:
The Geographical Board denied the application.  Yes, the Board may sort out conflicting names, but no other name has ever been considered for that peak.

There are several reasons why the Board might not approve a new commemorative name proposal. They follow certain policies.
Hikin_Jim

The board appears to be a group of dour killjoys who delight in dashing the hopes of those wishing to memorialize worthy persons.

HJ

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