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Ranking the Seven Summits

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA.
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby Gabriel » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:56 pm

Well, what to say?

Back to the OP's original question

1. Denali: very strenuous in terms of load carrying, crevasse fall risk and dealing with the elements. I have climbed both the West Butress and the Mulldrow glacier routes. Both are superb mountaineering with the Muldrow being remote and the Westbuttress not so much. Guides and trips are available if that's what you like.

2. Aconcagua: the standard routes are walk ups at a pretty high altitude. I Hiked the route from Plaza de Mulas. apparently I had great weather as only needed one night above base camp, and never melted snow. logistics are easy, But then I' m not offended by the term whiteboy.

3. Europe: Been up both Elbrus and Mt Blanc. Really though, Europe is just Extreme Western Asia and we all know that Chomolungma is the highest point of Asia. As far as routes neither are difficult in terms of technical difficulty or crevasse danger. Elbrus is more difficult in terms of logistics due to needing a Russian visa, but not that bad. IMO both are reasonable objectives for soloists .

4. Vinson: still saving for this one

5. chomolungma: I'm on track financially and mentally to make a solo, mask free attempt in 2018 when I retire or am eligible for a spring sebatical. odds of course are not good, but the prospect is interesting.

6. Australia: I'll stick with the Messner list.

7. Wife's calling me to supper. Tbc

g

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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby TK » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:17 pm

RobertKay wrote:
TK wrote:I'm offended that you're taking such offense on my behalf. It's not like he gave his off-leash dog a gun here.

Just as an aside, I routinely fail grad students who don't know how to write IEP goals. If I don't like their goals, they get to rewrite their assignments after I give them critical feedback. If they don't want to rewrite their assignments, they MIGHT be lucky enough to take my class again next year.



I'm offended that you're offended that I'm offended that you're offended... This could go on for longer than anyone wishes! I must not have been clear enough in my rant. I (I'm only speaking for myself) am tired of fellow climbers dissing other climber's goals, methods, equipment choices or for using a guide. (He used a rope! He used oxygen! He wore a cotton shirt! For shame!) I'm tired of all the controversy. I am tired of the egos and comparisons with other's accomplishments. I am tired of the naysayers blogging from their mom's basement while having no experience or true knowledge of what they are talking about. And this little thread doesn't even qualify as the tip of the iceberg for this problem. Countless articles are written and published every year by one climber slamming another climber for his personal (non-safety-related) choices or for not being a "true" climber - to be defined as whatever the writer happens to think is the right way to do things. There is no reason for all this angst and turmoil. If someone else's goals don't match yours then be glad, because that is one less person crowding the area you wish to go to. Live and let live and try to remember that climbing is a recreational sport.

Requested feedback regarding goals or techniques is valuable and appreciated, especially in an area that you aren't familiar with. This is very different from the unsolicited insults and over-the-top ego stroking that I am talking about. Most of us (certainly me) are not great climbers; rather we are enthusiasts doing what we are capable of while leading a normal life with family and business obligations. I love being in the mountains in my car, on my motorcycle or bicycle, on foot or skis or even just in my mind and photographs. Ego stroking and/or approval from others has nothing to do with most people's love for the mountains. I will never be Reinhold Messner, but then he will never be me either.


The armchair climbing critics you refer to are the reason we all benefit from a built-in BS meter. You will find that kind of inane slam everywhere. Having a net to catch useful feedback is essential, but it's one of those tools you can never buy in a store.

RobertKay wrote:It appears that I won't qualify for your class. We will never know if that's your loss or mine.


The students in my class write goals for other people, not themselves. The stakes are higher if they screw someone else over in a way that has long-term consequences. I make sure they know what they're doing before they move on. Nobody needs my class for recreational climbing, where the goals are their own and the risks are voluntary.
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby Dakota » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:54 pm

TK wrote:
RobertKay wrote:
TK wrote:I'm offended that you're taking such offense on my behalf. It's not like he gave his off-leash dog a gun here.

Just as an aside, I routinely fail grad students who don't know how to write IEP goals. If I don't like their goals, they get to rewrite their assignments after I give them critical feedback. If they don't want to rewrite their assignments, they MIGHT be lucky enough to take my class again next year.



I'm offended that you're offended that I'm offended that you're offended... This could go on for longer than anyone wishes! I must not have been clear enough in my rant. I (I'm only speaking for myself) am tired of fellow climbers dissing other climber's goals, methods, equipment choices or for using a guide. (He used a rope! He used oxygen! He wore a cotton shirt! For shame!) I'm tired of all the controversy. I am tired of the egos and comparisons with other's accomplishments. I am tired of the naysayers blogging from their mom's basement while having no experience or true knowledge of what they are talking about. And this little thread doesn't even qualify as the tip of the iceberg for this problem. Countless articles are written and published every year by one climber slamming another climber for his personal (non-safety-related) choices or for not being a "true" climber - to be defined as whatever the writer happens to think is the right way to do things. There is no reason for all this angst and turmoil. If someone else's goals don't match yours then be glad, because that is one less person crowding the area you wish to go to. Live and let live and try to remember that climbing is a recreational sport.

Requested feedback regarding goals or techniques is valuable and appreciated, especially in an area that you aren't familiar with. This is very different from the unsolicited insults and over-the-top ego stroking that I am talking about. Most of us (certainly me) are not great climbers; rather we are enthusiasts doing what we are capable of while leading a normal life with family and business obligations. I love being in the mountains in my car, on my motorcycle or bicycle, on foot or skis or even just in my mind and photographs. Ego stroking and/or approval from others has nothing to do with most people's love for the mountains. I will never be Reinhold Messner, but then he will never be me either.


The armchair climbing critics you refer to are the reason we all benefit from a built-in BS meter. You will find that kind of inane slam everywhere. Having a net to catch useful feedback is essential, but it's one of those tools you can never buy in a store.

RobertKay wrote:It appears that I won't qualify for your class. We will never know if that's your loss or mine.


The students in my class write goals for other people, not themselves. The stakes are higher if they screw someone else over in a way that has long-term consequences. I make sure they know what they're doing before they move on. Nobody needs my class for recreational climbing, where the goals are their own and the risks are voluntary.



This WAS an interesting thread. I enjoyed reading about the accomplishments of people that have worked hard and dedicated themselves to financially and physically strenuous, long term goals that I probably can not do nor afford myself. I still find it immensely interesting. RobertKay made some great points about why people set their own personal goals, and who it should matter to. TK sounds like an arrogant professor who rules with an iron fist and hijacked the thread with his own stupid personal goal of being annoyingly brilliant and objective. My net could not catch anything useful from your comments. #-o

TK wrote:Nobody needs my class for recreational climbing, where the goals are their own and the risks are voluntary.


Exactly, so what was your original point?
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby RobertKay » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:30 am

MountainHiker wrote:
RobertKay wrote:As an aside, the great irony about Carstensz Pyramid is that it is on the Pacific tectonic plate, not the Australian plate! You have to appreciate that part of the debate.

I wouldn't hold to tectonic plates as the ultimate decider on continent high points, or we would have an even more confused picture. It would get way goofier than how many 14ers are there.

This USGS map puts Carstensz Pyramid on the Australian Plate. A quick Google shows most tectonic maps agree. Some maps also show a Bismark Plate between the Australian and Pacific plates. Apparent discrepancies seem to be level of detail. But there's certainly a tectonic plate argument for Carstensz being Australian.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/plate_tectonics/plates.php

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a3/Australian_Plate_map-fr.png


I remembered a quote from Mike Hamill's book "Climbing the Seven Summits" and thought it would be interesting to add it here. Geology is not my specialty so I'm not going to try to judge the accuracy. It is in a book so therefore it must be true, right? :)

"Using the plate tectonics definition, Mount Everest is more on the Australian Plate than Carstensz is. Mount Everest sits on the collision zone between the Australian Plate, of which the Indian Plate is a subcontinent, and the Eurasian Plate. As Glenn Porzak points out in Seven Summits, Carstensz sits north of this collision zone, making it less a part of the Australian Plate than Mount Everest is. This geological definition would place Carstensz on the Pacific Plate."

It's all fun and games in the Seven Summits club! Reunite Gondwanaland!
Last edited by RobertKay on Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby TK » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:40 am

Dakota007 wrote:This WAS an interesting thread. I enjoyed reading about the accomplishments of people that have worked hard and dedicated themselves to financially and physically strenuous, long term goals that I probably can not do nor afford myself. I still find it immensely interesting. RobertKay made some great points about why people set their own personal goals, and who it should matter to. TK sounds like an arrogant professor who rules with an iron fist and hijacked the thread with his own stupid personal goal of being annoyingly brilliant and objective. My net could not catch anything useful from your comments. #-o

TK wrote:Nobody needs my class for recreational climbing, where the goals are their own and the risks are voluntary.


Exactly, so what was your original point?


Still is interesting. I'm not sure how to run with the plate tectonics argument. If you want to slice things up that way, you'll end up with a different list and some debate about where collision zones and plate boundaries lie. There is a potential for numerous small plates, each with their own high point. For example, do you count a Philippine plate with Apo as the highest summit, or do you call this part of the pacific plate? This depends on which map you pull from. The Messner list is a bit more objective because the boundaries of continents are easier to define.

The one place I seem to disagree with you all is that I think it's good to think critically about goals, whether they are your own goals or someone else's. This may mean deciding to take on a similar project, or letting someone do their own thing because you have no interest or don't want to assume the risk. It may also mean questioning someone's judgement and abilities relative to an unrealistic goal. Personally, I would rather buy a bigger house than invest in an attempt to climb Everest. Kilimanjaro would be a great point on a bucket list. Accepting goals without thinking them over as RobertKay implies may be a lapse in judgement that creates additional risk. If voicing this perspective makes me a thread jacker and an arrogant professor who rules with an iron fist, I can accept the tenure track position. I hope it comes with a good retirement package.
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby smoove » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:49 am

TK wrote:If voicing this perspective makes me a thread jacker and an arrogant professor who rules with an iron fist, I can accept the tenure track position. I hope it comes with a good retirement package.


No, you're a thread jacker because you jacked the thread (but I'm now I'm guility of aiding you in that). You come across as an arrogant professor because you let us know (1) that you teach grad students (2) it sounds like you get some perverse enjoyment from having them writhe under your demands (i.e., write better goals) (3) if they don't comply, they will be lucky to retake your awesome class next year.

Now maybe you're not an arrogant professor who rules with an iron fist. Just wanted to let you know how you could be perceived that way. ;)

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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby Delorean_Man » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:16 pm

How about ranking them from your favorite, or one you want to climb the most to the ones your not going to try as hard at to climb. Here is my list
1. Vinson, Love Antartica :-D
2. Everest, Tallest mountain
3. Denali, cool name
4. Aconcaqua, Its just cool
5. Elbrus, I've always wanted to go to Russia
6. Kili, because its one of them
7. Kosciusko, Australia sounds like a good time
8. Carstensz, I hate jungles.
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby RobertKay » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:47 pm

Delorean_Man wrote:How about ranking them from your favorite, or one you want to climb the most to the ones your not going to try as hard at to climb.


This is the best idea so far on this thread! Here is my list:

1. Everest. It's the biggest, Nepal is insanely fun, the Sherpas are awesome, the adventure, challenges from the climbing/elevation/weather and finally the history of the mountain. I love Everest every step of the way, beginning with Kathmandu!
2. Vinson. This was a tough decision. I loved being in Antarctica and found it very beautiful. I never dreamed I'd have the chance to go to Antarctica. But I can honestly say the same about Denali.
3. Denali. See above.
4. Kilimanjaro. It's a fun climb, the people were wonderful and you can have a great time in Tanzania. It requires no special skills so anyone in decent shape should make it which means you can bring non-climbing friends or family.
5. Mont Blanc. Chamonix is just plain fun. It's also beautiful and there are tons of things you can do while there besides Mont Blanc.
6. Carstensz. Everything about it is miserable - mud, water, rain, grief from the natives. But it is a huge adventure topped off with a challenging but doable rock climb. I can honestly say I'm glad I did it but don't want to go back. Ever!
7. Kosciuszko. The mountain is not impressive but Australia is fun to visit. Sydney is a beautiful city with endless opportunities for a visitor.
8. Elbrus. It's a nice climb with a good ski run down. It's in a beautiful valley with nice people. The problem is it's in Russia which offers so much unnecessary grief to visitors. Between endless lines and rude agents at passport control to cops with machine guns stopping you for no reason it is a little too KGB for my tastes.
9. Aconcagua. It's a big, cold, windy and dusty pile of scree. Sorry to those of you who enjoyed climbing it but I didn't like it very much.

When you look at the things I enjoyed about the Seven Summits you will notice that a common theme is the beauty of the places you visit and the people/cultures you experience. Sure, there is no end to the number of climbs that are more technical or challenging but these peaks provide you with a wonderful cross section of our hugely interesting and varied world. My preferred travel destinations are places where you can't drink the water and they don't speak English because I want to experience things radically different from my normal life.
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby MountainHiker » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:31 pm

RobertKay wrote:
MountainHiker wrote:
RobertKay wrote:As an aside, the great irony about Carstensz Pyramid is that it is on the Pacific tectonic plate, not the Australian plate! You have to appreciate that part of the debate.

I wouldn't hold to tectonic plates as the ultimate decider on continent high points, or we would have an even more confused picture. It would get way goofier than how many 14ers are there.

This USGS map puts Carstensz Pyramid on the Australian Plate. A quick Google shows most tectonic maps agree. Some maps also show a Bismark Plate between the Australian and Pacific plates. Apparent discrepancies seem to be level of detail. But there's certainly a tectonic plate argument for Carstensz being Australian.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/plate_tectonics/plates.php

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a3/Australian_Plate_map-fr.png


I remembered a quote from Mike Hamill's book "Climbing the Seven Summits" and thought it would be interesting to add it here. Geology is not my specialty so I'm not going to try to judge the accuracy. It is in a book so therefore it must be true, right? :)

"Using the plate tectonics definition, Mount Everest is more on the Australian Plate than Carstensz is. Mount Everest sits on the collision zone between the Australian Plate, of which the Indian Plate is a subcontinent, and the Eurasian Plate. As Glenn Porzak points out in Seven Summits, Carstensz sits north of this collision zone, making it less a part of the Australian Plate than Mount Everest is. This geological definition would place Carstensz on the Pacific Plate."

It's all fun and games in the Seven Summits club! Reunite Gondwanaland!

This kind of makes my point in another way. I'm not a geologist, but I've taken a few courses and I like to look at maps. There's a lot more plates than there are continents. And some maps break the plates down and show their boundaries with different levels of detail. So given the fact there's not a nice neat definition for the continents, looking at the plates will allow someone to support whatever conclusion they've already come to!
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby Pops921 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:18 pm

The Seven Summits is just a list, that gives an excuse to go places we might not have gone otherwise. Dick Bass thought of the list and was the first to finish it it. It does make him the greatest mountaineer of all time, but the list was a great idea and it certainly required a high degree of focus, fitness and skills to make it happen.

I really love the idea of the 9 seven summits. Adding Mont Blanc to the list is genius. Chamonix is the birth place of mountaineering. If you love mountains and mountaineering you should go there. A high percentage of people are walking around wearing La Sportiva Nepal Evo boots. Just about any mountaineering gear imaginable is for sale and at good prices. The climbing/hiking could take your breath away for month or more.

My only problem with this thread is all the less then glowing comments about Aconcagua. I signed up for a February Aconcagua climb and a May Denali climb. I am trying to convince my wife to join me on Aconcagua (I know Denali is hopeless). Therefore, a glowing post about Aconcagua would be appreciated.

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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby MountainHiker » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:45 pm

Pops921 wrote:My only problem with this thread is all the less then glowing comments about Aconcagua. I signed up for a February Aconcagua climb and a May Denali climb. I am trying to convince my wife to join me on Aconcagua (I know Denali is hopeless). Therefore, a glowing post about Aconcagua would be appreciated.

Aconcagua Rocks! There's even a Piedra Grande on the hike in! Plus where else can you have a beer & a pizza or burger at the elevation of Mt Elbert listening to Pink Floyd with it snowing outside and you just climbed one of the seven summits, the highest point in southern & western hemispheres and highest in the world outside the Himalayas? And when you're standing on top of Aconcagua in Dec - Feb you are probably the highest person in the whole world! \:D/
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby Pops921 » Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:57 am

Thank you MountainHiker!

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