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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 Alan Arnette » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:04 am

OK Pops921, I'll put a plug in for Aconcagua. I have climbed and summited it 3 times (2005,2008 and 2011) all via the Vacus valley route.

The trek in is full of good views plus the mules and the Muleteers are crazy. The climbing, while not difficult, is challenging in that you are carrying all your own gear at some very high altitudes. The weather is mean. I have experienced some of the coldest conditions on any of my climbs on Aconcagua.

While it is a "walk-up" it is also a dangerous mountain where people die every year. It is the only mountain of the 7 (or 8 or 9 or 15) Summits I'm aware of where the park rangers do a cursory medical test at the 14K Camp to see how you are doing and will veto your ascent if you don't check out.

So have fun, enjoy the steak and wine in Mendoza and let us know how it goes.

Climb On!
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby jdorje » Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:18 am

Mike Hamill wrote:"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."


As a point of accuracy, this argument not only does not support his claim, it's also wrong, at least according to Wikipedia.

His claim (I assume) is that Kosciuszko is the 7th summit. Arguing that Everest or some other non-Carstenz peak in PNG is the high point of the Indo-Australian plate does not support that claim.

Although Wikipedia agrees that the Indian and Australian plates fused together into the Indo-Australian plate 50-55 mya, the entirety of New Guinea (edit: not PNG, but all NG) is pretty clearly contained in this plate.
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby Jim Davies » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:20 pm

Besides, if Carstenz is off the plate, wouldn't New Zealand's Mount Cook be on it anyway?
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby MountainHiker » Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:48 pm

Jim Davies wrote:Besides, if Carstenz is off the plate, wouldn't New Zealand's Mount Cook be on it anyway?

On this map it looks like Mt Cook is on the Pacific Plate, but close to the boundary with the Australian Plate.
But the North Island appears to be on the Australian Plate with Mount Ruapehu - 2,797 m (9,176 ft) taller than Mount Kosciuszko.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a3/Australian_Plate_map-fr.png
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby Tortoise1 » Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:24 pm

All this talk about plates is interesting but it doesn't really have anything to do with continents. Continents are defined by popular convention not geological science or theory. Trying to put every piece of land mass no matter how small on a continent is an interesting exercise for a geologist but popular convention says that there are continents and there are islands. Everyone knows Hawaii is an island. Everyone knows Greenland is an island, and it's 3 times larger than Papua New Guinea.

The other person who knows that Carstensz is on an island is Pat Morrow who had climbed Kosciusko as the highest point on the Australian continent. But then he lost the race to Vinson and had no possible claim to being first unless he redefined the continent of Australia. So he became a born-again geologist.

That said if you're going to put all that effort into the continent high points you'd better get eight - including the hard "Australia" and the real Australia - to make everybody happy.

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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby Gabriel » Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:46 pm

continents have never been defined by popular convention . They have always been defined by plate tectonic theory which continues to evolve. The basic plates, however, we're well established when the climber Morrow completed the list and the Client Bass punted and hiked up a hill in Australia.

G

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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby Scott P » Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:44 pm

My only problem with this thread is all the less then glowing comments about Aconcagua.


How about from Messner? He calls the south face the greatest wall in the world outside the Himalayan region. You may not be climbing the south face, but even if doing the standard route you get to see it.

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geologist but popular convention says that there are continents and there are islands.


No. Islands next to continents are almost always associated with that continent. Sometimes politics plays a role and it is more gray.

Everyone knows Hawaii is an island.


Hawaii is too isolated to be considered to be part of a continent. This is not true of islands such as Japan (Asia), Newfoundland (North America), etc. Are you claiming that even New York City, most of which is on islands, isn't part of North America? This isn't true by most accounts.

Everyone knows Greenland is an island, and it's 3 times larger than Papua New Guinea.


The debate really isn't if New Guinea is or isn't part of a continent, but if it belongs to Asia or Australasia or if Oceania is a continent. Once again, it depends on which part of the world you are in. Also, in much of the world, Australia is also considered an island.

PS, Carstenz Pyramid/Puncak Jaya isn't in Papua New Guinea. It's actually on the Irian Jaya/Indonesian side of New Guinea. The highest mountain in Papua New Guinea is Mount Wilhelm.

But then he lost the race to Vinson and had no possible claim to being first unless he redefined the continent of Australia.


Once again, this is incorrect. Carstenz Pyramid/Puncak Jaya was considered a continental summit long before Pat Marrow climbed it. As mentioned many times on this thread, it depends on which part of the world you are in.
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby RobertKay » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:04 pm

Gabriel wrote:continents have never been defined by popular convention . They have always been defined by plate tectonic theory which continues to evolve. The basic plates, however, we're well established when the climber Morrow completed the list and the Client Bass punted and hiked up a hill in Australia.

G


Continents have never been defined by popular convention but rather have always been defined by plate tectonic theory? Then why all the Australia vs New Guinea argument? Why are there people who claim seven, six and even five continents? Why the arbitrary line for Europe and Asia? The whole idea of plate tectonics didn't begin until the early 20th Century (about 1912 from what I can see) but people talked of continents long before this. The definition of a continent is largely arbitrary and often one of semantics, politics and cultures. Just take a look here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continent and here http://www.nationalgeographic.com/faq/geography.html to get an idea of the various ways knowledgable people describe continents.

Why must you continue to belittle Dick Bass? Pat Morrow couldn't afford his trips so he scrounged around for sponsors. Dick Bass paid his own way plus a disproportionate share of the group costs for his climbs. Based on this, one could easily make the point that Morrow got more help than Bass did and thus was incapable of summiting without outside help. Morrow appears to be a petty, class-envying egomaniac (Exhibit A: http://www.princeton.edu/~paideia/Old%20Documents/Peak%20bagging%20-%20Pat%20Morrow.pdf) who couldn't abide being beaten. If you read Bass' book you will quickly learn that he was no tourist being dragged up hills. He was a good climber and was physically very strong. Besides climbing, Bass also served in the US Navy during the Korean War, ran an oil and gas company along with a ranch and built Snowbird ski resort. To me this makes him a far more rounded and productive human being vs a guy who takes photos and climbs. Besides, do we really want to go down the road of dissing all climbers who use a guide? Or, dissing all climbers who obtain sponsorship? Or dissing fellow climbers in general? I have no "skin in the game" as I don't know either of these gentlemen.

One of Bass' primary reasons for climbing with guides (actually more like climbing with a more experienced set of partners in his case - it was far different from a guided trip today with zero luxuries and scant help), was that the permit process in Nepal was so difficult. He was more or less forced to join an existing trip. Besides, if Bass was the rube you wish to portray him to be, then his accomplishment is all the more impressive and Morrow the superstar looks rather pathetic.

Everyone knows that Bass beat Morrow to Antarctica in spite of Morrow doing his best. By 1985 the climb itself of Vinson Massif was not the real challenge but getting there certainly was. Morrow lost the race so he moved the finish line and added Carstensz Pyramid. It's a tougher climb, everyone knows that. He's a better climber. Everyone also knows that. But these facts don't mean he beat Bass to the Seven Summits. Sometimes the fastest horse doesn't win the race. There is a reason for there being a Bass List and a Morrow List. Messner's endorsement of Morrow's list doesn't give him the right or ability to trump the world's collective opinions and disagreements on the definition of Australia. These days most people aspiring to do the Seven Summits will complete both because they want to cover their bases and avoid this unresolvable argument. The obvious compromise here is that Bass was the first to complete his list and Morrow was the first to complete his list. Two lists, two firsts. Simple.

We will not solve the Australia/New Guinea debate here so let's stop trying. It is like debating the old "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" argument.
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby Gabriel » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:22 am

Being able to pay your own way, and being able to climb a peak on your own merit are different things. Being able to afford a peak is a product of privelage. Having the skills to plan and climb a peak is based on motivation and merit. This is the difference of opinion and something we won' t agree on.

G

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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby RobertKay » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:11 am

Gabriel wrote:Being able to pay your own way, and being able to climb a peak on your own merit are different things. Being able to afford a peak is a product of privelage. Having the skills to plan and climb a peak is based on motivation and merit. This is the difference of opinion and something we won' t agree on.

G


Privilege? Sometimes. But for most people it's a result of choices and natural gifts and talents with a little luck tossed in. Choices like schooling vs climbing through your youth, hard work, career choices, sacrifices, delayed gratification, risk taking, etc. Natural gifts and talents such as intelligence, personality types, ability to see potential in things others can't and risk tolerance. And of course luck. The smartest potential scientist ever in the history of mankind may have been born in a war torn African country and lived and died never even having a chance to use his gifts.

Climbing skills certainly aren't determined by motivation and merit (I am not even sure what you mean by merit. Is someone/God granting climbing skills because of your behavior?). I am a very motivated climber but will never be a very good climber. Like obtaining wealth, climbing skills are gained through making different decisions when faced with these same choices. Imagine if Pat Morrow had chosen to focus on schooling and business vs climbing while Dick Bass chose to focus on climbing vs his education and businesses. The tables would likely be turned on who you would choose in your "real climber" - "client" dichotomy. A great climber is not only tremendously gifted from birth but also devotes a large part of his life to developing and honing his natural abilities. He will often do this at great personal expense such as forgoing a family, a stable home or a stable and comfortable retirement. When forced to choose between a tradional definition of career success vs becoming a great climber he chooses to be a great climber, the opposite of what most people will choose. This concept isn't limited to just climbing but to any athletic endeavor and to lots of non-athletic activities. One could cite missionaries, pastors, volunteers, EMTs, perhaps schoolteachers, etc. I celebrate the fact that we live in a country that allows and venerates such options and choices.
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby Big Schwimm » Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:29 am

Ask yourself this:

If the Morrow and Messner list is THE DEFINITIVE list, as some people on this thread have purported - then why did they both climb Kosciuszko?

There's really no reason to carry on this ridiculous debate. It's like a Republican trying to convince a Democrat that they are part of the wrong party or vice versa.

Robert Kay couldn't have said it better:

RobertKay wrote:These days most people aspiring to do the Seven Summits will complete both because they want to cover their bases and avoid this unresolvable argument. The obvious compromise here is that Bass was the first to complete his list and Morrow was the first to complete his list. Two lists, two firsts. Simple.


If you want to climb one, then climb one. If you want to climb both, then climb both. If you want to use oxygen, then use oxygen. Climbing is a very personal pursuit and bashing someone else for how they did it is just plain asinine.
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby Delorean_Man » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:44 pm

Big Schwimm wrote:Ask yourself this:

If the Morrow and Messner list is THE DEFINITIVE list, as some people on this thread have purported - then why did they both climb Kosciuszko?

There's really no reason to carry on this ridiculous debate. It's like a Republican trying to convince a Democrat that they are part of the wrong party or vice versa.

Robert Kay couldn't have said it better:

RobertKay wrote:These days most people aspiring to do the Seven Summits will complete both because they want to cover their bases and avoid this unresolvable argument. The obvious compromise here is that Bass was the first to complete his list and Morrow was the first to complete his list. Two lists, two firsts. Simple.


If you want to climb one, then climb one. If you want to climb both, then climb both. If you want to use oxygen, then use oxygen. Climbing is a very personal pursuit and bashing someone else for how they did it is just plain asinine.



This is the way I look at it. I'm not sure why people get all worked about it. I wish people could just realize that we don't all have the same goals in climbing. So one guy wanted to climb on the Australia main land and the other guy wanted to expand that and go more towards the Oceania mindset. Big whoop. I just wanna go climb Vinson. Thats the only one I really care about. Why? I don't know. I've just wanted to ever since I was a kid and heard that Antarctica had mountains.
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