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Ranking the Fifteen Summits

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Ranking the Fifteen Summits

Postby jdorje » Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:33 am

Rather than completely derail the other thread, I'm going to randomly start a new one. This is purely for my own entertainment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Plates_tect2_en.svg

I count fifteen plates. Four of them appear to be purely oceanic. Several others are small but probably have some interesting peaks. Many of the rest will include the standard "seven summits" as their high points.

The plates, in rough order of elevation:
1. Eurasia plate - Everest or another Himalaya
2. India plate - Everest or another Himalaya. Note there are two Himalayan peaks on this list, while no peak in Europe will make it. Although the Indian plate is technically fused with the Australian plate, it's more interesting to keep them separate.
5. South American plate - Aconcagua
3. North American plate - Although some of Russia is included on this plate, I assume Denali is the HP.
4. African plate - Kilimanjaro
6. Australian Plate - Carstenz is clearly on this plate. Note this solves the Australia debate.
7. Antarctic plate - Vinson. As the 7th plate, this is the last of the 7 summits, with Europe simply being left out.
8. Caribbean plate - includes Central America, therefore probably Tajumulco in Guatemala. If Guatemala is on the plate, which I can't say 100%.
9. Filipino plate - presumably Mount Apo, the highest point in the Philippines.
10. Arabian plate - supposedly Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb is the highest point on the Arabian Peninsula at just 12,028'. Mt. Ararat, 16,854 feet, or another higher peak in Turkey might be on the plate (per Ross Browne).
11. Nazca plate - getting harder here. Possibly Wolf Volcano in the Galapagos.
12. Pacific plate - gotta be Mauna Kea. None of Alaska appears to be included on this plate, though the tip of PNG is.
13. Scotia plate - South Georgia Island has a peak at 10k feet, but this plate may touch some of the Andes as well.
14. Cocos plate - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocos_Island
15. Juan de Fuca plate - may not include any land at all, and is apparently actually three different plates.

(Edited for accuracy, as per comments below.)
Last edited by jdorje on Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:28 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Ranking the Fifteen Summits

Postby Ross_Browne » Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:52 am

It looks like the Arabian Plate could contain Mt. Ararat, 16,854 feet, in southeastern Turkey. And I wonder if the Pacific Plate extents far enough to north to contain some of the coastal peaks in Alaska, such as Mt. St. Elias, which would be higher than the Hawaii volcanoes. It looks like the Pacific plate is almost touching the Alaskan coastal range.

But the real challenge would be to do all 1,515 of the "ultra prominent peaks" of the world. That is, the 1,515 peaks which have a topographical prominence of at least 1,500 meters. Here is the list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra_prominent_peak . And better yet, somebody should do it as a "thruhike" and solo sail across the oceans to get from one continent to the next.

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Re: Ranking the Fifteen Summits

Postby Fisching » Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:49 am

Decent read with the links. jdorje. I've always thought the idea of Country Highpointing (up to 196 points) would be nearly impossible yet a fun adventure to even try for an individual continent's worth as it combines two things I like - traveling & hiking/climbing.

Good luck trying to find the highpoint of the Maldives, however.
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Re: Ranking the Fifteen Summits

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

Fisching wrote:Decent read with the links. jdorje. I've always thought the idea of Country Highpointing (up to 196 points) would be nearly impossible yet a fun adventure to even try for an individual continent's worth as it combines two things I like - traveling & hiking/climbing.

Good luck trying to find the highpoint of the Maldives, however.


I love this idea and have nominally thought about it for several years. My initial hesitation is you'd need to climb K2 which is way past my skill and comfort level. Can we turn this into a Seven Summits type controversy and make arbitrary definitions of what countries will count?! ;)
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Re: Ranking the Fifteen Summits

Postby Fisching » Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:56 pm

RobertKay wrote:
Fisching wrote:Decent read with the links. jdorje. I've always thought the idea of Country Highpointing (up to 196 points) would be nearly impossible yet a fun adventure to even try for an individual continent's worth as it combines two things I like - traveling & hiking/climbing.

Good luck trying to find the highpoint of the Maldives, however.


I love this idea and have nominally thought about it for several years. My initial hesitation is you'd need to climb K2 which is way past my skill and comfort level. Can we turn this into a Seven Summits type controversy and make arbitrary definitions of what countries will count?! ;)


How 'bout an addendum like countries with the word "stan" in their name don't count?
Peter Aitchison on the risks of rock climbing and mountaineering: "That's life, isn't it? We think the challenge and satisfaction you get from doing this is worth the risks."

"Respect the mountain. Train hard. Hope you can sneak up when it isn't looking."

"The mind is always worried about consequences, but the heart knows no fear. The heart just does what it wants."

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Re: Ranking the Fifteen Summits

Postby RobertKay » Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:21 pm

Fisching wrote:
RobertKay wrote:
Fisching wrote:Decent read with the links. jdorje. I've always thought the idea of Country Highpointing (up to 196 points) would be nearly impossible yet a fun adventure to even try for an individual continent's worth as it combines two things I like - traveling & hiking/climbing.

Good luck trying to find the highpoint of the Maldives, however.


I love this idea and have nominally thought about it for several years. My initial hesitation is you'd need to climb K2 which is way past my skill and comfort level. Can we turn this into a Seven Summits type controversy and make arbitrary definitions of what countries will count?! ;)


How 'bout an addendum like countries with the word "stan" in their name don't count?


Or any country with a difficult visa process, expensive airfares, cold mountains, difficult mountains or a lack of English speakers!
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Re: Ranking the Fifteen Summits

Postby ChrisinAZ » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:43 am

Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb would win my vote for toughest peak. The summit is occupied by a military base with heavily armed guards; my impression is that the only way to summit this peak and not get shot would be to join the Yemeni military.

The diversity of skills and the sheer capital needed to climb the world's national highpoints is simply staggering--as far as I know, the closest people to finishing still have at least 50 countries to go, and will never finish. Europe's national highpoints are a cool and relatively attainable goal (several people have climbed them all, and maybe down the road I'd want to try) but they still require some serious snow/ice climbing and ability to clear bureaucratic hurdles at best.
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Re: Ranking the Fifteen Summits

Postby Scott P » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:03 am

The diversity of skills and the sheer capital needed to climb the world's national highpoints is simply staggering...Europe's national highpoints are a cool and relatively attainable goal


North America and South America have been done too. North America is comparatively "easy", but one of South America's is really tough (Juliana Top in Suriname) and has only been climbed once.

Asia would be the toughest of all. Africa would also be very difficult not because of technical difficulty, but due to political situations, wars, and extreme isolation of some of the high points.
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Re: Ranking the Fifteen Summits

Postby spiderman » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:30 am

Forget about the Middle East: just climb all of the 1000-foot prominence peaks in the Midwest and call it good enough. That set of Seven Summits is much more manageable, right Chris? Besides, Bear Butte is much more enjoyable than Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb.

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