Dominance - Seite 3

Elevation Equality


Basically, this classification system, which the author named “elevation equality”, makes the fragmentation of mountain systems along political borders disappear. One should grant supreme mountains their territory (Orometrical Domain) in the same manner in which a river crossing borders remains acknowledged as the same one river even when changing its name. Precisely determined land or mountain divides should have the same significance as water divides. Not until then will we gain a perfect orological mosaic. In other words: Great rivers have their catchment area; the same should be conceded to supreme mountains. Xavier Eguskitza and the author agree that river courses and mountain ranges complement each other and thereby create a certain hierarchy that is not influenced by humans and therefore neutral.

To illustrate this, some prominent examples are given here, beginning with the lowest altitude class, where we can find the Saxon Switzerland and the Bohemian Switzerland. Whereas both mountain ranges received their similar names from their geological features and the resulting character of one landscape beyond the Elbe, from an orological point of view both parts west of the Elbe belong to the Ore Mountains in contrast to the both parts east of the Elbe. The eastern parts belong to the Lausitzer mountains which are already part of the Sudetes system. In this case the political border were more significant for the name giving than the natural separation caused by the Elbe. Then again, Eifel and Ardennes are from the orological point of view clearly parts of the same mountain range and the different names are only caused by the borders between Germany and its western neighbours. Also, the geological label “Rheinisches Schiefergebirge” (Rheinic schist mountains) does not make any sense from the orological point of view. The western part is linked to the distant Massif Central and not across the river Rhine.

Let us now take a look at standard high mountains, where an exceptional illogic classification can be found in the Allgäuer Alps. In his book “Allgäuer Alpen” (Rosenheimer Verlagshaus, 1991, ISBN 3-475-52687-5), Dieter Seibert makes fun of the geographers for good reason: „Can you imagine a main ridge where right in the middle a part is simply missing? The Allgäu can come up with one! […] This ridge contains the Öfnerspitze – yet that is part of the Hornbachkette. The main ridge just ends at the Mädelejoch and continues after another 2 km at the Märzle. To sum it up: Theory is just that.


The elevation equality system gives a far more logic grouping for the main mountains in the Allgäu High Alps. All supreme mountains of the Allgäuer High Alps are defined. They are sorted by D in the following table:


RANGE/GROUP/MASSIFSUPREME MOUNTAINALT  AC PDEUNATIONS
KROTTENKOPFGROSSER KROTTENKOPF2656  4L 98136,94 SMB2A/D
WIDDERSTEINGROSSER WIDDERSTEIN2553  3H 87434,23 SMC1A
HOHES LICHTHOHES LICHT2651  4L 68025,65 SMC1A/D
HOCHVOGELHOCHVOGEL2592  4L 57222,07 SMC2D/A
IFENHOHER IFEN2230  3L 47821,43 SMC2D/A
HÖFATSHÖFATS2258  3H 47821,17 SMC2D
VILSALPSEELEILACHSPITZE2274  3H 41518,25 SMD1A/D
ELFERELFER2387  3H 41517,39 SMD1A/D
GAISHORNGAISHORN2247  3L 36816,38 SMD1A/D
DAUMENGROSSER DAUMEN2280  3Hc35015,35 SMD1D
URBELESKARSPITZEURBELESKARSPITZE2632  4L 37514,25 SMD1A
ROSSZAHN-MASSIFGROSSER ROSSZAHN2356  3H 31713,46 SMD2A
BIBERKOPF-MASSIFBIBERKOPF2599  4L 33712,97 SMD2D/A
SCHNECK-MASSIFSCHNECK2269  3H 26511.68SMD2D


Speaking of the Alps, another Alps enthusiast should be heard. In his book “1000 Gipfel der Alpen“ (1000 peaks of the Alps) (1993, Weltbild Verlag, ISBN 3-89350-388-9), Ernst Höhne remarks: „We have maps and consistent nomenclature for the moon, but not for our Alps! For we still use geological zoning along with local, political and arbitrary systems or even several systems at the same time. The only [system] […] that can be considered viable […] is the geographical [system]. All other classifications are, frankly speaking, unfeasible.”

Well, the author really took this to heart and after realising that there are indeed several different ways of classification he developed this purely geographical (more precisely: orological) classification system in order to classify the Alps not only once more but once and for all. It is also notable that this classification system does show an equality of Marmolada, “queen” of the (western) Dolomites, and Antaleo, “king” of the (eastern) Dolomites, and thereby quasi confirms their "titles".

The table below shows the top dominances in Europe in the dominance class “alpine” or higher, including the highest European island high point.

NAMEALTPDEUACASCNAT
MONTE ETNA33233323100,00IHP5LI
MONT BLANC4808469597,65SMA17LF
PICO DEL MULHACÉN3479328594,42SMA15LE
PICO D'ANETO3404281282,61SMA25LE
GROSSGLOCKNER3798242363,80SMB15HA
MARMOLADA (PUNTA PENIA)3343213163,75SMB15LI
WILDSPITZE3768226160,01SMB15HA
PIZ BERNINA4049223455,17SMB16LCH
HAUTE CIME3257179655,14 SMB15LCH
MONTE VISO3841206253,68SMB15HI
FINSTERAARHORN4274228053,35SMB16HCH
ANTELAO3263173453,14SMB15LI
ORTLER / ORTLÉS3905195350,01SMB16LI
BARRE DES ÉCRINS4102204549,85SMB16LF
PRESANELLA3558167647,11SMB25HI
MONTE ROSA (DUFOURSPITZE)4634216546,72SMB27LCH/I
GRAN PARADISO4061189146,56SMB26LI
PIZ KESCH3418150444,00SMB25LCH
TÖDI3614157043,44SMB25HCH
DAMMASTOCK3630146540,36SMB25HCH

The next lower dominance class contains mountains which should be mentioned here because they dominate subcomplexes in the Alps (SMA2):

NAMEALTPDEUACASCNAT
HOCHKÖNIG2941218174,16SMA24HA
HOHER DACHSTEIN2995213671,32SMA24HA
        
TRIGLAV2864204871,51SMA24LSLO
        
SÄNTIS2502201580,54SMA23HCH
CIMA DODICI / FEROZZO2336187480,22SMA23HI
GRIGNA SETTENTRIONALE2409168669,99SMA23HI
        
MONTE BALDO (CIMA VALDRITTA)2218195087,92SMA23LI
CHAMECHAUDE2082177185,06SMA23LF
POINTE D'ARCALOD2217171377,27SMA23LF
MONTE BONDONE (CORNETTO)2180167977,02SMA23LI
MONTE TÁMARO1962140871,76SMA23LCH


The author does not want to be a spoilsport for mountaineers collecting ascents to 4000er peaks, yet it should be allowed to mention that, from the orological point of view, climbing the Eiger is definitely more valuable than climbing the Stecknadelhorn. The new system sets the starting point for the High Alps to 3867 m. And the dominance clearly shows how many mountains below 4000 m yet of the same altitude class are more interesting than minor peaks above 4000 m. Therefore we inserted the list of the most dominant mountains in the High Alps just below. It should be mentioned that there is a natural gap between mountains and major main peaks (see Fletschhorn – Allalinhorn). It was gaps like this that helped the author after a number of comparisons to set limits for the different elevation units. Thus it should be noticeable that the mountains were not forced into the system but the system was adjusted to the mountains.


Table here.

So the Nordend is set aside here but becomes the most dominant sub-peak of the High Alps!

The next example in a subsequent higher altitude can be found in North America. Whereas Denali (Mount McKinley) and Mount Logan are separated quite clearly, the assignment to the different mountain systems in the Logan complex has been wrongly made in accordance with political borders. The altitude of the connecting ridges makes it clear that the subsystem dominated by Mount Bona in Alaska has to be assigned to the Logan complex. Thus it is quite plain that Mount Blackburn is the Supreme mountain dominating the Wrangell subcomplex. The following chart shows clearly the differences between the elevation units of Mount Bona (41,70 % D) and Mount Blackburn (70,72 % D).

NAME
ALT
P
D
EU
AC
ASC
NATIONS
DENALI / MOUNT McKINLEY61946144
99,19
SMA1
9
H
Alaska (USA)
MOUNT LOGAN59595250
88,10
SMA2
9
L
Yukon (Canada)
PICO DE ORIZABA / CITLALTÉPETL56364922
87,33
SMA2
8
H
Mexico
MOUNT FAIRWEATHER46713955
84,67
SMA2
7
L
Alaska (USA) / BC (Canada)
MOUNT BLACKBURN49963533
70,72
SMA2
7
H
Alaska (USA)
MOUNT SAINT ELIAS54893448
62,82
SMB1
8
H
Alaska (USA) / Yukon (Canada)
MOUNT LUCANIA52263046
58,29
SMB1
8
L
Yukon (Canada)
POPOCATEPETL54003050
56,48
SMB1
8
L
Mexico
MOUNT VANCOUVER48122712
56,36
SMB1
7
L
Alaska (USA) / Yukon (Canada)
MOUNT HUBBARD45572457
53,92
SMB1
7
L
Alaska (USA) / Yukon (Canada)
MOUNT SANFORD49492343
47,34
SMB2
7
H
Alaska (USA)
NEVADO TOLUCA46802210
47,22
SMB2
7
L
Mexico
MOUNT BONA50452104
41,70
SMB2
7
H
Alaska (USA)
MOUNT FORAKER53042210
41,67
SMB2
8
L
Alaska (USA)


Let’s take a look at the “highest” example of illogical classification: the so-called Karakoram in High Asia. According to the official classification the western part of this arbitrarily defined “system” isn’t even connected with the remaining part at all! The Ghujerab Mountains north of the Hispar Muztagh “are part” of the Karakoram, but strangely enough all connecting ranges to Batura Muztagh are not. There is probably no other place where the difference between traditional classification and a necessary new classification is bigger.

As there are many illogical separations in High Asia, the following table shows the true orological domains of High Asian and Pre-High Asian mountains, sorted by range dominances within the systems and subsystems. Note, that in the first image two mountain names should be replaced because of new information. "Rachama" is correctly named "Lachama Chuli" by the Nepalese Government and "Kubi Gangri" is named more correctly "Kaqur Kangri"!

Look at the following two maps to see the High Asian systematics with domain borders and main ridges:

The basic images were created by Edward Earl

All High Asian Mountains and relative independent Main-Peaks with an altitude of 6750 m and higher with all systematic information and first ascents dates you can find in this table.

A new separation systematic of the Alps will follow soon!

All suggestions in this text are meant to present new and interesting perspectives for mountain geography and mountaineering – and to encourage pursuing these perspectives! All these considerations may set new interesting tasks to travellers, like new local, continental or global ascent series for mountaineers or like hiking, biking or trekking to orologically important passes.