Dominance - Page 2

Elevation unit chart

a) SUPREME MOUNTAINS*
b) MOUNTAINS, PEAKS AND POINTS
* note that all supreme mountains are automatically considered to be A1

a)
EU TLMD
SMA1COMPLEX9,0126,088,20
SMA2SUBCOMPLEX8,598,068,60
SMB1SYSTEM8,070,049,00
SMB2SUBSYSTEM7,552,536,75
SMC1RANGE, AREA7,035,024,50
SMC2SUBRANGE, -AREA6,527,519,25
SMD1GROUP, MASSIF6,020,014,00
SMD2SUBGROUP, -MASSIF5,515,010,50
b)
EU TLMD
A1SUPREME MOUNTAIN5,515,010,50
A2MOUNTAIN5,010,07,00
B1MAJOR MAIN-PEAK4,06,04,20
B2MINOR MAIN-PEAK3,03,02,10
C1MAJOR SUB-PEAK2,02,01,40
C2MINOR SUB-PEAK1,01,00,70
D1MAJOR NOTABLE POINT0,50,50,35
D2MINOR NOTABLE POINT0,00,00,00














For extrapolations for higher or lower mountain ranges the altitude classes, which are explained below, were required. By using these altitude classes, lower mountain ranges with a greater orometrical dominance could be separated from higher ones, thus preventing low isolated mountains from being ranked as top dominating mountains of a continent. The classification system was first developed with regard to the Alps. During the development the author came across several exceptions, which yet amended the system without questioning it. For example, every highest mountain on an island has 100 % D and therefore these mountains belong to a special category. Isolated coastal mountain ranges and peninsulas, which are almost cut off from the mainland, too, cannot be classified in the same way as “standard mountain ranges”. The same goes for mountains that surround depressions and have a base below sea level. Also in many places of our planet there are isolated mountains, ranges or groups with extraordinary orometrical dominances. For suitable geomorphological adjustment, special denotations are necessary here: An extreme example would be a “complex-dominating mountain”, whereas the classification would remain supreme mountain unit A in accordance with the orometrical dominance.

It turned out that traditional decimal limits in metres or feet were inapplicable for the altitude classes, as especially many members of equivalent mountain groups fall in different classes if divided according to their height in whole 1000 m or ft. In the “triumvirate”, the renowned mountain group of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, the only mountain below 4000 m is even named first.

Thus, the author was looking for a possibility to recognize the natural ranks in mountain ranges. After testing many measurement units by means of comparisons, the author came across a traditional Chinese unit (1 Li = 644,4 m), which worked out in first comparison tests and seemed more fittingly with regards to the mountains. It has to be said that this work reminds of a large mosaic, where the big picture can be seen only after many comparisons. The mountains are diverse to extraordinary, therefore it needs extraordinary findings and methods to constitute a classification system which fits equally well for each and every mountain.

After having developed such a system, 14 altitude classes were established (AC 0 – AC 13). Demi-classes were introduced for statistical purposes, but also as limits for ascent series (H = high/ L = low). The author considers the consolidated dominance classes (DC) to be especially applicable for huge orographical graduations, yet also for international ascent series. The lowest dominance class contains just hills (= below 645 m). Within our “standard mountain complex”, the Alps, all mountain ranges below 1934 m maximum altitude can be named “low mountains” and therefore also “pre-Alps”. Dominance class 3 was called “high mountains” as the high mountain region in the Alps or the Tatra (Carpathians) begins at about this altitude. The Alps themselves are probably best fitted to be the name giver for the next dominance class. Within this class fall also the Rocky Mountains and the Altai system in Asia.

DC 4 received its name from the continental and subcontinental classification, which is well described on the Seven Summits page. The five continents and the two subcontinents find their culmination in this altitude class or above. The three highest dominance classes should need no further explanation. Even the somewhat lurid labelling for the highest class is totally justified. Only the five highest mountains in the world, the “big eight-thousanders”, belong within this class. The difference between the fifth and the sixth highest mountain is about 300 metres, and with two exceptions the “low eight-thousanders” are first ascended without additional oxygen, all five “big eight-thousanders” are first ascended with additional oxygen. So, history taught us, that the death zone begins at AC 13!

The following chart is to be “climbed” from bottom to top. The denotations for each altitude class are set in brackets and are mere suggestions.

DCNAMEMETRESFEETLIACASC
^ 87002854113,513H
7DEATH ZONE83772748413,013L
^ 80552642712,512H
^(HIGH HIMALAYAS)77332537012,012L
^ 74112431311,511H
6HIGH ASIA70892325611,011L
^ 67662219910,510H
^(HIGH TIEN SHAN)64442114210,010L
^ 6122200859,59H
5HIGH ANDES5800190289,09L
^ 5478179708,58H
^(HIGH AFRICA)5156169138,08L
^ 4833158567,57H
4CONTINENTAL (HIGH CAUCASUS)4511147997,07L
^ 4189137426,56H
^(HIGH ALPINE)3867126856,06L
^ 3545116285,55H
3ALPINE (HIGHER STANDARD)3222105715,05L
^ 290095144,54H
^(LOWER STANDARD ALPS)257884574,04L
^ 225674003,53H
2HIGH MOUNTAINS (LOWER ALPS)193463433,03L
^ 161152852,52H
^(PRE-ALPS)128942282,02L
^ 96731711,51H
1LOW MOUNTAINS (HIGH BRITAIN)64521141,01L
^ 32310570,50H
0HILLS (LOWER BRITAIN)000,00L