Dominance - Page 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/MASSIF SUPREME MOUNTAIN ALT AC P D EU NATIONS
KROTTENKOPF GROSSER KROTTENKOPF 2656 4L 981 36,94 SMB2 A/D
WIDDERSTEIN GROSSER WIDDERSTEIN 2553 3H 874 34,23 SMC1 A
HOHES LICHT HOHES LICHT 2651 4L 680 25,65 SMC1 A/D
HOCHVOGEL HOCHVOGEL 2592 4L 572 22,07 SMC2 D/A
IFEN HOHER IFEN 2230 3L 478 21,43 SMC2 D/A
HÖFATS HÖFATS 2258 3H 478 21,17 SMC2 D
VILSALPSEE LEILACHSPITZE 2274 3H 415 18,25 SMD1 A/D
ELFER ELFER 2387 3H 415 17,39 SMD1 A/D
GAISHORN GAISHORN 2247 3L 368 16,38 SMD1 A/D
DAUMEN GROSSER DAUMEN 2280 3H c 350 15,35 SMD1 D
URBELESKARSPITZE URBELESKARSPITZE 2632 4L 375 14,25 SMD1 A
ROSSZAHN-MASSIF GROSSER ROSSZAHN 2356 3H 317 13,46 SMD2 A
BIBERKOPF-MASSIF BIBERKOPF 2599 4L 337 12,97 SMD2 D/A
SCHNECK-MASSIF SCHNECK 2269 3H 265 11.68 SMD2 D


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 Antelao, “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.

NAME ALT P D EU AC ASC NAT
MONTE ETNA 3323 3323 100,00 IHP 5 L I
MONT BLANC 4808 4695 97,65 SMA1 7 L F
PICO DEL MULHACÉN 3479 3285 94,42 SMA1 5 L E
PICO D'ANETO 3404 2812 82,61 SMA2 5 L E
GROSSGLOCKNER 3798 2423 63,80 SMB1 5 H A
MARMOLADA (PUNTA PENIA) 3343 2131 63,75 SMB1 5 L I
WILDSPITZE 3768 2261 60,01 SMB1 5 H A
PIZ BERNINA 4049 2234 55,17 SMB1 6 L CH
HAUTE CIME 3257 1796 55,14 SMB1 5 L CH
MONTE VISO 3841 2062 53,68 SMB1 5 H I
FINSTERAARHORN 4274 2280 53,35 SMB1 6 H CH
ANTELAO 3263 1734 53,14 SMB1 5 L I
ORTLER / ORTLÉS 3905 1953 50,01 SMB1 6 L I
BARRE DES ÉCRINS 4102 2045 49,85 SMB1 6 L F
PRESANELLA 3558 1676 47,11 SMB2 5 H I
MONTE ROSA (DUFOURSPITZE) 4634 2165 46,72 SMB2 7 L CH/I
GRAN PARADISO 4061 1891 46,56 SMB2 6 L I
PIZ KESCH 3418 1504 44,00 SMB2 5 L CH
TÖDI 3614 1570 43,44 SMB2 5 H CH
DAMMASTOCK 3630 1465 40,36 SMB2 5 H CH

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

NAME ALT P D EU AC ASC NAT
HOCHKÖNIG 2941 2181 74,16 SMA2 4 H A
HOHER DACHSTEIN 2995 2136 71,32 SMA2 4 H A
TRIGLAV 2864 2048 71,51 SMA2 4 L SLO
SÄNTIS 2502 2015 80,54 SMA2 3 H CH
CIMA DODICI / FEROZZO 2336 1874 80,22 SMA2 3 H I
GRIGNA SETTENTRIONALE 2409 1686 69,99 SMA2 3 H I
MONTE BALDO (CIMA VALDRITTA) 2218 1950 87,92 SMA2 3 L I
CHAMECHAUDE 2082 1771 85,06 SMA2 3 L F
POINTE D'ARCALOD 2217 1713 77,27 SMA2 3 L F
MONTE BONDONE (CORNETTO) 2180 1679 77,02 SMA2 3 L I
MONTE TÁMARO 1962 1408 71,76 SMA2 3 L CH


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 McKINLEY 6194 6144
99,19
SMA1
9
H
Alaska (USA)
MOUNT LOGAN 5959 5250
88,10
SMA2
9
L
Yukon (Canada)
PICO DE ORIZABA / CITLALTÉPETL 5636 4922
87,33
SMA2
8
H
Mexico
MOUNT FAIRWEATHER 4671 3955
84,67
SMA2
7
L
Alaska (USA) / BC (Canada)
MOUNT BLACKBURN 4996 3533
70,72
SMA2
7
H
Alaska (USA)
MOUNT SAINT ELIAS 5489 3448
62,82
SMB1
8
H
Alaska (USA) / Yukon (Canada)
MOUNT LUCANIA 5226 3046
58,29
SMB1
8
L
Yukon (Canada)
POPOCATEPETL 5400 3050
56,48
SMB1
8
L
Mexico
MOUNT VANCOUVER 4812 2712
56,36
SMB1
7
L
Alaska (USA) / Yukon (Canada)
MOUNT HUBBARD 4557 2457
53,92
SMB1
7
L
Alaska (USA) / Yukon (Canada)
MOUNT SANFORD 4949 2343
47,34
SMB2
7
H
Alaska (USA)
NEVADO TOLUCA 4680 2210
47,22
SMB2
7
L
Mexico
MOUNT BONA 5045 2104
41,70
SMB2
7
H
Alaska (USA)
MOUNT FORAKER 5304 2210
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.