Prominence - What is a Mountain?
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How many mountains do you see in the diagram below? How do you distinguish what is a mountain?
Prominence: The elevation rise of the peak from the highest connecting saddle of another higher peak.
Many peak lists are determined by their prominence. In the lower U.S., there are 57 peaks with over 5000 feet of prominence. This is called the Ultra 57 Peaks and only recently have people started completing it. Using prominence is quite new for climbers and it is quickly gaining popularity.
Another popular list to complete is the 2000+ feet peaks with prominence within a state. Each state has X amount of 2000+ peaks and peakbaggers living in their home states feel driven to climb them. Some decide 2000+ peaks are their main climbing objective so they travel all over the country to climb just those. Prominence is also used to gather a list of the total number of peaks within a state. This is sometimes tricky as some debate whether 300 to 500 feet of prominence should qualify as an official peak.
In the end, prominent peaks are usually good choices for hikes and climbs as the top is sure to be the highest peak in the immediate area.
Pilot Peak, Nevada 5,726 feet of prominence
Mount Homes 2,27 8 feet of prominence, Henry Mountains