Prominence Rules and Categories Tracked

Prominence Rules

These guidelines only apply to this FRL. Others are free to come up with their own "rules" for their own FRLs.

A. Access not allowed

If access is prohibited on peak in question 365 days a year, you can replace it with a lower peak to claim state completion. The lower peak(s) are the ones immediately below the cutoff for the list in question.

This completion will be noted as such. Example:

NV 50! John Vitz@ [Bald Mountain]

Indicates that Bald Mountain was skipped due to bad access. Peak #51 on the NV list, North Peak, is climbed in place of Bald Mountain.

Note that if access on Bald Mountain is opened, John will probably want to climb it, and remove the "@".

B. Difficulty

No difficulty waivers.

C. Mechanized Transport

Reaching or traveling close to a summit with assist of mechanized ground transport such as car, truck, 4wd, snow-cat, ski tram, cog RR, etc.... is allowed in this FRL. Draft ground animal assist (horses, mules, llamas, etc) is allowed. All forms of water transport are allowed.

This means that the Colorado Mountain Club guideline requesting a minimal 3,000 foot vertical gain enroute to a peak is not used.

However, hikers are encouraged to record on their peak lists when mechanized transport was used. For example, on peaks that I used mechanized transport they are noted with:

AU = Drove auto close to top
AU+ = Auto + short walk
TK = Drove truck ("TrucK") close to top
JP = Drove 4wd ("JeeP") close to top
TRAM = Took cable tramway close to top
COGRR = Took cog railroad close to top

Aerial modes of transport directly to the summit, or past standard base camps, are not allowed. This includes fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, hang gliders, parachutes, and other aerial modes of transport.

Descent from the summit with hang glider or parachute that you have carried up there carries no penalty.

D. Volcanic eruptions and other height changes

The pre-eruption prominence of Mount Saint Helens was 5,917 ft, a good bit higher than the current 4,605+ ft.

Thus when Bob Bolton climbed Saint Helens he could claim both a "top 10" WA prominence ascent, and a top 50 in the lower 48 states ascent. (Mount Saint Helens was #28 in lower 48-states prominence list prior to May 18, 1980.)

Those who climb Mount Saint Helens today can make neither of these claims.

The pertinent categories are

  • LOWER 48 USA (the 50 best by prominence in the lower 48 United states)

    The miler measure is new. It would tally how many peaks you have climbed that have a mile (1610 meters) or more of prominence, worldwide.


    LOWER 48 USA - You can claim either California's Lassen Peak with 5,217+ ft of prominence, or pre-eruption Mount Saint Helens as counting for this list, but not both. Bob Bolton cannot claim 51 of Americas 50 finest.

    THE MILER MEASURE - Pre-eruption Mount Saint Helens ascents get credit for full prominence at that time. Thereby Bob Bolton gets to count this for his "miler measure".

    E. Definition of a 2,000 foot prominence peak

    For purposes of this FRL list a 2,000 ft peak is one proven to have at least 2,000 ft prominence, either by current and accurate maps, or by trustworthy survey data. Proven prominence is also refered to as "clean" prominence by some hikers.

    Thereby "maybe 2000 ft prominence" peaks are not not counted for Century club totals.

    For locations without accurate maps, additional data like hand-held GPS readings, barometric readings, and satellite data may be used, as long as an adequate "safety factor" is employed.

    This issue also comes into play for the FRL category

    $ - Every 2,000+ ft prominence peak (with proven prominence) in this state was climbed, and the number listed is the total number of 2,000+ ft prominence peaks in this state. Only states with 30 or more of these peak are tracked.

    This FRL category does not require you to also hike every peak in a state that might have 2,000+ ft of prominence, once all uncertainties are resolved. However prudent hikers might wish to go ahead and hike these as well, in case this FRL ever falls into the hands of a purist.

    F. Eligibility

    Open to all humans on Earth - past, present, and future.

    Untracked Categories

    The current FRL could be expanded to include

    1. Add split-the-difference numbers for 2,000+ ft prominence
    2. County prominence completions
    3. All 2,000+ ft completions in states with ten or more of these (would open up several eastern states)
    4. Mechanized and non-mechanized SPEED records
    5. Weekly and yearly speed records
    6. Radius from home categories - with and without Canada and Mexico peaks in consideration
    7. Hiking top 150 - 200 - 250 - etc in an area
    8. Additional categories yet to be proposed

    However, a list maintainer would have to be found for these new categories.

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