Elevation Gain and 5,000+ Foot Elevation Gain Lists 1,2,3

1 Text written by Adam Helman.
2 Lists compiled by Adam Helman, Edward Earl, Bob Bolton.
3 The current lists are in evolution - latest revision September 2010.

Elevation Gain - An Evolving "Science"


A description of elevation gain is given. Armed with it, logical arguments are presented for how the current elevation gain rules might be modified. Although the arguments are just the author's, he feels that given the insight provided by the current description, any reasonable person would be led to the same conclusions regarding modification of the current elevation gain rules.4

The chief proposed modification is a climbing route-dependent evaluation of elevation gain for the purposes of maintaining the FRL (Front Runner List) elevation gain categories. To expedite this change, there follows a list of 5,000+ foot elevation gain routes for county highpoints. This list stands alone, providing valuable route information independently of its use in the corresponding 5,000+ foot FRL elevation gain category.

The web page concludes with a proposal for how to administer the FRL elevation gain categories.

4These rules were instituted after a group vote, and do not reflect the opinion of any single individual, and in particular,
do not reflect the opinion of Edward Earl, the rule maintainer. Edward is too "logical" a person to agree wholeheartedly with the current rules.

Why Consider Elevation Gain?

Elevation gain is central to assessing the effort of climbing a mountain. Since the chief obstacle in reaching a summit is often the physical labor required, it is reasonable to use elevation gain as a yardstick for personal climbing achievement.

The physical effort attached with elevation gain is correlated with the extent of uphill travel, including possible uphill travel on return from the summit. This so-called TOTAL elevation gain is unquestionably the metric used when elevation gain is invoked as a measure of human climbing effort.

If anybody doubts the close association of effort with TOTAL elevation gain, let them climb the same flight of stairs one hundred times. The NET gain will be zero (see below), yet the total gain is substantial.

Elevation gain is also a measure of the "change in viewshed" afforded the climber as he proceeds from trailhead to summit. Here, changes in NET elevation are responsible for a sense of pleasure attached with the knowledge than one has traveled high in pursuit of a grand and often spectacular vista.

When elevation gain is used as a measure of change in viewshed, it is NET elevation gain that is the appropriate metric.

Elevation Gain Definitions and Examples

TOTAL elevation gain is the sum of ALL uphill travel for a given route. A trail that weaves up and down without gaining net elevation will nevertheless have a substantial total elevation gain. This definition is not to be confused with the narrow, constrained definition provided in the current elevation gain rules.

The physical effort of traversing this route is greater than the effort required to traverse a perfectly level route. If fact, additional effort is applied by the hiker for even the shortest of uphill sections. This observation is used below in the discussion of proposed changes to the current elevation gain rules.

NET elevation gain is the difference in elevation between the highest and lowest point on a route. The lowest point may not be the trailhead, and, although unusual, the highest point may be not even be the summit. Said elevation difference is the appropriate yardstick for assessing elevation gain in terms of the corresponding change in viewshed; ecological lifezones; and overall sense of personal accomplishment.

Net elevation gain poses certain advantages over total elevation gain in certain peculiar scenarios that do (example 1) or might (example 2) arise in practice. In both examples, the use of net elevation gain (appropriately) excludes recognition of the two hikes in the corresponding records categories.

Example 1 - A backpacking trip of several weeks duration, e.g. hiking the Appalachian Trail. During the journey a hiker passes over innumerable little hills, descends into several valleys, and generally never reaches a substantial mountaintop ... until near the very end. Said mountain supports a trail system that, were it to be climbed for its own sake, would require just 3,000 feet of elevation gain. However the hiker has accumulated over 20,000 feet of TOTAL elevation gain during his soujourns, even though the net elevation is far less.

A NET elevation gain criterion (appropriately) precludes counting this hike as a "5,000+ foot" effort for said mountain. An exception arises if the net elevation gain for the entire backpack exceeds 5,000 feet, such as would occur in walking from the Hudson River Valley (160 feet) to the summit of either Mount Washington or Mount Mitchell. In that case one would appropriately count the backpack as constituting a 5,000+ foot effort on said mountain.

Example 2 - A person decides to "pad" his 5,000+ foot elevation gain statistic in the FRL by repeatedly walking up and down the same sixty-foot high slope one hundred times. The total elevation gain is 6,000 feet, while the net elevation gain is just sixty feet. Appropriately, said effort is excluded from consideration in the relevant elevation gain category if said category is based upon NET elevation gain.

Relationship between Net and Total Elevation Gain

The total elevation gain of a route equals the net elevation gain plus twice the sum of all elevation differences encountered during downhill travel.

Suppose a route begins at 9,000 feet and summits at 13,000 feet. The net elevation gain is 4,000 feet. A section at 12,000 feet descends to 11,500 feet prior to resuming the uphill direction. Twice the elevation difference for this downhill segment equals 1,000 feet. Adding, the total elevation gain is 5,000 feet, i.e. the total amount of UPHILL travel is 5,000 feet.

Elevation Gain is a Route-Dependent Construct

There are often multiple routes to climb a given mountain, each route demanding a specific degree of physicality that is DIFFERENT from the remaining routes. Although the mountain's presence ensures the existence of multiple routes in the first place, the degree of effort is determined by the route selected. In particular, the required effort is NOT ascertained solely by the mountain's identity.

Numerous examples may be cited, and logical arguments provided, for why the elevation gain, be it either the net or total flavor thereof, is a property of the route and not of the mountain.

I repeat:

Elevation Gain is a Property of the Route

Proposed Changes to the Elevation Gain Rules and the FRL

1. Route-Dependence of Elevation Gain

The current elevation gain rules define the elevation gain for climbing a mountain, REGARDLESS OF THE ROUTE EMPLOYED, based upon the elevation gain for a specific route, namely, that unique route with the lowest total elevation gain from a trailhead which is accessible by a high-clearance, two-wheel-drive motor vehicle (henceforth this route shall be referred to as simply the "2WD route").

What a stilted and biased rule!! It is "stilted" because one has to "jump through hoops" to define the specific trail through convoluted and arbitrary rules based on vehicle type. It is "biased" because the specific trail must have the LEAST total elevation gain - rather than say, the most popular; or the most conveniently located.

We MUST do away with a single-valued elevation gain for a given mountain, based in turn on the current 2WD route prescription. Such a stilted, unsupportable (and unpopular) rule is the result of trying to straightjacket what is inherently a route-dependent entity, elevation gain, into a single value for all routes on a given mountain. Frankly, it is nonsensical and I am surprised that the current rule has survived so long without being seriously contended.

In late August 2004 I initiated a discussion group thread on revamping the 5,000+ foot elevation gain categories, based in turn upon route-dependent gain criteria. My original, detailed message is provided here as a parody between a climber who ascended more than 5,000 feet and yet did not receive credit in the FRL because a higher starting point exists from a different trailhead. You are encouraged to read that original message.

In response to my post, counterarguments were made that maintaining a list of climbing routes would be difficult, tedious, time consuming. Therefore, the argument went, we should retain the status quo and insist that every route on a mountain be accorded the same elevation gain value insofar as determining credit for the corresponding FRL category.

I base my arguments upon logic, not on how much work is involved to generate a route list! The amount of work to produce a list of climbing routes along with their respectively elevation gains is definitely NOT excessive. Indeed, this web page includes below just such a list.

During that discussion thread I also detected that the majority of county highpointers did not understand the issues involved, to the point that were a vote for change be made, the votes would come largely from people without a sound grasp of the relevant arguments provided here.

This web page largely exists so that highpointers can understand the issues and therefore cast their votes wisely.

2. Calculation of Total Elevation Gain on Hilly Terrain

The current elevation gain rules specify that in order for an uphill segment of a route to count in the calculation of total elevation gain, said segment must support at least two forty foot contour intervals on the relevant USGS topographic chart. The mean elevation gain for such a hill is eighty feet, as the average of forty and one hundred twenty feet.

However, the uphill section need not be forty, let alone eighty feet in vertical extent for additional physical effort to apply - ten feet of gain will suffice - as occurs when climbing a single flight of stairs!

Who would be so unreasonable as to claim that climbing a flight of stairs should not be counted as additional effort relative to walking on level ground?

If, as is surely the case, we desire TOTAL elevation gain to measure required effort, then one concludes that use of a forty or eighty foot "cutoff" as the minimum gain to "count" IS MERELY A CONVENIENCE designed to measure gain based solely on USGS topographic charts with the corresponding contour intervals.

When it comes to pass that a hiker actually traverses the route in question, he can then report a more accurate total elevation gain based upon his summed experience traversing all minor bumps that require exertion - not just those that happen to appear on some map.

3. Maintain Separate Net and Total FRL Categories

A dichotomy exists between net and total elevation gain. On the one hand, total elevation gain is most closely correlated with the effort of climbing a mountain by a particular route. On the other hand, net elevation gain correlates with the sense of accomplishment in reaching a lofty viewpoint worthy of one's effort. Furthermore, net elevation gain eliminates from consideration certain hiking scenarios that are not in the spirit of what the elevation gain FRL categories are designed to measure (c.f. preceeding subsection).

Both this webmaster and the elevation gain list maintainer, Edward Earl, support the concept of maintaining simultaneous lists for both net and total elevation gain. We support this concept for both a 1,000 foot and a 5,000 foot cutoff value, so making for a total of four elevation gain categories in the FRL.

Route-Dependent Categorization of Mountains by Elevation Gain

The lists below indicate which county highpoints support routes that require at least five thousand feet of elevation gain. Highpoints are grouped by state, and, within a state, are grouped into five categories that are inclusive of all highpoints that could possibly support a route with at least five thousand feet of elevation gain.

The first four categories are distinguished by whether the 2WD route requires 5,000+ feet of total elevation gain, and possibly of net elevation gain as well. Of these four categories, The first two correspond to highpoints that constitute valid 5,000+ foot ascents under the current elevation gain rules. The third and fourth categories correspond to the ADDITIONAL highpoints on which credit for a 5,000+ foot ascent MAY be forthcoming should the suggested, route-dependent elevation gain rules be instituted.

The final, fifth category is not defined in terms of the 2WD route.
Therefore a mountain in this fifth category could also be listed on exactly ONE
of the first four categories.

I have labored to rewrite these descriptions as simply as the topic will allow - but no simpler.

  1. The highpoint requires at least 5,000 feet of total elevation gain
    and at least 5,000 feet of net elevation gain using the 2WD route
    (cf total elevation gain rules).

    Any alternate routes also require at least 5,000 feet of total elevation gain,
    and although likely, not necessarily at least 5,000 feet of net elevation gain.

    An example is Mount Rainier in Washington state.

    These highpoints are colored red on the elevation gain map.

  2. The highpoint requires at least 5,000 feet of total elevation gain
    but less than 5,000 feet of net elevation gain using the 2WD route
    (cf total elevation gain rules).

    Any alternate routes also require at least 5,000 feet of total elevation gain,
    and although unlikely, might require at least 5,000 feet of net elevation gain.

    An example is Mount of the Holy Cross in Eagle County, Colorado.

    These highpoints are colored red on the elevation gain map.

  3. The highpoint requires less than 5,000 feet of both total elevation gain
    and net elevation gain using the 2WD route (cf total elevation gain rules).

    The highpoint requires at least 5,000 feet of both total elevation gain
    and net elevation gain by at least one documented, popularly traveled route.
    An example is climbing San Gorgonio of San Bernardino County, California,
    using the Vivian Creek Trail.

  4. The highpoint requires less than 5,000 feet of both total elevation gain
    and net elevation gain using the 2WD route (cf total elevation gain rules).

    The highpoint requires at least 5,000 feet of total elevation gain
    but less than 5,000 feet of net elevation gain by at least one documented,
    popularly traveled route. Few highpoints will belong in this category.

    This category includes the "problem scenario", described above, of an
    Appalachian Trail hiker who serendipitously climbs a mountain but without 5,000 feet
    of net elevation gain. Since this scenario is not in the spirit of the
    elevation gain FRL categories, it is reasonable to CONSIDER exclusion of highpoints
    in this category.

    This fourth category concludes the four possible permutations of net and total
    elevation gain (over and under 5,000 feet) for the 2WD route.
    Thereby, these four categories necessarily include all possible cases.

  5. The highpoint requires at least 5,000 feet of total elevation gain
    using any other route that has been both described and successfully employed
    to attain the highpoint. An example is climbing Mauna Kea from sea level.

    In theory any highpoint could belong in this category - the highpointer merely
    has to repeat the same length of trail a sufficient number of times to yield
    a total elevation gain of at least 5,000 feet - a scenario alluded to above.

    Upon description of his route, A DESIGNATED ARBITER shall decide if said
    route is in the spirit of highpointing as distinct from simply an attempt to "pad"
    one's 5,000 foot front runner list (FRL) statistic.

    Some would argue that the highpoint should require at least 5,000 feet of NET
    elevation gain, thereby eliminating the possibility of repeated up-and-down activity
    to pad one's count. However the probability of padding by this means is low, and is
    certainly lower than the probability of attaining a highpoint with more than
    5,000 feet of total elevation gain yet less than 5,000 feet of net elevation gain.

    To accomodate the latter, more likely scenario while eliminating the former,
    the use of A DESIGNATED ARBITER appears preferred
    to disallowing counting sub-5,000 foot net elevation gain efforts entirely.

    The use of a designated arbiter is largely obviated if the group as a whole
    were to vote upon requiring 5,000 feet of NET elevation gain.
    Unfortunately said decision excludes a small number of VALID efforts,
    e.g. climbing Mount Wilson, the Dolores County, Colorado highpoint,
    from the Woods Lake Trailhead - a 5,766 foot total elevation gain and yet with
    only 4,846 feet of net elevation gain.5

    (This concludes the description of each elevation gain category.)

For a given state, highpoints falling in the same category as
defined above are listed in descending order of their summit elevations.

For a given highpoint, routes are listed in descending order of their total elevation gains.

Colors on the elevation gain map correspond to the total elevation gain using the 2WD route
(cf total elevation gain rules).

The following section contains the route lists as categorized above.

5In case the group at-large were to eventually vote upon insisting on a 5,000+ foot NET elevation gain (i.e. not TOTAL elevation gain) as the sole valid means of FRL value incrementation, after returning from the summit of both Mount Wilson and Wilson Peak, Edward Earl and I dropped down some 200 vertical feet BEYOND the trailhead - so making for a 5,000+ foot NET elevation gain ascent and ensuring that our effort would be "counted" regardless of the vote's outcome.

Elevation Gain Lists

(a rough draft under review)

Heading explanation:

Elev - peak elevation
Route - identifies a specific route for the given highpoint
Total - total elevation gain for the indicated route
Distance - round-trip hiking distance in statute miles
Net - net elevation gain
Description - a brief route description

All elevations are in feet.


Borough Highpoint Elev Route Total Distance Net Description
******** ********* **** ***** ***** ******* *** **********
Denali Mt McKinley 20,320 Wonder Lake ? ? 18,320 very long approach
Muldrow Glacier ? ? ?
West Buttress 20,620 32 13,320 most popular route
Yakutat Mt Saint Elias 18,008 standard (?) extremely challenging
Valdez-Cordova Mount Bona 16,500+ standard (?) see report
Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon Mt Fairweather 15,300 standard (?)
Matanuska-Susitna Mt Hunter 14,573 standard (?)
Southeast Fairbanks Mt Hayes 13,832 standard (?)
Kenai Peninsula Mt Torbert 11,413 standard (?)
North Slope Mt Chamberlin 9,020 standard (?)
Mt Isto 8,975 standard (?)
Northwest Arctic Mt Igikpak 8,276 standard (?)
Anchorage Bashful Pk 8,005 standard (?) see report


County Highpoint Elev Route Total Distance Net Description
****** ********* **** ***** ***** ******* *** **********
Inyo/Tulare Mount Whitney 14,494 Whitney Portal 6,200 22 6,200 see description
Mountaineer's 6,200 ? 6,200 same trailhead but class 3
Siskiyou Mount Shasta 14,162 Avalanche Gulch 7,200 ? 7,200 see report
"old ski area" 6,322 ? 6,322 road may no longer exist
Fresno North Palisade 14,242 Le Conte 5,300 4,500 see report
U-Notch see report
Madera Mount Ritter 13,143 Agnew Meadow 5,300 17 4,800 see report
San Bernardino San Gorgonio 11,499 Vivian Creek Trail 5,440+ 15.6 5,440 see report
South Fork Trail 4,700 ? 4,700 less popular route
Riverside San Jacinto 10,804 Lykken Trail 10,300 32 10,300 see report
Snow Canyon > 9,830 ? 9,830 north side; class 3
Deer Springs 5,200 19 5,200 one of 4 routes from Idyllwild
Seven Pines 4,900 15 4,400 (same)
Marion Mountain 4,400 11 4,400 (same)
Devils Slide 4,300 16 4,300 (same)
Long Valley 2,500 10 2,400 aerial tramway


County Highpoint Elev Route Total Distance Net Description
****** ********* **** ***** ***** ******* *** **********
Alamosa/Costilla/Huerfano Blanca Peak 14,375 from desert floor 5,615 14 5,615 see report
Como Lake 2,700 8 2,700 4WD-accessible only
La Plata Mount Eolus and Windom Peak 14,083 Chicago Basin 7,650 21 5,900
Larimer Hagues Peak 13,560 Lawn Lake Trail 5,000 18 5,000
Eagle Mount Holy Cross3 14,005 > 5,000 < 5,000 see report
Boulder Longs Peak 14,255 Keyhole > 5,000 < 5,000 see report
West Couloir 4,900 4,900 see report
Dolores Mount Wilson 14,246 Silver Pick > 5,000 < 5,000
Woods Lake 5,766 15 4,846 see report
Lake Mount Elbert3 14,433 > 5,000 < 5,000
Saguache Crestone Peak 14,294 west approach (2WD) 5,854+ 15 (est.) 5,854
east approach (4WD) 4,794+ ? 4,794
Gunnison/Pitkin Castle Peak 14,265 > 5,000 ? < 5,000
El Paso Pikes Peak 14,110 Barr Trail 7,500+ 24 7,500
drive-up 0 0 0
Fremont Bushnell Peak 13,105 east approach 5,305+ ? 5,305 see report
Kerr Gulch 4,983+ ? 4,983 see report
Brooks Creek 3,743+ ? 3,743 in Colorado highpoints guidebook


County Highpoint Elev Route Total Distance Net Description
****** ********* **** ***** ***** ******* *** **********
Hawaii Mauna Kea 13,796 from sea level 13,796+ ? 13,796 state highpointers HAVE done this
from Onizuka Astronomical Museum and Visitor Center (9,200 ft) 4,800 ? 4,600 Edward Earl and Adam Helman did this
drive-up ~100 0 < 100 minimal hike to true highpoint
Maui Haleakala 10,023 from crater interior 2,600 4 1/2 2,600 see report
drive-up 0+ 0 0+ walk from summit parking lot to true highpoint


County Highpoint Elev Route Total Distance Net Description
****** ********* **** ***** ***** ******* *** **********
Custer Borah Peak 12,662 standard 5,200 10 5,200 see report
Butte Diamond Peak 12,197 standard 5,10011 8 4,70011 see description
Lemhi Bell Mountain 11,612 standard 5,200 10 4,962 see report
Valley Big Baldy 9,705 route 1 9,400 36 < 5,000 see report
route 2 8,350+ 32 1,700 see report
Blaine Hyndman Peak 12,009 standard 5,000- 12-14 4,970 see report


County Highpoint Elev Route Total Distance Net Description
****** ********* **** ***** ***** ******* *** **********
Park Granite Peak 12,799 Froze to Death Plateau 7,600 26 6,250 see report
Huckleberry Creek 6,250 21 6,250
Stillwater Mount Wood 12,649+ standard (?) 6,500 11 > 5,000 see report
"Golf Course" 5,000 17 3,600 see report
Glacier Mount Cleveland 10,466 Stoney Indian 6,666 22 6,266 see report
Southwest Bowl 6,466 11 6,266 same trailhead
Flathead Mount Stimson 10,142 Coal Creek 10,000? 40? > 5,000 see commentary
Nyack Creek 6,500 25? > 5,000 shorter but sustained class 4
Two Medicine Lake 12,700+ 40+ 5,850 large elevation gain yet no major river ford;
intense bushwhacking;
see report
Lake McDonald Peak 9,820 Ashley Lakes 6,000 12 4,870 OR 5,120 see report
Missoula Lowary Peak ("Peak X") 9,369 6,600 9 5,400 see report
Carbon Castle Mountain 12,612 Clay Butte Trailhead 7,350 30 3,012 see report
Sundance Pass Trail (#1)/Bridge/Silt Lakes/Omega Lake/South Ridge 4,800 20 4,700 see report
Lincoln/Sanders Snowshoe Peak 8,738 Snowshoe Lake 6,600 17 1/2 6,300 see report
Leigh Lake 4,500 ? 4,500 MUCH shorter;
borderline Class 4
Sweet Grass Mount Douglas 11,282 Upsidedown Trail/Lake Plateau 7,575 29 4,925 see report
Madison Hilgard Peak 11,280+ Avalanche Lake 5,250 15 4,400 see report


County Highpoint Elev Route Total Distance Net Description
****** ********* **** ***** ***** ******* *** **********
Elko Ruby Dome 11,387 begin at locked gate 5,400 15 5,400 see report
begin at trailhead 4,900 13 4,900 shaves-off 500 feet


County Highpoint Elev Route Total Distance Net Description
****** ********* **** ***** ***** ******* *** **********
Clackamas/Hood River Mount Hood 11,239 Timberline Lodge 5,300 8 5,300 see description
Jefferson/Linn Mount Jefferson 10,497 SW Ridge/Pamelia Lake TH 7,400 22 7,400 see report
SW Ridge/Woodpecker Ridge TH 7,500 ? 6,100 see report
Wallowa Sacajawea Peak Ice Lake/West Fork Wallowa River 5,800 20 5,200 see report
9,838 Hurricane Creek 4,800 14 4,800 see report
Union Eagle Cap 9,572 see footnote 5 > 5,000 ? < 5,000 less frequented route
Lostine Canyon TH 4,000 20 4,000 see report
Jackson Mount McLoughlin 9,495 see footnote 8 5,055+ ? 5,055
Mount McLoughlin TH 4,000 10 4,000 see report
Marion Mount Jefferson liner 9,000+ Whitewater Creek Trail 4,900 ~15 ~5,000 see report


County Highpoint Elev Route Total Distance Net Description
****** ********* **** ***** ***** ******* *** **********
Juab Ibapah Peak 12,087 low clearance vehicle trailhead4 5,950 ? 5,950 see report
4WD trailhead4 5,250 5,250 see footnote 4
Duchesne Kings Peak 13,528 Uinta Canyon/Chain Lakes/Atwood Basin/Painter Basin 6,700 52 5,700 see footnote 6
Swift Creek/Bluebell Pass/Yellowstone Basin 6,100 44 5,400 see footnote 7
Henrys Fork/Dollar Lake/Gunsight Pass 4,100 24 4,100 most popular route
see description
Utah Mount Nebo Willow Creek Trail 5,107+ 11 5,107 see report
northern route 3,300 10 2,568 see report


County Highpoint Elev Route Total Distance Net Description
****** ********* **** ***** ***** ******* *** **********
Pierce Mount Rainier 14,410 Paradise 9,000 16 9,000 see description
Emmons Glacier ? ? ?
Yakima Mount Adams 12,276 Cold Springs trailhead 6,800 ? 6,650 see report
Whatcom Mount Baker 10,781 Coleman Glacier 7,300 ? 7,300 see report
Snohomish Glacier Peak 10,520+ standard (?) > 5,000 ? > 5,000
North Fork Sauk/south ridge 11,100 34 8,448 see report
Chelan Bonanza Peak 9,511 Holden Lake and Pass 6,300 17 6,300 see report
Skagit Buckner Mountain 9,080+ Cascade Pass/Sahale camp 7,700 18 5,500 see report
Okanogan North Gardner Mountain 8,956 standard (?) 7,250 ~30 6,250 see report
Jefferson Mount Olympus 7,969 Hoh River/Glacier Meadows 8,700 43 + camp side-trails 7,369 see report
Clallam Gray Wolf Ridge 7,218 standard (?) 5,500 ? 4,100 see report
Mason Mount Stone 6,612 Putvin Trail 5,267 9.6 5,047 see report
King/Kittitas Mount Daniel 7,960+ Peggy's Pond/southeast ridge 5,300 20 4,700 see report
Skamania Mount Adams liner 8,920+ Stagman Ridge > 5,000 ? ? see report
Cold Springs/Round-the-Mountain 4,200 ? 3,300
Mount Adams liner 8,920+ Taklakh Lake/Divide Trail 4,250 ? 4,250 see report
pre-eruption highpoint9 Dogshead route from Spirit Lake > 6,479 ? 6,479


County Highpoint Elev Route Total Distance Net Description
****** ********* **** ***** ***** ******* *** **********
Teton Grand Teton 13,770 Exum Ridge 7,038 15? 7,038 Class 5.6
Owens Spalding 7,038 15? 7,038 Class 5.4, safer in questionable weather
see report
Fremont/Sublette Gannett Peak 13,804 Glacier Trail over 8,000 50 ? see description
Pole Creek Trail 7,500-8,000 44 4,300 see description
Ink Wells Trail 8,000 34 4,300 see report
Park Francs Peak 13,153 standard 5,153 10? 4,753 see report
Big Horn/Johnson Cloud Peak 13,167 standard 4,70010 24? 4,100 see description

3 This highpoint can be climbed with less than 5,000 feet of elevation gain.

4 (Ibapah Peak) For low clearance vehicles, the net and total elevation gain are 5,950 feet.
  Some intrepid Nissan Sentra drivers may shave off 200 to 300 feet.
  High clearance 2WD could definitely shave that off, with some intrepid drivers
  and most 4WD drivers cutting the elevation to a net and total elevation gain of 5,250 feet.

  At about 6,850 feet is a steep, uneven slab which only the most intrepid 4WD drivers
  (e.g. Mike Coltrin) could get past. Passing that, however, the elevation gain
  could be cut to 4,000 feet.

5 (Eagle Cap) A route taken by Bob Bolton: West Fork of Wallowa River to Frazier Lake,
  then up to Glacier Lake, climbing Eagle Cap from the east. A northern route,
  beginning from Lostine Canyon, is much more popular.

6 (Kings Peak) Elevation gains are for a variant wherein ones returns down the Upper Uinta Canyon,
  so avoiding any elevation gain on return - as taken by Edward Earl. Thereby there are
  two possible overall routes.

7 (Kings Peak) Elevation gains are for a variant wherein ones returns through Tungsten Pass
  - as taken by Edward Earl. Thereby there are two possible overall routes.

8 (Mt McLoughlin) A route taken by Dennis Poulin as a trail-less bushwhack up the north ridge,
  with a starting elevation of 4,440 feet. A southeastern route, beginning from the
  Mount McLoughlin trailhead and with about 4,000 feet of elevation gain, is the standard means of ascent.

9 (Mt Saint Helens) This entry refers to a route available prior to the
  cataclysmic eruption of Mount Saint Helens on May 18, 1980.

10 (Cloud Peak) There is roughly 200 feet of downhill travel from the
  Ten Sleep trailhead to Mistymoon Lake, no section of which entails at least 80 feet of descent.
  Inclusion of these sections results in an additional 400 feet of total elevation gain - 5,100 feet.

11 (Diamond Peak) A 4WD vehicle can get higher (to 8,000 feet) along the
  same approach road. This would lower Diamond Peak's net and total elevation gains to under 5,000 feet.

Use of Lists for the 5,000+ Foot FRL Statistic

Note: These rules described below are a suggestion for how to govern the 5,000+ foot FRL category, and are subject to discussion, deliberation and eventual agreement by the county highpointing group. In a nutshell, these rules are tentative only!!

Any route successfully employed to climb a highpoint with at least 5,000 feet of total elevation gain will fall into one of the first four categories above, and as such is listed there. Provided a highpointer used that route, his 5,000+ foot FRL statistic may be incremented by one.

Should NET elevation gain become tracked as an FRL category distinct from TOTAL elevation gain, the above 5,000+ foot lists can be used to ascertain when credit is accorded in said NET elevation gain category.

Should a vote come that results in no separation of the FRL into NET and TOTAL gain categories, I maintain that the resulting single category be based upon TOTAL elevation gain. I recommend that TOTAL elevation gain be the criterion for FRL value incrementation because it, and not NET elevation gain, corresponds most closely to the physical effort of climbing a mountain.

NET elevation gain falls short of TOTAL elevation gain, seeing as it measures items that in my (singular) opinion, are of secondary importance - change in viewshed, life zones, and overall sense of accomplishment upon realizing the summit. That said, and as noted above, both Edward Earl and myself prefer tracking both types of elevation gain in the Front Runner List. Edward's opinion here is essential because HE is the individual who would have to do the paperwork required to maintain multiple elevation gain FRL categories.

In reference to TOTAL elevation gain, the following rules are proposed -

elevation gain records elevation gain map elevation gain rules