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Old 08-14-2010, 12:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deezus View Post
Not really though. You could compare unknown mountains in the Coast Ranges of the West Coast with the true elevation of the highest mountains in the East. There are mountains just outside the suburbs of the San Francisco Bay Area or along the Central Coast that are comparable to the Appalachians. There are mountains directly outside Los Angeles that are higher than anything east of the Rockies. I'm not even going to try to mention all the ranges and sub-ranges of the Rocky Mountains stretching from Montana to New Mexico.

As far as hiking, true elevation doesn't mean much if you have a road to the summit like on Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina or Mt. Washington in New Hampshire(and a know Mt. Washington can be a challenge depending when and where you go up). And I love the mountains of the East--but in comparison--hiking up 3,000 feet on a steep wooded trail to a 5,000 foot summit or hiking up 3,000 feet on loose scree and snowpack to a 13,000 foot summit are very different experiences.
The San Gabriels, San Bernardinos, or the Santa Ana Mountains are not taller than what is found in western North Carolina. Not by a long shot.
They may get close to what can be found in parts of the Blue Ridge of Georgia and Virginia, but definitely not in the Smoky Mountain region of the Blue Ridge in North Carolina and Tennessee.
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars&StripesForever View Post
The San Gabriels, San Bernardinos, or the Santa Ana Mountains are not taller than what is found in western North Carolina. Not by a long shot.
They may get close to what can be found in parts of the Blue Ridge of Georgia and Virginia, but definitely not in the Smoky Mountain region of the Blue Ridge in North Carolina and Tennessee.

How so? The San Gabriels have multiple peaks above 8,000 feet...Mt. Baldy is in LA County and is above 10,000 feet--and that's with a considerable vertical rise from the LA Basin. The San Bernardino Mountains have several peaks over 10,000 feet. Just north of Pasadena there are peaks close to 6,000 feet. Mt. Mitchell is only about 6700 feet and there are only a handful of summits over 6000 in the the southern part of the Blue Ridge---not even close.
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:20 PM
 
Location: New Hampshire
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The San Bernadinos definitely get higher than the Apps, but nothing in the Bay Area is close to the highest elevations of the Apps, either by elevation or prominence.
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verseau View Post
The San Bernadinos definitely get higher than the Apps, but nothing in the Bay Area is close to the highest elevations of the Apps, either by elevation or prominence.
A bit of an overstatement on my part, but there are mountains around 4,000 feet just outside of the Bay Area like Mt. St. Helena or Mt. Hamilton or Mt Diablo, travel and hour or so to the south into the San Benito and Santa Lucia mountains and you've got peaks over 5,000 feet. While not comparable to the highest peaks in the southern part of the Blue Ridge, for the most part this is comparable to much of the elevation of the range north of the Blue Ridge and south of the Presidential Range in New Hampshire. Junipero Peak in the Santa Lucia Mountains in Monterrey County is over 5,800 feet--that'd be higher than the highest point in any eastern state with the exception of Tennessee, North Carolina, or New Hampshire.

Anyways, my point isn't to get into an argument about the height of mountain ranges, but to point out that while the Appalachians are beautiful and scenic mountains, for the East Coast they are considered more exceptional due to the flat terrain of most of the landscape east of the Mississipi. In the Western US, we've got so many mountains and ranges, that you sort of take the topography for granted.
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deezus View Post
How so? The San Gabriels have multiple peaks above 8,000 feet...Mt. Baldy is in LA County and is above 10,000 feet--and that's with a considerable vertical rise from the LA Basin. The San Bernardino Mountains have several peaks over 10,000 feet. Just north of Pasadena there are peaks close to 6,000 feet. Mt. Mitchell is only about 6700 feet and there are only a handful of summits over 6000 in the the southern part of the Blue Ridge---not even close.
Again, many of you are confusing Elevation with altitude.

By the way, the San Gabriel Mountains, San Bernardino Mountains, and Santa Ana Mountains are tiny in square mileage. They're more or less like "islands" of mountains that spring forth above the surrounding flatter landscape, unlike other mountain ranges, such as the Appalachians or Rocky Mountains, which comprise a large area.

In this regard, the southern California mountain ranges are not unlike the Guadalupe Mountains of West Texas, or those isolated mountain ranges found in parts of Southern New Mexico, as well as parts of Arizona.
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:10 PM
 
Location: New Hampshire
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Yeah, although those of us in the East who live in the mountains tend to take the topography for granted as well - we make fun of the "flatlanders" who come up to gawk at them.

Has anyone here thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, or the Pacific Crest Trail?

Stars & Stripes: Why don't we end the pissing contest? Who cares which mountains are higher or cover more area than others?
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars&StripesForever View Post
Again, many of you are confusing Elevation with altitude.

By the way, the San Gabriel Mountains, San Bernardino Mountains, and Santa Ana Mountains are tiny in square mileage. They're more or less like "islands" of mountains that spring forth above the surrounding flatter landscape, unlike other mountain ranges, such as the Appalachians or Rocky Mountains, which comprise a large area.

In this regard, the southern California mountain ranges are not unlike the Guadalupe Mountains of West Texas, or those isolated mountain ranges found in parts of Southern New Mexico, as well as parts of Arizona.
I haven't seen anyone confusing elevation with altitude. The California ranges you mention have peaks substantially higher than any found in the Appalachians. No contest. These areas are also not "tiny" in square mileage either, and I'm not sure what that has to do with anything since they're still higher than the Appalachians.
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars&StripesForever View Post
Again, many of you are confusing Elevation with altitude.
I'm not sure of the exact method for determining "true elevation" of peaks--I know some of the peaks in the East have technically high elevation gains from base to summit--it's just hard to tell by looking at them. But I do know that I've done climbs where the elevation gain alone from trail head to summit on peaks like Mt. Adams in the Cascades and Grand Teton in Wyoming was close to 7000 feet.

Quote:
By the way, the San Gabriel Mountains, San Bernardino Mountains, and Santa Ana Mountains are tiny in square mileage. They're more or less like "islands" of mountains that spring forth above the surrounding flatter landscape, unlike other mountain ranges, such as the Appalachians or Rocky Mountains, which comprise a large area.
No, the Transverse Ranges--of which the San Gabriel and San Bernardino's are a part of--are an extension of the Coast Ranges stretching basically from Alaska to Mexico with few gaps except for spots like San Francisco Bay or the Columbia River. They simply go east-west instead of north to south because of a bend in the San Andreas Fault, the Tehachapis connect the Transverse Mountains to the Southern Sierras and the Peninsular Mountains flow into Baja. It's really not that small an area considering they stretch from the coast west of Santa Barbara east to Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Verseau View Post

Has anyone here thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, or the Pacific Crest Trail.
I'd do love to do all three if I was independently wealthy...

I've gone the whole length of the John Muir Trail though and I've hiked through or climbed through most of the prominent areas on the PCT trail. I've hiked through a good portion of southern part of the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina on my visits to Asheville. Beautiful country...

Last edited by Deezus; 08-14-2010 at 04:32 PM..
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:51 PM
 
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Sorry to interrupt the pissing contest -- more info on the escarpment.

I was flying to San Francisco but I don't remember where I was flying from. I mean I know i started in knoxville but the connecting flight could have been an number of places. I think i was flying on Northwest and i remember coming home via Houston on a veeeery slow prop plane. I saw this on the way out, though. Maybe the connection was in Dallas? The escarpment was in a dry area, not very populated, about 1/2 to 2/3 through that leg of the flight and definitely before you hit the rockies. I got the impression the ground was flat to the east of it with rolling hills to the west. The rocky escarpment was very distinct.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:55 PM
 
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Sorry to confuse the issue, I'm pretty sure this happened on my trip to SF, but it is remotely possible it was another trip - flying from Atlanta to Seattle.
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