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View Poll Results: The following state has the most spectacular mountain range(s):
Colorado 27 17.09%
California 21 13.29%
Utah 7 4.43%
Wyoming 17 10.76%
Idaho 5 3.16%
Washington 24 15.19%
Alaska 45 28.48%
Hawaii 2 1.27%
other 10 6.33%
Voters: 158. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-09-2014, 10:14 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Western Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deezus View Post
The Olympics are pretty rugged in comparison to just about any range in the lower 48 outside a few ranges, despite the fact that they top out just below 8,000 feet. They're incredibly steep to hike through as well, lots of steep climbs to passes to get anywhere.
True, but other than the extensive glaciation, couldn't you find similar features in the Colorado Rockies or Sierra Nevada? But I agree they're one of the nicer ranges in the country. [How'd Washington get lucky enough to get two?] The Olympics are steep but not that jagged [photos by me]:









No Olympic peak makes it to the list of top 20 peaks in Washington by spire measure:

Washington Top 20 by RORS

Spire measure ranks by how much elevation change surrounds the peak in a short distance. By spire measure, the North Cascades does better than any other lower 48 range, but several Alaskan ranges do better. Wrangell-St Elias Range comes out best by spire measure:

Some Ruggedness (DRS) Comparisons for Mountain Ranges
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Brew City
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Nothing drops my jaw like the Tetons in Wyoming. I live in the mountains so I see them every day and they're all nice but the Tetons are just spectacular. It's a combination of their shape, size and location coming out of plains with a winding river.
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
True, but other than the extensive glaciation, couldn't you find similar features in the Colorado Rockies or Sierra Nevada? But I agree they're one of the nicer ranges in the country. [How'd Washington get lucky enough to get two?] The Olympics are steep but not that jagged [photos by me]:

No Olympic peak makes it to the list of top 20 peaks in Washington by spire measure:

Washington Top 20 by RORS

Spire measure ranks by how much elevation change surrounds the peak in a short distance. By spire measure, the North Cascades does better than any other lower 48 range, but several Alaskan ranges do better. Wrangell-St Elias Range comes out best by spire measure:

Some Ruggedness (DRS) Comparisons for Mountain Ranges
Yeah, I agree in part-I added to my comment after you quoted it that they were fairly rugged in comparison "outside the Cascades or High Sierra or the most rugged parts of the Rockies"... I wouldn't rank the Olympics as the most overall spectaular in the US by any means--I'd rank them pretty highly though. On the West Coast though outside of the High Sierra in the southern part of the range and the North Cascades they're probably the best range of continious high alpine peaks(the Cascade Volcanos are amazing but fairly spread out and the Northern Sierra is nice though the peaks are a little mellower as you go north toward Tahoe). They're pretty comparable to most of the Colorado Rockies, maybe not as impressive as the Grand Tetons or Glacier National Park or Wind River Range in terms of views of jagged peaks though. There's some tough climbs in the interior and there are some fairly big glaciers to cross, combined with the weather, it feels rugged--perhaps the isolation of getting into parts of it(except for Hurricaine Ridge there aren't any roads where you start high up or going through the middle of the range) sort of makes it feel more rugged in my mind---there's some nice trails on the high ridges that are fairly easy to traverse though once you get to them.

But, I'll agree it's not like the North Cascades--some of the views from up above the North Cascades compare to the Alps. Last time I climbed a peak around there(El Dorado Peak) some of the surrounding peaks just looked too scary to even consider climbing. Just a sea of ice and jagged cliffs. The feeling is similar around the volcanic peaks, Mt. Baker or Mt. Rainier are both monsters in terms of scale.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
True, but other than the extensive glaciation, couldn't you find similar features in the Colorado Rockies or Sierra Nevada? But I agree they're one of the nicer ranges in the country. [How'd Washington get lucky enough to get two?] The Olympics are steep but not that jagged [photos by me]:









No Olympic peak makes it to the list of top 20 peaks in Washington by spire measure:

Washington Top 20 by RORS

Spire measure ranks by how much elevation change surrounds the peak in a short distance. By spire measure, the North Cascades does better than any other lower 48 range, but several Alaskan ranges do better. Wrangell-St Elias Range comes out best by spire measure:

Some Ruggedness (DRS) Comparisons for Mountain Ranges

True Nei,

I only mentioned the Olympics as an honorable mention because of their glaciation.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deezus View Post

But, I'll agree it's not like the North Cascades--some of the views from up above the North Cascades compare to the Alps. Last time I climbed a peak around there(El Dorado Peak) some of the surrounding peaks just looked too scary to even consider climbing. Just a sea of ice and jagged cliffs. The feeling is similar around the volcanic peaks, Mt. Baker or Mt. Rainier are both monsters in terms of scale.
I agree with you there.

I think in the Lower 48, the North Cascades of WA are pretty comparable to the Alps. I have been up El Dorado as well, it is a beautiful peak, and the Klwatti (sp) Ice Cap is pretty impressive.

Of course the Alaskan Ranges take the cake =).
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:26 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deezus View Post
Yeah, I agree in part-I added to my comment after you quoted it that they were fairly rugged in comparison "outside the Cascades or High Sierra or the most rugged parts of the Rockies"... I wouldn't rank the Olympics as the most overall spectaular in the US by any means--I'd rank them pretty highly though. On the West Coast though outside of the High Sierra in the southern part of the range and the North Cascades they're probably the best range of continious high alpine peaks(the Cascade Volcanos are amazing but fairly spread out and the Northern Sierra is nice though the peaks are a little mellower as you go north toward Tahoe). They're pretty comparable to most of the Colorado Rockies, maybe not as impressive as the Grand Tetons or Glacier National Park or Wind River Range in terms of views of jagged peaks though. There's some tough climbs in the interior and there are some fairly big glaciers to cross, combined with the weather, it feels rugged--perhaps the isolation of getting into parts of it(except for Hurricaine Ridge there aren't any roads where you start high up or going through the middle of the range) sort of makes it feel more rugged in my mind---there's some nice trails on the high ridges that are fairly easy to traverse though once you get to them.
Makes sense. I found the Cascades in Oregon not particularly impressive outside the volcanoes. Yes, the volcanoes were neat but the surrounding range wasn't that much better than the best peaks of the Northeast, a bit like a plateau. Haven't been to the Colorado Rockies, so I can't really say how they compare with the Olympics.

After the Olympics, I'd argue the next best range is the jumble of ranges near the California/Oregon border (Klamath Mountains, I think). Looks like a smaller version of the Sierra Nevada. Climate is wetter and relatively mild for a mountain area so it gets some really nice vegetation. The dry summers plus the overall high precipitation lead to a lush but open forest.

Quote:
But, I'll agree it's not like the North Cascades--some of the views from up above the North Cascades compare to the Alps. Last time I climbed a peak around there(El Dorado Peak) some of the surrounding peaks just looked too scary to even consider climbing. Just a sea of ice and jagged cliffs. The feeling is similar around the volcanic peaks, Mt. Baker or Mt. Rainier are both monsters in terms of scale.
The base to height of the tallest Alps peaks are much larger. That spire measure site ranks the Alps much higher than anything in the US. Interestingly, the BC Coast Range ranks as the most rugged range in North America and about ties with the Alps in that measure.

The Climbing Club • View topic - Bella Coola - Welcome to MossWorld
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:39 PM
 
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The Rocky Mountains
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Old 01-09-2014, 03:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Makes sense. I found the Cascades in Oregon not particularly impressive outside the volcanoes. Yes, the volcanoes were neat but the surrounding range wasn't that much better than the best peaks of the Northeast, a bit like a plateau. Haven't been to the Colorado Rockies, so I can't really say how they compare with the Olympics.

After the Olympics, I'd argue the next best range is the jumble of ranges near the California/Oregon border (Klamath Mountains, I think). Looks like a smaller version of the Sierra Nevada. Climate is wetter and relatively mild for a mountain area so it gets some really nice vegetation. The dry summers plus the overall high precipitation lead to a lush but open forest.



The base to height of the tallest Alps peaks are much larger. That spire measure site ranks the Alps much higher than anything in the US. Interestingly, the BC Coast Range ranks as the most rugged range in North America and about ties with the Alps in that measure.

The Climbing Club • View topic - Bella Coola - Welcome to MossWorld
I would put the coast range of BC up there, if this included Canada.

BTW the Wallowas in Eastern Oregon are pretty impressive. Not many people have been there though because of their location.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
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I haven't been to Alaska, so I didn't vote on it. Even though I've seen most of the others, when I drove from WA state (where I'd seen the Cascades, Olympics, and the large mountains of WA state, I took a trip across country and got to Utah in the middle of the night.

I got up and walked out of my motel room in the morning, to go get coffee, looked up and saw the Rocky Mountains for the first time. They utterly took my breath away.

So, I vote Rocky Mountains. I picked Utah, just because I first saw them there.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:28 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
45,983 posts, read 53,458,335 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deezus View Post
There's some tough climbs in the interior and there are some fairly big glaciers to cross, combined with the weather, it feels rugged--perhaps the isolation of getting into parts of it(except for Hurricaine Ridge there aren't any roads where you start high up or going through the middle of the range) sort of makes it feel more rugged in my mind---there's some nice trails on the high ridges that are fairly easy to traverse though once you get to them.
I agree the Olympics feel rather isolated even though they're not that far from towns. The first two photos I posted* are from a trail about 20 miles from Sequim; impressed how you couldn't see any sign of human influence.

*Can you figure out where they're taken from?

Quote:
But, I'll agree it's not like the North Cascades--some of the views from up above the North Cascades compare to the Alps. Last time I climbed a peak around there(El Dorado Peak) some of the surrounding peaks just looked too scary to even consider climbing. Just a sea of ice and jagged cliffs. The feeling is similar around the volcanic peaks, Mt. Baker or Mt. Rainier are both monsters in terms of scale.
how hard was it to climb el Dorado? Did you need climbing gear? A lot of experience?
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