An ultra-prominent peak
, or Ultra
for short, is a mountain summit
with a topographic prominence
of 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) or more; it is also called a P1500
The prominence of a peak is the minimum height of climb to the summit on any route from a higher peak, or from sea level if there is no higher peak. There are approximately 1,524 such peaks on Earth.
Some well-known peaks, such as the Matterhorn
, are not Ultras because they are connected to higher mountains by high cols
and therefore do not achieve enough topographic prominence.
Map of Ultras worldwide
The term "Ultra" originated with earth scientist Steve Fry, from his studies of the prominence of peaks in Washington
in the 1980s. His original term was "ultra major mountain", referring to peaks with at least 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) of prominence.
Many of the world's largest mountains are Ultras, including Mount Everest
, Mont Blanc
, and Mount Olympus
. On the other hand, others such as the Eiger
and the Matterhorn
are not Ultras because they do not have sufficient prominence. Many Ultras lie in rarely visited and inhospitable parts of the world, including 39 in Greenland
, the high points of the Arctic
islands of Novaya Zemlya
, Jan Mayen
, and many of the peaks of the Greater ranges
of Asia. In British Columbia
, some of the mountains listed do not even have generally recognized names.
Thirteen of the fourteen 8,000-metre summits
are Ultras (the exception being Lhotse
), and there are a further 64 Ultras over 7,000 metres (23,000 ft) in height. There are 90 Ultras with a prominence of over 3,000 metres (9,800 ft), but only 22 with more than 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) prominence.
All of the Seven Summits
are Ultras by virtue of the fact that they are the high points of large landmasses. Each has its key col
at or near sea level, resulting in a prominence value almost equal to its elevation.
The summit of Mount Logan
in the Yukon
, the highest point in Canada
, is ranked sixth in the world by topographic prominence.
- ^ Rob Woodhall (18 May 2016). "Relative hills on Earth". TheRelativeHillsofBritain. Ultra: peaks with a minimum prominence/relative height of 1500m. Steve Fry coined the term Ultra in the USA in the 1980s. His original term was 'ultra major mountain'. There are no Ultra summits in Britain. Hall of Fame entry minimum is 15.
- ^ a b Maizlish, A. "The Ultra-Prominences Page". Peaklist.org.
- ^ a b Helman, Adam (2005). The Finest Peaks: Prominence and other Mountain Measures. Trafford. ISBN 1-4120-5994-1.
- ^ Maizlish, A. "Antarctic Ultra-Prominent Summits". Peaklist.org. (See footnotes 3 and 10.)
Last edited on 20 March 2021, at 14:05
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