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simon3
2010-02-11 20:51:45
Re A Logic of Difference
Yes, I think a case can definitely be made for Bray Head and hundreds of other places, particularly round the coast., but lets back off a bit. MountainViews is doing two different things. One is to list summits with a view to providing a space for comments and culture on them etc and secondly to provide challenge agendas, by way of specific lists such as say the County Highest points or the Arderins. In the past and to an extent these two functions were less distinct however with the creation and codification of various lists, this frees one function from the other.

Or in other words, we can increase the number of summits without it affecting the various challenges we offer much. The advantage of having some definite and fairly simple mathematical formula is that there aren't then so likely to be differences of opinion as to what should be included. This bedevilled the early years of the Munros in Scotland where the secondary peaks included in the original list were not not deemed worthy of climbing by later users. Last year there was a discussion here about the Highest Hundred and what prominence it should specify. Currently it specifies 100m. This excludes many minor bumps but allows whole ranges to be represented (such as the Sperrins) which would not appear if the prominence requirement was lower. Generally this seems to me to be advantageous, though some anomalies remain such as the exclusion in this scheme of Caher and Beenkeragh.

However I fully agree that prominence, so useful for some purposes, can be a tyrant of an abstraction in some situations. One sometimes quoted example of this is that the highest col defining the prominence of Mt McKinley in Alaska is the Panama Canal! This makes little practical sense. And so it is with some interesting summits in Ireland.

So, yes I think that we should add to the summit lists that MV uses. One way of doing this is to include what in Britain would be called Humps or hills with hundred metre prominence. And it might also be desirable to allow people to nominate other candidates. We could also discuss the use of other mathematical properties, such as isolation, used in some lists elsewhere.

As always in a community like MV it is going to depend on volunteers to help prepare the lists.
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