Utah vs Colorado.

Items that do not fit the categories above.
Forum rules
Please do not use this forum to advertise, sell photos or other products or promote a commercial website. For more details, please see the Terms of Use you agreed to when joining the forum.
User avatar
bdloftin77
Posts: 470
Joined: 9/23/2013
14ers:summits58 winter1 
13ers:summits57 
Trip Reports (2)

Re: Utah vs Colorado.

Post by bdloftin77 » Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:29 pm

Possibly less interesting to most, but here's a breakdown of prominence in the CONUS western states.

Each column is cumulative, so if there are duplicate numbers reading to the right, they refer to the previous number jump (1 P8K, 1 P7K, and 1 P6K in Colorado refer to Mt Elbert - 9,093').

The second table is standardized. Each cell has the percentage of peaks in its corresponding state instead of just counts.
State Prominence Range Counts.JPG
First table credit: listsofjohn.com
State Prominence Range Counts.JPG (109.49 KiB) Viewed 523 times
California sticks out in the first table, skewed high because of its massive number of total peaks. Nevada is also high. It has the third most peaks, but it also has numerous distinct mountain ranges. Washington is also high.

In the second/standardized table, California's numbers take a toll on its percentages. Nevada is still notable, as well as Utah and Montana. And Washington might be the most notable state. I haven't actually been outside of an airport there yet, but my guess is it ranks high because of a high concentration of volcanoes, which tend to have very high prominences. Possibly also due to high glacial activity, carving out low valleys in between peaks and ranges. But I'll let geologists or those who have actually set foot outside an airport in Washington comment further with their thoughts.
User avatar
ker0uac
Posts: 425
Joined: 8/30/2016
14ers: List not added

Re: Utah vs Colorado.

Post by ker0uac » Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:42 pm

mtn_hound wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:50 pm
Scott P wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:51 am
It is interesting that California would still beat Colorado even if the eastern plains were eliminated and even with California's huge size and large flatlands in the Central Valleys. Imagine how everything would be if the state had the same population as Colorado. Even with all of the people, California still has some of the larges roadless areas in the Lower 48. It's too bad that California is so California-ish. Other wise I think I could live there. :wink:
Unless you're talking about the high taxes and government regulations that apply statewide, I don't know know that there's anything "California-ish" that characterizes the entire place in a way that I wouldn't want to live *anywhere* in the state. Sure the places where most of the population lives would be hard for me to go back to (grew up in bay area, also lived in San Diego). But it's such a huge state with so many different choices, I would think most people could find something they like somewhere within the borders.
I find the high taxes and government regulations enough to not want to live here, though I am for reasons beyond my control. But I'd also add:

- big brother state
- High cost of living
- attention-seeking behavior
- hypocrisy
- demagogy
- LeBron James
Those who travel to mountain-tops are half in love with themselves and half in love with oblivion
mtn_hound
Posts: 117
Joined: 9/15/2016
14ers: List not added

Re: Utah vs Colorado.

Post by mtn_hound » Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:07 pm

Scott P wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:15 pm
mtn_hound wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:50 pm
I don't know know that there's anything "California-ish" that characterizes the entire place in a way that I wouldn't want to live *anywhere* in the state.
I was somewhat joking.

I could probably live in somewhere like Bishop, Lone Pine, or Mt Shasta, but it seems to me that the best mountains in those areas require a fair amount of red tape. I understand that it is needed because of all the people that live there. It is needed there to protect the land. California does care about their outdoor areas.

That said though, my favorite places to go are the places where you can camp where you want and set off and hike in any direction for miles or miles and not have to worry about running into a private property sign or red tape. I haven't seen too much of that in California (though admittedly I haven't seen the whole state).

There is the cost in those places too. Those places actually have reasonable real estate prices (By California standards at least), though it's still shocking how much everything else costs. Could I afford it? Probably. It would leave less money for other things though.

Then again, although I have seen a fair amount of California, it's a big state and there are still a lot of areas I want to go to that I haven't seen yet. I still haven't been to the Redwood Forest or Trinity Alps, both of which are high on my list. Maybe there are places there like the ones I describe above in the state, but I don't know them.

If it weren't for the above, I think California and Utah would tie for #1 as far as my favorites go (and if Utah didn't have slot canyons California would be far superior to Utah). Personally, I'd rather live in Colorado though, at least for now.

That said though, I really like visiting parts of California. I need to get back to the Sierra, climb in Joshua Tree, visit and climb in the Trinity Alps, visit the Redwood Forest, Lost Coast, etc. I still have a lot to see there.

Live there? I don't know. I guess I shouldn't knock it until I try it so maybe someday in the distant future.
Gotcha, I was just a little surprised because often you're the one pointing out the good attributes of places other people seem to write off.
mtn_hound
Posts: 117
Joined: 9/15/2016
14ers: List not added

Re: Utah vs Colorado.

Post by mtn_hound » Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:12 pm

ker0uac wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:42 pm
mtn_hound wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:50 pm
Scott P wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:51 am
It is interesting that California would still beat Colorado even if the eastern plains were eliminated and even with California's huge size and large flatlands in the Central Valleys. Imagine how everything would be if the state had the same population as Colorado. Even with all of the people, California still has some of the larges roadless areas in the Lower 48. It's too bad that California is so California-ish. Other wise I think I could live there. :wink:
Unless you're talking about the high taxes and government regulations that apply statewide, I don't know know that there's anything "California-ish" that characterizes the entire place in a way that I wouldn't want to live *anywhere* in the state. Sure the places where most of the population lives would be hard for me to go back to (grew up in bay area, also lived in San Diego). But it's such a huge state with so many different choices, I would think most people could find something they like somewhere within the borders.
I find the high taxes and government regulations enough to not want to live here, though I am for reasons beyond my control. But I'd also add:

- big brother state
- High cost of living
- attention-seeking behavior
- hypocrisy
- demagogy
- LeBron James
Thanks for making my point :). All of the things you list are traits of LA/SF Bay/other population centers. They are either non-existent or much reduced outside of those areas.
User avatar
Scott P
Posts: 8123
Joined: 5/4/2005
14ers:summits51 winter16 
13ers:summits41 winter13 
Trip Reports (16)
Contact:

Re: Utah vs Colorado.

Post by Scott P » Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:19 pm

bdloftin77 wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:29 pm
I haven't actually been outside of an airport there yet, but my guess is it ranks high because of a high concentration of volcanoes, which tend to have very high prominences. Possibly also due to high glacial activity, carving out low valleys in between peaks and ranges. But I'll let geologists or those who have actually set foot outside an airport in Washington comment further with their thoughts.
Washington does indeed have some volcanoes, some of which are large, and they get a lot of attention, but there aren't that many of them. A vast majority of mountains in Washington aren't volcanoes.

I'd imagine the biggest reason places like Washigton, California, Utah, and Nevada have more 5K peaks (ultras) than Colorado is because of the mountain types. Colorado has a lot of folded mountains; those other states have more fault block mountains. Folded mountains tend to have higher valleys between ridges and subridges and ranges while fault block mountains tend to have deeper valleys between the ranges. Folded mountains also tend to be more uniform in elevation. Colorado has hundreds of peaks more than 13,000 feet high, but none that reach 14,500 feet. They are pretty uniform in elevation from a geologic standpoint. That's the reason why Colorado is the king of elevation too. They have a lot of long ranges that stay high for miles and miles without a break to lower altitude. There are no other ranges in the US that stay that high for miles and miles. Outside Colorado, perhaps only the Uinta Mountains (another folded range) have a similar ridge that is almost as high for that many miles.

Image

New mountain ranges can also have peaks with higher prominence than expected. For example, the Uinta Mountains in Utah are much higher than the Wasatch, but the Wasatch has a greater number of high prominence peaks. One reason for this is that the Wasatch Mountains are much newer than the Uintas so there are actually rivers flowing from the Uinta Mountains that cut all the way through the Wasatch. Those rivers existed before the Wasatch Mountains did so as the mountains were pushed up the rivers stayed in the same general place and deep canyons were carved. For Mt Timpanogos (in the Wasatch), for example, the parent peak is actually in the Uintas rather than the only higher peak in the Wasatch, Mount Nebo. The Provo River slices right through the Wasatch between Mount Timpanogos and Cascade Mountain. If it weren't for that, Timp wouldn't be an ultra.

The Himalayas are a more spectacular example. The Himalaya don't form a continental divide. Some of the rivers from Tibet actually slice through the Himalaya. That means that there are quite a few peaks with a lot of prominence.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
User avatar
ker0uac
Posts: 425
Joined: 8/30/2016
14ers: List not added

Re: Utah vs Colorado.

Post by ker0uac » Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:44 pm

mtn_hound wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:12 pm
ker0uac wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:42 pm
mtn_hound wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:50 pm


Unless you're talking about the high taxes and government regulations that apply statewide, I don't know know that there's anything "California-ish" that characterizes the entire place in a way that I wouldn't want to live *anywhere* in the state. Sure the places where most of the population lives would be hard for me to go back to (grew up in bay area, also lived in San Diego). But it's such a huge state with so many different choices, I would think most people could find something they like somewhere within the borders.
I find the high taxes and government regulations enough to not want to live here, though I am for reasons beyond my control. But I'd also add:

- big brother state
- High cost of living
- attention-seeking behavior
- hypocrisy
- demagogy
- LeBron James
Thanks for making my point :). All of the things you list are traits of LA/SF Bay/other population centers. They are either non-existent or much reduced outside of those areas.
What areas are left? San diego isnt any different, much less OC. Towns along 395 corridor? Just full of urbanites from LA and Bay Area, pretending to be outdoorsy like you see in Breck and Vail lol.

The high desert? Ok. The San Joaquim Valley? Ok. Redding and surroundings? Ok. So yea, if you ignore taxes, regs and big brother, and you live very detached from 99% of population, then CA is pretty cool I guess.

It's similar to the talk about Utah and it's politics, religion, etc. But in Utah, along I-70 before Green River, there's a stretch of hundreds of miles where you could very well think you are in Mars all by yourself. In such place, the politics and religion wouldnt matter at all.
Those who travel to mountain-tops are half in love with themselves and half in love with oblivion
mtn_hound
Posts: 117
Joined: 9/15/2016
14ers: List not added

Re: Utah vs Colorado.

Post by mtn_hound » Fri Jan 08, 2021 4:52 pm

ker0uac wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:44 pm
mtn_hound wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:12 pm
ker0uac wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:42 pm


I find the high taxes and government regulations enough to not want to live here, though I am for reasons beyond my control. But I'd also add:

- big brother state
- High cost of living
- attention-seeking behavior
- hypocrisy
- demagogy
- LeBron James
Thanks for making my point :). All of the things you list are traits of LA/SF Bay/other population centers. They are either non-existent or much reduced outside of those areas.
What areas are left? San diego isnt any different, much less OC. Towns along 395 corridor? Just full of urbanites from LA and Bay Area, pretending to be outdoorsy like you see in Breck and Vail lol.

The high desert? Ok. The San Joaquim Valley? Ok. Redding and surroundings? Ok. So yea, if you ignore taxes, regs and big brother, and you live very detached from 99% of population, then CA is pretty cool I guess.

It's similar to the talk about Utah and it's politics, religion, etc. But in Utah, along I-70 before Green River, there's a stretch of hundreds of miles where you could very well think you are in Mars all by yourself. In such place, the politics and religion wouldnt matter at all.
Anything north of Sacramento or east of the central valley (minus ski towns, much like we have in Colorado). Literally 75% of the state. Look at Scott P's email for a few examples. The north coast, redwoods, and Shasta/Lassen areas are amazing. Unfortunately, none of that is close to where you are.
User avatar
Matt Lemke
Posts: 765
Joined: 1/10/2011
14ers:summits58 winter8 
13ers:summits115 winter16 
Trip Reports (13)
Contact:

Re: Utah vs Colorado.

Post by Matt Lemke » Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:20 pm

Scott P wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:19 pm
bdloftin77 wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:29 pm
I haven't actually been outside of an airport there yet, but my guess is it ranks high because of a high concentration of volcanoes, which tend to have very high prominences. Possibly also due to high glacial activity, carving out low valleys in between peaks and ranges. But I'll let geologists or those who have actually set foot outside an airport in Washington comment further with their thoughts.
Washington does indeed have some volcanoes, some of which are large, and they get a lot of attention, but there aren't that many of them. A vast majority of mountains in Washington aren't volcanoes.
Believe it or not, Washington only has 5 volcanoes.
Baker
Glacier peak
Rainier
St Helen's
Adams

Where no other state in the lower 48 can touch WA is overall mountain steepness and active glacial landscapes. The Sierras are comporable in steepness but only the high sierra. Few people outside the WA climbing community get truly deep into the north cascades, but for those who have, you'll know what I mean. Places like the Chilliwacks, Pickets, isolation traverse, gunsight peak, kololo area, Hozomeen the list goes on.

The 5 volcanoes are like the 14ers in colorado, busy and popular and arguably the least interesting mountains in the state. The vast majority of WA locals also stick to the trails and lakes. Generally speaking you'll find far fewer people on the peaks in WA (other than volcanoes) than you'll find on peaks in Colorado, simply because they are a hell of a lot more work to climb.
Lemke Climbs
The Pacific Coast to the Great Plains = My Playground
"Take risks not to escape life, but to prevent life from escaping"
"When you come to face what you fear, let the creator guide you"
User avatar
bdloftin77
Posts: 470
Joined: 9/23/2013
14ers:summits58 winter1 
13ers:summits57 
Trip Reports (2)

Re: Utah vs Colorado.

Post by bdloftin77 » Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:06 pm

Scott P wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:19 pm
bdloftin77 wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:29 pm
I haven't actually been outside of an airport there yet, but my guess is it ranks high because of a high concentration of volcanoes, which tend to have very high prominences. Possibly also due to high glacial activity, carving out low valleys in between peaks and ranges. But I'll let geologists or those who have actually set foot outside an airport in Washington comment further with their thoughts.
Washington does indeed have some volcanoes, some of which are large, and they get a lot of attention, but there aren't that many of them. A vast majority of mountains in Washington aren't volcanoes.

I'd imagine the biggest reason places like Washigton, California, Utah, and Nevada have more 5K peaks (ultras) than Colorado is because of the mountain types. Colorado has a lot of folded mountains; those other states have more fault block mountains. Folded mountains tend to have higher valleys between ridges and subridges and ranges while fault block mountains tend to have deeper valleys between the ranges. Folded mountains also tend to be more uniform in elevation. Colorado has hundreds of peaks more than 13,000 feet high, but none that reach 14,500 feet. They are pretty uniform in elevation from a geologic standpoint. That's the reason why Colorado is the king of elevation too. They have a lot of long ranges that stay high for miles and miles without a break to lower altitude. There are no other ranges in the US that stay that high for miles and miles. Outside Colorado, perhaps only the Uinta Mountains (another folded range) have a similar ridge that is almost as high for that many miles.

Image

New mountain ranges can also have peaks with higher prominence than expected. For example, the Uinta Mountains in Utah are much higher than the Wasatch, but the Wasatch has a greater number of high prominence peaks. One reason for this is that the Wasatch Mountains are much newer than the Uintas so there are actually rivers flowing from the Uinta Mountains that cut all the way through the Wasatch. Those rivers existed before the Wasatch Mountains did so as the mountains were pushed up the rivers stayed in the same general place and deep canyons were carved. For Mt Timpanogos (in the Wasatch), for example, the parent peak is actually in the Uintas rather than the only higher peak in the Wasatch, Mount Nebo. The Provo River slices right through the Wasatch between Mount Timpanogos and Cascade Mountain. If it weren't for that, Timp wouldn't be an ultra.

The Himalayas are a more spectacular example. The Himalaya don't form a continental divide. Some of the rivers from Tibet actually slice through the Himalaya. That means that there are quite a few peaks with a lot of prominence.
Ah, that makes a lot of sense. Thanks. Yeah, I'd always wondered why there are so many high mountains in Colorado, especially all the 14ers, that are around relatively the same height, yet none manage to top 14,500'. And why we have so few higher prominence peaks.
Matt Lemke wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:20 pm

Believe it or not, Washington only has 5 volcanoes.

Where no other state in the lower 48 can touch WA is overall mountain steepness and active glacial landscapes.
Definitely didn't know that. Sounds like there's a lot of really cool mountains in that area of the US. I really appreciated the deep, steep-walled glacial valleys in Glacier National Park when we went there a few years ago.
User avatar
ker0uac
Posts: 425
Joined: 8/30/2016
14ers: List not added

Re: Utah vs Colorado.

Post by ker0uac » Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:10 pm

mtn_hound wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 4:52 pm
ker0uac wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:44 pm
What areas are left? San diego isnt any different, much less OC. Towns along 395 corridor? Just full of urbanites from LA and Bay Area, pretending to be outdoorsy like you see in Breck and Vail lol.

The high desert? Ok. The San Joaquim Valley? Ok. Redding and surroundings? Ok. So yea, if you ignore taxes, regs and big brother, and you live very detached from 99% of population, then CA is pretty cool I guess.

It's similar to the talk about Utah and it's politics, religion, etc. But in Utah, along I-70 before Green River, there's a stretch of hundreds of miles where you could very well think you are in Mars all by yourself. In such place, the politics and religion wouldnt matter at all.
Anything north of Sacramento or east of the central valley (minus ski towns, much like we have in Colorado). Literally 75% of the state. Look at Scott P's email for a few examples. The north coast, redwoods, and Shasta/Lassen areas are amazing. Unfortunately, none of that is close to where you are.
I agree that area is great which is why I said Redding and surroundings. But my point and I think that's yours too, is that CA is great if u live removed from the vast majority of Californians. Also, if one wants to live in Shasta, might as well live across the border in Oregon. Much cheaper, lower taxes and less regulations.
Those who travel to mountain-tops are half in love with themselves and half in love with oblivion
User avatar
ekalina
Posts: 59
Joined: 8/10/2014
14ers:summits14 winter1 
13ers:summits27 winter3 
Contact:

Re: Utah vs Colorado.

Post by ekalina » Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:20 pm

Matt Lemke wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:20 pm
The 5 volcanoes are like the 14ers in colorado, busy and popular and arguably the least interesting mountains in the state. The vast majority of WA locals also stick to the trails and lakes. Generally speaking you'll find far fewer people on the peaks in WA (other than volcanoes) than you'll find on peaks in Colorado, simply because they are a hell of a lot more work to climb.
I have also read (no personal experience here) that in addition to steepness, many of the higher peaks in WA have lengthy approaches due to the low elevation of the trailheads. In CO, the mining industry cut many high-elevation, 4WD roads, and that is apparently not the case in WA. So I imagine that the longer approaches keep the crowds pretty thin up there once you get into the backcountry.
User avatar
Scott P
Posts: 8123
Joined: 5/4/2005
14ers:summits51 winter16 
13ers:summits41 winter13 
Trip Reports (16)
Contact:

Re: Utah vs Colorado.

Post by Scott P » Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:59 pm

ekalina wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:20 pm
I have also read (no personal experience here) that in addition to steepness, many of the higher peaks in WA have lengthy approaches due to the low elevation of the trailheads.
It's true. For Mt. Olympus you start at 595 feet elevation. It's more than 30 miles round trip, just to get to the start of the climb. Plus you get eaten alive by mosquitoes on those approaches.

The North Cascades have a lot of long approaches as well.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
Post Reply