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Eleven Thousanders of Canadian Rockies (20) Top Level

The list of Eleven Thousanders (11,000ers) is a well known list, and has been talked about for at least 30 years. The first person to climb all the peaks in such a list was Don Forest, and the second was noted Bivouac author Rick Collier. (Rick was the first to do all of them without air support, since Don flew in and out of Clemenceau and perhaps Tsar and Robson. Bill Corbett was the third person to summit all the 11,000 peaks, and wrote an excellent book on these peaks.

The simple definition of this list is this:

All the 11,000 foot "peaks" in the Canadian Rockies

Sounds simple enough, but exactly which peaks are on the list varies depending on what definition you use for "separate peak", and what elevation data you use. For example, Bill Corbett's latest book on the 11000ers, has 54 peaks listed. The current bivouac data shows there to be 56 peaks on the list. (In fact, even the Bivouac list was recently revised from 53 to 56, based on a detailed examination of certain peaks. However, if you apply the standard 500 foot prominence limit which has been adopted by other such lists, you end up with only 42 distinct peaks.

Here is a link to the Bivouac version of the list without any limit on prominence:

Canadian Rockies Eleven Thousanders 56 peaks

If you want to reconcile this list with the 54 peaks in Corbett's book, you'll find that the Bivouac list does not include Mount Huber, because the best available data (TRIM) indicates that this peak is only 10984 feet.

Prominence Filter
Here are the true "separate" peaks if you apply the standard 500' prominence limit: List with 500 foot prominence limit 43 peaks.

Here are the ones that were excluded: Peaks below 500' prominence threshold 12 Peaks

Height Variation
Near 11,000ers: Apart from prominence, the other thing that affects the list is the possibility that a more accurate survey would suddenly include additional peaks. These are usually referred to as "Near 11,000ers". The "near" means peaks that are close enough that there is more than one chance in 100 that they could be on the list. This means we have to decide what the statistical accuracy of our heights are. This list should include all peaks that are close enough to 11,000 feet to be within the data tolerances. The TRIM data is supposed to be accurate to within 5 meters, 90% of the time. For NTS survey heights, I think we can use 10m, and perhaps even 5 m. See Map Accuracy Theory and Terminology. However, any peak whose height is only known by contour interpolation could be out as much as 50' (which is 15m), assuming the contours are absolutely accurate. So the three possible tolerances are 5, 10, and 15m. Therefore if we use 50 feet (15m) as the tolerance, we come up with a list of peaks between 10950 and 11000.

Peaks between 10950 and 11000 feet 5 Peaks

And if you really wanted to be safe, your list could include all the peaks within 100 feet of the magic number:

[a href=PeaksInArea.asp?Area=Canadian%20Rockies&Units=feet&MinHeight=10900&Columns=MultiUnit]All Peaks over 10900 68 Peaks

The above list includes the following "marginal" peaks: [a href=PeaksInArea.asp?Area=Canadian%20Rockies&Units=feet&MinHeight=10900&MaxHeight=11000&Columns=MultiUnit]Peaks between 10900 and 11000 feet 13 Peaks

My latest tests indicate that a handheld GPS with WAAS can be accurate to within 5m, so it is possible that the heights of the Alberta peaks can be refined by some hand held readings.

Prominence Limit Discussion:
 Corbett's list (and all the Calgary based lists) don't yet use the concept of a minimum prominence. So their lists includes some fairly insignificant peaks such as Lunette Peak, with only 125 feet of prominence. (Lunette Peak is actually just a sharp spur on the south ridge of Assiniboine). It got onto the list in 1901 whne Outram was confused, thinking he had reached the summit of Assiniboine. Similarly Rae Peak (Goodsir Center Summit) has only 44m prominence, and until recently was viewed as part of Mount Goodsir. And since the they are on the list, there is nothing to prevent someone from including other bumps that may come to light.

The Bivouac policy for heights is to use the latest BC Government TRIM data if available. Trim spot heights have a stated accuracy of being within 5 meters of the true value, 90% of the time. This is much more accurate than any height based on interpolating 100' contours. The comparable accuracy for an interpolated height is only within 15m, 90% of the time (and that assumes the contours are absolutely accurate).

Other books use elevation data derived from NTS topographic maps. While NTS survey heights may well arguably as accurate as TRIM data, many of the 11,000' peaks do not have a NTS survey height. In this case, the "official" guidebooks simply interpolate the 100' contours. For example, the height of Mount Huber is given as 11,050', which is based on the fact that there is a tiny 11,000 contour on the old imperial topo map for this peak. The table below shows the height of Mount Huber according to various sources:

  Feet Meters
  BC Basemap 10,984 3348
  Bivouac 10,984 3348 (BC Basemap)
  NTS 1:50,000 Imperial Interpolation 11,050 3368
  Corbett's 11000er book 11,050 3368
  Putnam (1973) 11,051 3368