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When to Add Peaks (25) Top Level

We sometimes add unnamed peaks to the database in order to make it quicker to check key saddles and line parents. When is it good to add an unnamed peak to the database? To answer that question, we go back to the purpose of the "line Parent" concept. The purpose of designating a "line parent" is to simplify the prominence proof for any given peak. You could have a database that only gave the prominence of each peak, and the lat-long of the key saddle. But to make that data easier to check, it is convenient to be able to name the "higher ground" beyond the saddle. So we pick the first significant higher peak beyond the saddle, and call that the "line parent". This allows somebody to say a statement like: "The Key saddle of Peak 1 is just to the south, and just beyond the saddle is it's parent, Peak 2." You don't want a situation where somebody says: The key saddle of peak 1 is just to the south, but the line parent is 50 km away, with a dozen other higher saddles along the way. The reason the second database is hard to check is because you'd have to re-check those dozen saddles just to make sure the key saddle was indeed the lowest. So in many cases, we add intermediate peaks to the database, which simplify the proofs.

Apart from convenience, there are two absolute "rules" that dictate that an intermediate peak MUST be added:

Rule 1 - Saddle beyond: There cannot be a lower saddle beyond first high ground.
 Rule 2 - High Prom point: There cannot be a higher prominence point between subject and Line Parent

Rule 1 explanation: The database is incomplete if there is a saddle, then higher ground, and then a lower saddle beyond and then the parent. In this case, the first higher ground must be put in as a peak, because it is the only one that can be the Line Parent. We can't use the distant peak beyond the second saddle as the parent because that would imply that the low saddle is the key saddle, which is false. Line Parent is a convenient shorthand for the "higher ground". The key saddle must always be the lowest point between a peak and its parent.

Consider the cases below. The subject peak is Peak 1. Beyond it are peak 2 and Peak 3. For our examples, Peak 2 is an unnamed peak, not yet in the database. The question is: when do we need to add Peak 2 to the database?

  1. Case 1 - Lower Col beyond Peak 2
     (Rule 1 - Saddle Beyond) There is a lower col beyond the first high point you come to after the saddle:

      Peak 1 6000
      Col 1-2 5500 <-- Key saddle of Peak 1
      Peak 2 6500 (is this necessary? - yes
      Col 2-3 5400 (lower saddle, but not key saddle of peak 1
      Peak 3 7500

     In this case, it is essential to put Peak 2 into the database, because there is a lower saddle beyond peak 2. In the above, if we don't put Bump 2 in the database as Peak 2 then we might try to designate Peak 3 as the parent. But it can't be the parent, because the 2-3 col is lower. The key saddle is always the lowest point between a peak and its line parent. So we must insert peak 2 for the database to be self consistent. Col 2-3 is the key saddle of Peak 2, not peak 1.

  2. Case 2 - No higher col, but Peak 2 is higher prom (Rule 2 - High Prom point)

      Peak 1 6000 P500
      Col 1-2 5500 <-- Key saddle of Peak 1, as before
      Peak 2 6500 P800 Higher prom point in center
      Col 2-3 5700 <-- not lower than saddle 1-2
      Peak 3 7500
    In this case, there is no "saddle beyond" the first high point. So Rule 1 is satisfied. However, since the prominence of Peak 2 is 800 which is greater than Peak 1 at 500 I'd put it in to satisfy rule 2. You can draw a diagram of this ridge with peaks 1,2, and 3.

  3. Case 3 - Peak 2 is just bump on Ridge

      Peak 1 5000 P500
      Col 1-2 4500 key saddle of Peak 1
      Peak 2 5500 P200 possible parent of Peak 1
      Col 2-3 5300 //key saddle of Peak 2 saddle higher
      Peak 3 5600

     In this case, Peak 2 is not necessary. It is lower prominence than Peak 1. It can be regarded as a "bump on the ridge" going up to Peak 3. The database below (without Peak 2) is sufficient to satisfy all the rules:

      Peak 1 5000 P500
      Col 1-2 4500 key saddle of Peak 1
      Peak 3 5600 parent of Peak 1

 Below are examples that you can see on the GMap display:

Conical Peak
Below is a sketch map for the situation around Conical peak, in Alberta. Originally the "convenience" peak SV1 was not in the database and the parent of Conical was put down as Noyes. But adding SV1 makes the parent of Conical much quicker to check because all you need to do is trace to Peak SV1. You don't need to check the ridges beyond which going to Noyes or Quill, whereas without SV1, you'd have to check the low point on both those ridges to verify that Noyes was the line parent.

This case is like case two above - there is no lower saddle that would confuse someone, as long as Noyes was the parent. So it isn't like case 1. However, just to make it simpler I inserted the 9750' peak as "Sv1". This will save future editors the trouble of examining the piece of ridge between it and Noyes. If there was a deeper slot there, then Noyes would not be the parent.

I call this a "case 2" convenience peak, as opposed to a more essential "case 1" peak. In general, in complex areas we often insert peaks every 7 or 8 km along a ridge, just to make things more convenient. That makes it quick to verify line parent information without redoing a detailed prominence sketch map with dozens of saddles to consider.
Quick sketch of ridges leading from Conical to Noyes Peak