The height of Kita-dake was upgraded a few years back to 3,193 meters
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The height of Kita-dake was upgraded a few years back to 3,193 meters

by Peter

Hi Gary. Just taking a quick peek here before running off to the station. A couple of notes: Kitadake was upgraded a few years back to 3,193 meters and Tsurugi recently to 2,999m. Also, I noticed on your 25 highest mountains list that you stuck to the primary peak of the massif. Karasawadake (3,110m), Kita-Hotakadake (3,106m), and Obamidake (3,101m) make the top ten on other lists but, as you know, they share the same rock pile as their Hyakumeizan line-parents.

The list in my guide book says Japan has 21 peaks over 3,000 metres, not including sub-peaks like Koakaishidake. I think you considered in your list that the three peaks mentioned above are not truly separate mountains. But I just thought I would mention it.

Later I will take more time to look through here and see if I can add anything useful.

July 10, 2011


Hi Peter, thanks for your valuable insight.

Sounds like your 21-peak 3000m+ list may be the same as the one at Wikipedia named "Three Thousanders."

Yes, making lists of mountains depends on a lot of subjective criteria, including proximity, topographic prominence, relative prominence, parentage, difference in height between the peak and the surrounding base of the mountain, etc.

Whether it be Colorado's Fourteeners (peaks over 14,000 ft.), Japan's 100 most famous peaks (Hyakumeizan), or any other set of mountains around the world, there is certain to always be some debate in how ranking lists are drawn up.

One of my favorite statements about this is from Wikipedia's page listing the highest mtns. in the world: "A drawback of a prominence-based list is that it may exclude well-known or spectacular mountains that are connected via a high ridge to a taller summit, like the Eiger or Nuptse. A few such peaks and mountains with nearly sufficient prominence are included but not numbered in the list."

And if you really want to get confused, read this info on "topographic prominence":

The list I use I downloaded from the net in 5/98 (back when many, if not most, people were not even using the internet yet) and have made no attempt to revise it thru the years as conditions change, new measurements are made, or some climbing club suddenly decides a peak is in fact a separate mountain in its own right, and deserving to be on the list. :-)

Anyways, thanks for letting me know about the elevation changes of Kita-dake & Tsurugi.

And thanks again for sharing your Daikiretto pic...



Hi Gary,

I went through the whole topographic prominence lesson two years ago when I started researching mountains in Canada. The situation there is even more confusing as accurate heights have still not been determined or confirmed for some peaks, while other peaks are given two or three different elevations depending on the source.

Then there are famous peaks for climbing that are sub-peaks of a massif, and satellite peaks that are considered separate mountains because of sufficient prominence even though they are part of the same massif.

In any case, I understand how your list was compiled and when I read that Karasawadake and Kitahotakadake are among the top ten highest, I always consider that they are in reality not separate mountains from Okuhotaka.

I am looking forward to exploring your site a little more and I am thinking about my Yari/Hotaka story which I will try to write in the next week or so.



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