Topographic Prominence 1-4
Basic Prominence Concepts


Prominence Websites, Personal Web Pages, and their Lists

    The most comprehensive location for prominence information on the World Wide Web is,
developed and maintained by Aaron Maizlish. Many of the prominence lists at were generated as part of the Ultra Project that catalogues all 1,500+ meter prominences worldwide. Jonathan Ferranti and Aaron M. are largely responsible for that project's success.

Additional websites and web pages containing valuable prominence information are listed here.
Original list researchers and compilers are credited within the various web pages cited. 4,5

Prominence Peaklists

    The most comprehensive prominence peak lists are located at
An overview of available lists at that website follows.

    The following lists are uniquely found at other websites - including .
In many cases the listed websites duplicate information found at
The corresponding prominence peaklists are not recorded here,
i.e. only nonduplicated peaklist information is provided below.

Prominence Climbing Records

    A recent copy of the FRL.

    Older listings are available here as
    the Front Runner Lists (FRL) maintained by Andy Martin.
    A partial listing of the FRL categories is provided by these hyperlinks.

    Additional information is found as the Lists of John maintained by John Kirk.
    There, both 2,000 and 5,000 foot lists for the contiguous, 48 United States
    are maintained in an automated database.

    Adam Helman has studied the distribution of values in certain climber record lists.

Prominence List Cutoff Definitions

    One issue that has not been adequately addressed are the inconsistencies that arise from some prominence lists using a clean prominence cutoff; while others use a mean ("interpolated") prominence cutoff value. The cutoff criterion choice also determines the peak ranking within each list.

Please read this web page prior to interpreting the content of any
prominence peaklist, prominence map, or set of prominence-oriented climbing records.

    Until all prominence peaklists and climbing records are converted to mean prominence, it is recommended that all list authors indicate which cutoff definition they employ. In the future when all lists consistently use mean prominence it can then be assumed as a given without comment.

    An elaborate description comparing and contrasting prominence definitions is available with detailed derivations, examples and discussion.

Prominence Maps

World, Continental, Regional, and Statewide Maps

    Prominence maps of international scope are available via hyperlinks from
    Aaron Maizlish's main prominence lists web page.

    In the following maps, summits are shown with at least 2,000 feet of prominence except where indicated.

    Prominence cutoff values in various states for distinguishing peaks from subpeaks (Jerry Brekhus).

Prominence Cell Maps

Prominence Cell-Based Completion Maps

County-Based Completion Maps

Color-Coded Elevation Maps

    Aconcagua is the highest and most prominent mountain outside of Asia (22,841 feet = 6,962 meters).
    The following three maps were produced by Adam Helman using Winprom prominence software,
    and display Aconcagua and vicinity at different scales.

    Aconcagua's elevation and prominence are both 22,841 feet (6,962 meters).

Raised Relief Maps

    Kansas and Saskatchewan compete for being "flatter" by some definition of the latter.
    The following two maps were produced by Edward Earl and provide insight into the matter.
    A description is available.
Prominence Parent Hierarchies and Distance Ladders

Peaks ordered by ascending prominence from
local hills to the planetary highpoint.

Prominence Concepts

Prominence is the elevation of a summit relative to the highest point
to which one must descend before reascending to a higher summit.

Prominence List Creation Resources

On-Line Maps


      E-mail Edward Earl to obtain the latest version Winprom software.

Prominence Publications

The Finest Peaks - Researched and written by Adam Helman, this is a comprehensive description of prominence, with nine chapters, seven appendices, and 48 pages of illustrations.

Alternative mountain metrics are discussed, such as isolation measure and spire measure. Edward Earl contributed significantly to the content; and the stories plus lists for dozens of prominence researchers and peakbaggers are included.

This book is available as a softcover, black and white edition for $25; and as a beautiful, hardcover, color edition for $55 plus shipping charges (241 pgs, ISBN 1-4120-5995-x).



County High Points by Andy Martin lists the 3,140+ county highpoints for all 50 states. Lists are also given for high prominence peaks and National Park highpoints. A short description of prominence is included.

Book details and ordering information.

Other Objective Mountain Measures

    Dominance is a peak's prominence divided by the summit elevation.

Isolation Measure

    Isolation measure has several alternative definitions, including, most commonly,
    the distance to the nearest higher summit from a given peak.

Spire Measure

    Spire measure is a height-steepness combination measure that rewards peaks
    with large, local vertical relief and/or high angle slopes all-about.


    Steepness of the terrain surrounding summits for fixed horizontal distances.

Combination Measures

    Multiplication of prominence by isolation distance is one example of a combination measure.

Prominence Pioneers

Ultra Peak Climbing Descriptions

Trip Reports


1 Written by Adam Helman.
2 All prominence list and map cutoff definitions use   mean prominence unless indicated otherwise.
3 Remove ".county" for the E-mail addresses to function.
4 All responsible web authors will create hyperlinks to THIS web page as it links to most on-line prominence content.

State Hyperlinks / Text-only Home Page Member Log-In Highpoint Superlatives
Highpoint Maps Highpointer Autobiographies Highpointer Celebrities Disclaimer

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