Forum Index > Trip Reports > Sentinel Island, a submerged mountain - 12/4/20
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Gimpilator
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Location: Edmonds, WA
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PostSat Dec 05, 2020 9:10 am 
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The Hoover Dam was constructed in 1936, prior to which there was no Lake Mead.  While the creation of a lake, with a surface area of 150 square miles, meant many changes for the region, it also affected some of the local mountains.

One particular peak became an island.  Measuring from the surface of the water, today Sentinel Island no longer qualifies as a mountain.  The water level changes from week to week and month to month.   Mountain top removal mining in the east may have destroyed many peaks, however the loss or change of status for our peaks in the west is exceptionally aberrant.

This might be the only peak in the country which lost itís status, submerged in a reservoir.  Pondering natural processes and the geologic time-scale, it seems highly likely that Sentinel will become a mountain again, long after the human race is gone.


Sentinel Island - 1345í

Itís more of a paddle than a hike, about 6 miles round-trip.  Northern head wind in the morning and still water in the afternoon.

Sentinel looming
Sentinel looming

We launched from Painters Cove and landed on the southeast shore under some cliffs.  It was delighting to find a bit of good scrambling in the rock formations.

Frances reenacts a Hollywood film fantasy
Frances reenacts a Hollywood film fantasy

Higher on the south ridge, the going was crumbly.  Views were good all around.  I left a register.


The following video captures the emotional tone of our day.

video link

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https://www.youtube.com/c/Zogador
https://www.summitpost.org/users/gimpilator/25744
http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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Matt Lemke
High on the Outdoors



Joined: 15 Jul 2010
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PostSat Dec 05, 2020 9:20 am 
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That looks fun!

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The Pacific coast to the Great Plains = my playground!!!
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See my website at:
http://www.lemkeclimbs.com
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chandlerhaberlack
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Joined: 29 May 2018
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Location: Monroe
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PostSat Dec 05, 2020 8:00 pm 
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how neat! I bet that one sees close to 0 traffic.
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Bryan K
Shameless Peakbagger



Joined: 29 Sep 2005
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Location: Alaska
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PostFri Dec 18, 2020 9:00 pm 
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Keep it up buddy!!!!

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www.youtube.com/bkraai | www.flickr.com/photos/bkraai/sets/
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ree
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ree
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PostTue Dec 22, 2020 9:22 am 
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That looks like fun! Can you tell me about those canoes? They look really lightweight. Can you collapse them?

I keep praying for rain in the south so that the lake will refill. It's going to take a lot of years to change that.
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lopper
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PostTue Dec 22, 2020 3:42 pm 
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https://www.oricanoe.com/
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Gimpilator
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PostSat Dec 26, 2020 5:04 pm 
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Thank for the link Looper.

To Respond to Deb, we loved the boat, because it was lightweight and folded into a suitcase sized bundle.  But one of the assembly parts broke on the 3rd use.  It was within the warranty period, so we returned it.  Oricanoe told me that a newer design is coming out soon, hopefully much improved.  The concept is great, but it might be too early in the game for this company.

OruKayaks also have a lot of part failures if you read the reviews, so I ruled them out in the early phase.

Tucktec is the 3rd and final lightweight folding design company.  The warranty is 3 years and durability seems better, but the overall length is much shorter, so they might not perform as well.  Maybe we'll try those next.  Peaks by paddle is not over for us.  I'm also considering pack rafts, since those have so many applications for WA and BC.

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https://www.youtube.com/c/Zogador
https://www.summitpost.org/users/gimpilator/25744
http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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Brushbuffalo
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Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
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PostSun Dec 27, 2020 9:08 am 
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Gimpilator wrote:
This might be the only peak in the country which lost itís status, submerged in a reservoir.† Pondering natural processes and the geologic time-scale, it seems highly likely that Sentinel will become a mountain again, long after the human race is gone.

Adam, that's fascinating.
I do have a question, however. What definition are you thinking  of for ' mountain'?

Here is a note that is included in Wikipedia's Mountain entry:

"At one time the U.S. Board on Geographic Names defined a mountain as being 1,000 feet (300 m) or taller,[6] but has abandoned the definition since the 1970s. Any similar landform lower than this height was considered a hill. However, today, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) concludes that these terms do not have technical definitions in the US.[7]"

I am interested to know if there is  common agreement among peakbaggers about what a mountain is. We all have a general idea that a mountain is taller than a hill, and some notion about prominence and shape, but those terms are usually not precisely applied, although for prominence we have any number of lists. Still, topographic prominence does not in itself define a mountain.

Comments?  (other than the old 'hills are baby mountains').

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Gimpilator
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PostSun Dec 27, 2020 11:35 am 
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Doug, really great question.  As a geologist, you might be more qualified to answer.  Years ago Steph Abegg posted an interesting study about Mountains/Peaks/Mounts and how those names on average carry a clear mathematical correlation to their distinctive physical attributes.

Prominence is certainly an important factor.  Is it a mountain or not?  There is no finite yes/no definition which spans across all the political borders.  In the US, I tend to follow the local state rules.  For instance 400 feet in WA and 300 feet in NV.  Friends of mine like Steven Song in BC have a completely different take, which might be representative of the Canadian culture.  Steven only counts named summits, regardless of whether they qualify with prominence or not.

In the planning stages for this trip, I spoke to Greg Slayden.  He indicated that he might be in the minority, by not counting Sentinel as a peak.  He mentioned something new gaining popularity, called "dry earth prominence".  I still think of Sentinel as a peak, because of the increasing likelihood on any timescale that the water is going to go away, and then the original saddle remains.

Going back to your original questions.  The terms "peak" and "mountain" are often used, very loosely and also interchangeably in peakbagging culture, for anything above the cut-off threshold.  What is more traditionally called a hill by the general public, might be thought of as a peak by peakbaggers, if it has the minimum rise.  "Hillbagging" has lame connotations in the US, but in the UK the term might be used.  Here, we almost never say "hill", even if it is one.

Most of the hills I've done are not very good quality, while most of the mounts and mountains were pretty good.  Steph confirmed that peaks tend to be steeper, closer together and generally less massive than mounts.  Almost all of the technical climbs I've done were called peaks.

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https://www.youtube.com/c/Zogador
https://www.summitpost.org/users/gimpilator/25744
http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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Brushbuffalo
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Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
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PostSun Dec 27, 2020 2:11 pm 
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Thanks for this, Adam. Helpful!

Yes. I am familiar with Steph's treatise on peak vs. mountain vs. mount. That was for a paper she did in one of her graduate courses at UW. It is typical of her creativity, which continues to this day.

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Sentinel Island, a submerged mountain - 12/4/20
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