Ultra prominent peak
An ultra prominent peak, or Ultra for short, is a mountain with a topographic prominence of 1,500 metres (4,921 ft) or more. There are a total of roughly 1,524 such peaks in the world. Some are famous even to non-climbers, such as Mount Everest, Aconcagua, and Mount McKinley (the top three by prominence), while others are much more obscure. Some famous peaks, such as the Matterhorn and Eiger, are not Ultras because they are connected to higher mountains by high passes and therefore do not achieve enough topographic prominence.
The term "Ultra" is due to earth scientist Stephen Fry, from his studies of the prominence of peaks in Washington state in the 1980s. His original term was "ultra major mountain", referring to peaks with at least 5,000 ft (1,524 m) of prominence.
Currently, 1,519 Ultras have been identified worldwide: 654 in Asia, 360 in North America, 209 in South America, 119 in Europe (including the Caucasus), 84 in Africa, 54 in Australasia and 39 in Antarctica.
Many of the world's largest or best-known mountains are Ultras, including Mount Everest, K2, Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc, and Mount Olympus. On the other hand, many large and famous mountains such as the Eiger and the Matterhorn are not Ultras because they do not have sufficient relative height. Many Ultras lie in rarely-visited and inhospitable parts of the world, including 39 in Greenland, the high points of the Arctic islands of Novaya Zemlya and Jan Mayen and Spitsbergen and 136 in High Asia. In British Columbia, some of the mountains listed don't even have generally-recognised names.
A number of Ultras have yet to be climbed, with the Finisterre Range highpoint, Sauyr Zhotasy, Karlik Shan, (possibly) Mount Siple, and Gangkar Puensum being the most likely candidates for the most prominent unclimbed mountain in the world.
All of the Seven Summits are Ultras by virtue of the fact that they are the high points of large landmasses. Each has its key col at or near sea level, resulting in a prominence value almost equal to its elevation.
Lists of Ultras (1514)
- List of peaks by prominence gives the 125 most prominent peaks worldwide.
- List of islands by highest point gives the 75 highest island highpoints, all of which are Ultras
- List of Alpine peaks by prominence (44)
- List of non-Alpine European Ultras, including Atlantic islands and the Caucasus (75)
- List of Ultras in the Middle East (88)
- List of Ultras in Central Asia (75)
- List of Ultras in the Western Himalayas (80)
- List of Ultras in the Eastern Himalayas, including south India and Sri Lanka (61)
- List of Ultras in Tibet and East Asia (108)
- List of Ultras in Northeast Asia (53)
- List of Ultras in Japan (21)
- List of Ultras in Southeast Asia (42)
- List of Ultras in the Philippines (29)
- List of Ultras in Indonesia (92)
- List of Ultras in Oceania, including Southern Indian Ocean islands (51)
- List of Ultras in Antarctica, including South Atlantic islands (42)
North America (360)
- List of Ultras in North America (360)
- List of Ultras in Canada (142 including 6 with the U.S.)
- List of Ultras in the United States (129 including 6 with Canada)
- List of Ultras in Greenland (39)
- List of Ultras in Mexico (28 including 1 with Guatemala)
- List of Ultras in Central America (22 including 1 with Mexico)
- List of Ultras in the Caribbean (7)
South America (209)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Maizlish, A.. "The Ultra-Prominences Page". Peaklist.org. http://www.peaklist.org/ultras.html.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Adam Helman, The Finest Peaks: Prominence and other Mountain Measures, Trafford, 2005, ISBN 1-4120-5994-1.
- ↑ Maizlish, A.. "Antarctic Ultra-Prominent Summits". Peaklist.org. http://www.peaklist.org/WWlists/ultras/antarctica.html. (See footnotes 3 and 10.)