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7 summits and other mountain stuff => General => Topic started by: 7summits on Feb 24 2004, 17:41

Title: False summits
Post by: 7summits on Feb 24 2004, 17:41
Roger from Americasroof pointed me to this forbes article about guides and climbers that do not go the real summit of volcanoes like Mt Rainier and Kilimanjaro:
From the article:
But maybe it's a good thing that clients can't remember. Amateur climbers are being told--and given fancy certificates by their guides stating as much--that they reached the summit when, in fact, some stopped below the actual top. The practice, found most often on Rainier and other such volcanic apexes as Mexico's Pico de Orizaba and Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro, cheapens the experience of those who do struggle to the highest point and, evidently, is nothing new.

Guide services involved claim that a volcano's crater rim is the summit, not just the highest point. "This is maybe fudging a little," admits Joe Horiskey, another co-owner of Paradise, Ore.-based Rainier Mountaineering, "but by 'alpine definition'--whatever the hell that is--the crater rim has always been considered the top of a volcano."
Read the full article here (http://www.forbes.com/sport/2004/02/13/cz_jc_0213sport.html)

What do you think about this?
Title: Re:False summits
Post by: MoT on Feb 24 2004, 19:34
Nah, it's not the summit in my book... It's still a heck of an achievement, but what about a peak like Mt. St. Helens that blew the side out of itself. If you reach the lower part of that crater, not the upper part, have you reached the summit? :)
Title: Re:False summits
Post by: 7summits on Feb 24 2004, 19:45
True, I actually did climb that a few years ago, amazing how many people just stopped at the crater rim while the actual summit was a relatively short hike away...
But then again, you have pre- and post-explosion summiteers  ;D

I have met quite a few people who responded to me talking about climbing MtBlanc by telling me they had climbed it as well.
I always like to know what route, and a few times I got the answer: 'It was quite easy, we used the cable car!' and not even jokingly...  ::)
I will tell them that standing in a cable car that goes to 3842m on Aiguille du Midi as not quite the same as climbing to 4810m on Mt Blanc...
Title: Re:False summits
Post by: Tomasz on Feb 24 2004, 20:23

I think it's very easy, summit, highest point on the mountain. I had the choice of turning back at Gilman's Point on Kili, but it just wouldn't be the top :)

Title: Re:False summits
Post by: 7summits on Feb 24 2004, 20:26
The article is very true; there is a clear business thought behind the false summits.
I get a lot of people asking me why the success rate of my kilitrips is not 90-100% as many other companies claim. I tell them than on most mountains around the world the summit success hovers around 50%, this s not only true for Denali and Aconcagua, but also for Kili as mountaineering is typically about testing your ability and limits.

But most outfitters just drag the hikers to the crater rim and quickly back again and tell them that they have summited Kili!
Well, only if you can touch the summit sign you have summited in my book...
But unfortunately people just blindly buy these statistics and go for the 'high sucess rate'...
If you let you choice depend on 'facts' like these, just ask yourself where these 'facts' came from...

By the way, we do give out certificates, but there are 2 different ones, if you only make it to the crater rim (which is a great achievement, do not get me wrong!) you simply get a different one, stating the true point you have reached.

Just my 2 cents...

Keep climbing,