Lidar is killing me.

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Lidar is killing me.

Postby cripclimber » Fri May 05, 2023 1:48 pm

Don't intend to sound overly dramatic about this but Lidar has taken away quite a few ranked Colorado summits from my completed list. I realize that this does not mean that I did not summit the peak but that now that peak is no longer on the ranked list. Several years ago I set a goal of climbing 500 of the top 1000 peaks in the state and completed that goal in 2017 with 3 extra summits as a cushion. I will admit that there was plenty of cherry picking involved as I looked for close and/or easy summits. Then Lidar comes along and now my total has dropped to 496 of the top 1000 as some peaks are no longer ranked and some have dropped off the bottom of the list as they were too close to the minimum elevation. For all I know this will continue as Lidar scanning spreads across the state. Today I discovered another lost peak with a new ranked peak right next to it in the Blanca Peak Quad. Perhaps I should look on the bright side as the loss of peaks has spurred me to return to peak bagging with the aim of once again reaching that 500 peak mark. This time I will be sure that the high summits reached will be well above the minimum cut off elevation as well as have plenty of prominence so that Lidar will not affect their belonging on the top 1000 list. The sad thing is that with the added years my speed and balance have suffered considerably and I no longer have a sturdy 4WD vehicle to aid access to trail heads. Oh well, just another challenge. I am still very lucky and grateful to be able to get out there at all. Climb on!!
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Re: Lidar is killing me.

Postby JoeGrim » Sun May 07, 2023 7:32 am

First of all, I think the vast majority of us here on LoJ would recognize your claim of having climbed 500 of the top 1000 peaks in the state, because you used the best available list at the time. However, the LoJ website only keeps track of the most accurate known list at the moment. Fortunately, the number of peaks changed by LiDAR analyses will likely be nearly finished some time this year. We've analyzed the vast majority of the peaks in the state already, and everything above 12,800' (#787/1000.) There are only 50 left on the top 1000 list (between #s 788-1000) that are left to analyze, and it's unlikely that any of these will fall off the list, as the least prominent remaining top 1000 peak has 343' estimated prominence; this is because we have purposefully sought to prioritize the analysis of peaks that are close to the 300' prominence threshold.

Our efforts to identify potential peaks that are mis-identified as ranked (or mis-identified as unranked) has been aided by an automated program written by Andrew Kirmse that calculates the prominence of all peaks in its data set. I've been gathering 1 meter horizontal grid spacing data of the entire state to use in running this program, and we've already run it on 80% of the state (the portion of the state still missing is mostly in the south-central portion.) I'm likely within a couple weeks of getting the last of these data (assuming my data requests are fulfilled, as their submission process stalls out sometimes) and will run it on the rest of the state once I have it all. Then, a few of us will manually analyze the peaks identified by Kirmse's program as possibly being mis-identified. However, most of us aren't as active in doing LiDAR analyses in the warm season, since we're out hiking instead. So, it might not be until the fall that the list is considered as complete as possible. After that point, there will likely be very few peak list changes, and those that possibly do one day change will likely fall into one of two categories: 1) those within a couple feet of 300' prominence, who are found to change from using newer, more accurate LiDAR data, and 2) pairs of nearby summits very very close in elevation, where one summit previously assumed to be barely lower than the other is later found to be barely higher. With a little work, you can identify these rare potential future ranked peak change candidates by identifying peaks in your list within a couple feet of 300' prominence, or by looking at the LiDAR notes of the peaks, where we identify if another summit bump is only a foot or so different. Or, if you climb 505+ of the top 1000 peaks in the state, I would think that would be enough buffer to guarantee you'll never fall off the list!
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Re: Lidar is killing me.

Postby cripclimber » Mon May 08, 2023 2:12 pm

Joe, thank you for taking the time to reply. It helps to know more about the process and how close it is to completion. Appreciate your efforts as well as everyone at LOJ for making this website so special. Your suggestions will help insure that future summits achieved will remain on the ranked list. Wishing you well on your future climbs also.
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Re: Lidar is killing me.

Postby Scott Patterson » Thu May 18, 2023 10:22 pm

So climb more peaks. Some of the best peaks in Colorado are unranked. Anyway, I lost more than 100 ascents of a previous ranked peak due to LiDAR. It doesn't bother me and certainly isn't killing me.

First of all, I think the vast majority of us here on LoJ would recognize your claim of having climbed 500 of the top 1000 peaks in the state, because you used the best available list at the time.


I wonder if it would be the vast majority? Personally I disagree, but can see doing it for people long gone or who are too old to climb. If you're still able to climb peaks, then you simply climb the new list or whatever peaks you want.
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Re: Lidar is killing me.

Postby CandaceS » Sun Jun 23, 2024 2:22 pm

I'm okay with someone stating they climbed [insert name of elevation-based list] as determined by the information known at that time. However, it may not be possible to have that accomplishment reflected on LOJ, due to the updated elevations and lists.

IMHO, the biggest transgression stemming from LiDAR is situations like the Pennsylvania high point. People are marking it completed on LOJ, even though they didn't ascend it. That's simply lying/cheating.

I'd say to those people, so what if LOJ doesn't reflect that you climbed all the state high points. Be satisfied with the fact you climbed the ones that were recognized at the time. But if you simply must have the tick on LOJ, resign yourself to bushwhacking to what is now known to be the PA high point.
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