Mt. Tamalpais - East vs. West

Discuss geopolitical area highpoints, prominence, and similar lists.

Mt. Tamalpais - East vs. West

Postby kirkmallory » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:20 am

I recently noticed that LoJ has the West Peak of Mt. Tamalpais, CA, as higher at 2,580 feet than the East Peak at 2,571 feet. Most information that I have found indicates the East Peak is higher and is the high point of Marin County. According to Gary Suttle's book California County Summits, "A cluster of radar installations, some looking like colossal white golf balls, mars West Peak, which once stood as the highest point at 2,604 feet. During World War II and afterward, the military built facilities there and bulldozed the top of the peak in the process. Several contemporary maps still cite this obliterated "ghost" summit as the highpoint."

The quad still shows a 2,560-foot contour, which would interpolate to 2,580. I assume that is where that elevation comes from on LoJ. I climbed the East Peak 10 years ago, well before LoJ, and when CA became listed, I probably did what many others did - I simply checked off "Mt. Tamalpais". I didn't even realize until recently that I had the wrong summit checked off. The long list of summiters suggests many may have done the same - there are only a handful of East Peak completers but a long list of West Peak completers.
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