As is well known, I really like mountains. I lack mountaineering experience, though I may one day try to surmount a peak like Denali. Hiking in the Whites, the Rockies, and even little guys like the Franklin Mountains in my hometown of El Paso is very satisfying. I'm not as intrepid as some
, but I might consider a trek to a basecamp of one of the 8,000 meter peaks or something.
Anyway, with Google maps, I can indulge my thirst for data on these peaks. My favorite mountain by many measures is K2; it is a sublime behemoth of great beauty, power, and majesty. Consider K2's contour profile: K2's contour profile
The contours are nearly circular; the mountain is very nearly a cone. It rises over 3,000 meters above the great Baltoro Glacier
to the south. Along its steepest grades - to the north, southeast and southwest, it ascends over three vertical kilometers in less than three horizontal kilometers. On its north side, it rises 3 km in 2.5 horizontal kilometers, for an average angle of fifty degrees. The mountain itself is so remote that it was not given a native name, unlike Everest (Sagarmatha) or Mt. McKinley (Denali).
Compare K2's exquisite pyramid to Everest and Denali, at approximately the same scale:
(zoom in to get higher contour resolution)
It's a little hard to appreciate how massive these mountains really are. Here are some other famous mountains at similar magnification to K2:
Matterhorn (Mt. Cervino)
, with its formidable North face
, an impressively wide and intricate volcano, with a peak average grade of about 25 degrees.
The magnitude of these mountains overwhelms me (particularly K2).
Control Count: 73/2000
Burrito Count: 42
Anna's Th, Star Market Fr