Best summit views?

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SSSdave
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Re: Best summit views?

Post by SSSdave » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:02 pm

Views from top of peaks is always interesting especially regionally tallest peaks in that on clear days one can see long distances across landscapes including other peak tops. However rarely are photographs from top of peaks rated strongly aesthetically even on boards like summitpost with all their peakbaggers. Much better aesthetically are views looking up at peaks with alpine landscape foregrounds against a deep blue sky and or background. As a twentysomething I climbed a number of summits including Goddard, Agassiz, Columbine, Eagle Scout, Seven Gables (n), Izaak Walton and other supposedly with strong views and usually noted being so high caused peak tops to view against smoggy skies in the distance versus usual intense blues from below. What I did find interesting on the other hand was with topo in hand, identifying features in the distance including lakes. So would usually spend quite a lot of time at tops doing so. Ironically numbers of peak baggers get to the top and really don't spend much time enjoying views or even cracking open their maps so their fun is mostly the challenge of climbs.

A more interesting challenge became to find unique tripod locations below with best views of peaks like this of Cathedral Peak:

http://www.davidsenesac.com/Gallery_B/06-GG-6.jpg

or this of Isoceles:

http://www.davidsenesac.com/Gallery_B/04-S-16.jpg








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sparky
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Re: Best summit views?

Post by sparky » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:22 pm

My Spencer has what you are looking for

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tie
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Re: Best summit views?

Post by tie » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:25 pm

I pretty much only climb for the views. I think you need good views in all directions (nearby mountains > far-off ones), and a good, dramatic drop-off in at least a couple directions.

From what has been mentioned so far, Brewer and Spencer both have good views. Not sure about best. I think Agassiz is better (and much better than Sky Haven—the view south from Sky Haven might be prettier in good light, with the Palisades over the lakes, but the view lacks the dramatic drop-off and closeness-to-the-Palisades of Agassiz). I wouldn't put Alta Peak, Mt Bago or Seven Gables in my top 50. Secor recommends Pilot Knob for its "outstanding view," but I think it lacks drama. I've climbed Whitney many times, but don't especially like the area. (And the summit plateau is so large that you can't get good views all around at the same time.)

For mountains not yet mentioned, I like Banner Peak a lot. The Minarets and Thousand Island Lake are some of my favorite places, so it's nice to get a view of both, with a dramatic drop-off, too. I also think Matterhorn Peak has pretty views, though not "the best."

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Re: Best summit views?

Post by rcymbala » Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:37 pm

limpingcrab wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:49 am
I did really like the view from Goddard just for the expansive 360 degree view with nothing blocking it in any direction. They were small and blurry, but seeing the high peaks in Yosemite and Farewell Gap in Mineral King from a single point was pretty cool.
My first High Sierra trip was with the Sierra Club and leader Doug Mantle. He knew the way to MT. SILLIMAN which is on the Kings-Kaweah Divide. We got to the top around noon on a perfectly clear day. Actually, I was so excited and motivated that I did some talus-running and got to the top first with Doug on my heels. Holy holy holy. We saw the entire Sierra Crest in the distance, major peak after major peak, all in a row, so far away they seemed to be just bumps on the horizon. Nobody said anything, we stood there just looking in awe at "the mighty Sierra" for several minutes. I was hooked. That was about 15 years ago. *

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Re: Best summit views?

Post by rcymbala » Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:18 pm

c9h13no3 wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:29 pm
It's pretty easy to find the tallest mountain, or ones with super fun scrambles. But what makes for a great summit view seems kinda subjective.
True, there is a component of subjectivity. Over fifteen years, I have had two summit views from minor summits next to much bigger summits that had that subjective feel in spades.

The first was a long time ago and cannot remember where it was other than the fact that it had a round, metal USGS benchmark on the summit. I may have a written record of it somewhere. The feeling was beautiful. I could look around and see higher ridges and summits in many directions. I sensed a sort of "nestling" feeling, like a young bird in the center of a mountain nest.

c9h13no3 and SSSdave mentioned the aesthetic quality of views looking *up* at larger peaks. And, "tie" likes a good, dramatic drop-off. My second subjective experience of a "best summit view" was recently on x3878 out of the Cottonwood Lakes basin. I added a photo of the north face showing the dramatic drop-off to one of my earlier posts. To find, just search for "x3878" in these forums.....

On the big ones, I fear that one loses the capacity to feel a sense of humility. Thus, the spiritual dimension needed to subjectively experience "the best views" is diminished on top of the highest peaks--except ones like Mt. Silliman which is between 11,000 and 12,000 but which feels like an "orphan" when looking at the mighty Sierra many tens of miles in the distance. *

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Re: Best summit views?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:25 pm

I seldom took a camera when I was technical climbing. I do remember that nearly all the tops of the peaks in the Palisades had good views of the surrounding peaks.

Here is the view from Split Mountain, for those who like ragged knife-edge ridge views from the top.
07_TAB_ViewSSplit.JPG
Mt Ritter had a pretty good view. This photo is not great though.
106_0646.JPG
Yosemite Valley views from "almost peaks" are iconic; such as Sanford Point on the south rim.
IMG_5335_Sanford_eve_small.jpg
Views from North Dome, Basket Dome, Clouds Rest and Half Dome are good. Mt Watkins itself is too far back from the rim, but a view from the point to the east is a good one of Tenaya Canyon.
6463_edited-2.jpg
IMG_7736_edited-1.jpg
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Re: Best summit views?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:51 pm

These are NOT in the Sierra, but are my ideas of good summit views, from the Cirque of the Towers in the Wind Rivers of Wyoming. The first photo is me on the top of Pingora Peak with Wolfs Head in the background. We climbed the ridge the next day and the second photo is from the top if it (RJ Secor is on the right). The third is the view from the top of Lizard Head Peak. This type of view can also be seen from the tops of the peaks in the Palisades in the Sierra. Peaks with close-by impressive big walled peaks usually have impressive top views. I never have been much of a fan of the tall peaks where the only "view" is the fact that you can see far away peaks.
102_0262_ALT.jpg

103_0323_ALT.jpg
Cirque.JPG
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Re: Best summit views?

Post by bobby49 » Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:44 pm

Stanford Point, not Sanford Point.

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Re: Best summit views?

Post by BrianF » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:12 pm

For what you are talking about:
+1 for Mt Spencer - situated in the middle of Evolution Basin looking up at a panorama of beautiful peaks on all sides and lakes below.
Pilot Knob from Humphreys Basin is also a good one - fantastic view
The direction you are moving in is what matters, not the place you happen to be -Colin Fletcher

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Re: Best summit views?

Post by CAMERONM » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:25 pm

In my limited experience:
Goddard- for the Ionian basin and all the great stuff to the east:
goddard.jpg
Hale- for Russel and Whitney:
hale.jpg
Matterhorn- for the view of Whorl and south:
matterhorn.jpg
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