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Wednesday, May 21,
"Local Maxima and other Geographical Oddities"
by Gary Clark -
One of the most common
games climbers play is the quest for high points (or "local maxima" in
the mathematical idiom familiar to many Los Alamos residents).
These high points may have great geographical significance or be rather
arbitrary based on political boundaries. Or both; an example is
(63.06989 N / 151.073 W) - the highest point of North America, the Alaska
Range, the United States, and the state of Alaska. A point of much
less significance is typified by (43.46050 N / 95.7083 W), the highest
point of Iowa, which happens to be at the end of a cattle watering
trough on a family farm. To the dedicated "high-pointer", both are
Climbers near the High
Point of British Columbia
A natural, but still
arbitrary, game for residents of the Rocky Mountain region is the quest
for all the summits above 14,000feet in the Range. The fact that
they all occur in Colorado makes it also a quest for the highest points
of that state. Participants in this game are typically termed
View from the Top of
This talk will describe a
quest to reach local maxima on the earth's surface, as well as a few
other geographical oddities, such as high points of other countries and
compass extremes. The speaker is betting that no other Los Alamos
Mountaineer has been to the centroid of the United States, so there
should be something new in this talk for everyone.