Kaspar Allenbach

Kaspar Allenbach

Visual Communication

All Mountains of Switzerland, Blue
Alle berge der schweiz orange 16 10

Alle Schweizer Berggipfel auf einem Plakat

What? All peaks? Really all all all peaks?

Well, Yes and no. It is not entirely clear what constitutes a peak when it is not one. If you define every bump a peak then there is a infinite amount. So this is not a viable way to do things.

Therefore two definitions have been put into work for defining a peak.

Dominance: The dominance of a peak is the horizontal distance to the next higher elevation. It is the air-distance to the next peak. Eg. Matterhorn distance to next higher peak is 13700m so it is clearly pretty «dominant».

Topographic prominence: Topographic prominence allows all mountains to be measured on a level playing field. It measures how far a mountain rises above the lowest contour that encircles it and no higher peak. That lowest contour defines the peak's "key saddle". Prominence is the elevation difference between a peak's key saddle and the summit.

Another way to define prominence is this: It is the minimum elevation loss that one could possibly experience by staying on the ground while traveling to a higher point. This definition has led to another term used by some when referring to topographic prominence: drop.

A useful way to visualize prominence is to imagine water rising around a peak. As the water rises to the elevation of the key saddle, the mountain's summit becomes the highest point on an island. The prominence of the mountain is the same as the height of that imaginary island above the surrounding water.

This poster brings together all the peaks with those definitions