Summit Analysis using the National Elevation Dataset
Average Steepness by 7.5' USGS Quadrangles
(Minimum 2 summits/quad)
Below is a ranking of quads which contain the steepest summits(on
average) at a 100m and 800m distance. The figure listed is the average vertical angle in degrees. Eleven western US states are covered, with a combined listing at the top.
Total number of quads analyzed: 10025
Looking at the combined western states average list, six of the top ten
graded quads are in Glacier NP. Mt Stimson and Mt Cleveland quads hold
the two highest peaks in the park. Kintla holds the third highest, and
Mt St Nicholas quad contains the park's most well known technical
summit. It's not surprising these quads grade out high in the half mile
radius category but they also get high marks at the 100m average, right
up there with desert tower areas in Utah and Arizona.
The Cascades, Grand Canyon, and a quad in southern Utah round out the
top ten. The desert tower quads get high marks in the 100m category and
only average totals at 800m while the alpine quads are more balanced.
This pattern persists further down the rankings.
The rest of the top fifty is largely rounded out by a mixture of more
Glacier NP and North Cascades quads. In the southwest, a couple more
spots in the Grand Canyon show up, along with some areas of cocentrated
desert towers(Zion NP, Fishers Towers). California (#47,Tehipite Dome)
and Colorado(#48,Couthouse Mtn) finally make appearences. Elsewhere in
Montana, one Beartooth quad(#24, Cathedral Point) and two Bitteroot
quads(#36, Como Peaks, #41, Trapper Peak) fall within the top fifty.
Other alpine ranges whose quads make initial showings in the top 100
include the Sawtooths(#61, Warbonnet Peak), Tetons(#68, Mt Moran),
Missons(#80, Mount Calowahcan). Oregon first shows up at #106, New
Mexico at #122, Nevada at #206.
Scraping bottom, the Camano quad(NW of Seattle) could be considered the
western quad with the least steep summits on average for quads with more
than two peaks.