ORS and RORS peak lists

This is the heart of the ORS/RORS part of peaklist.org. It consists of lists of peaks with ORS and/or RORS values.

Most lists on this page are ranked by RORS; they also include ORS values for all peaks. Some lists also include first ascent information.

Each list below is accompanied by a link to a KML file, for use with Google Earth (or other KML-compatible programs). (You may need to right-click the link to download it, and then load it into Google Earth.)

RORS-ranked lists

United States

Lists of the best peaks in various US states and regions, as well as the entire US.

Rough RORS-ranked KML files

I have begun to create rough RORS-ranked lists of peaks for various states, with no peak names. They are not definitive, and rankings may change significantly once I do a more careful analysis. However the resulting KML files, linked below, give a good at-a-glance picture of the distribution of the "best" peaks in a state as ranked by RORS. All RORS values are in meters. The colors in the table below refer to the color-coding of each KML file. The numbers below each color give the RORS ranges for the peaks labeled by that color. The color codes differ because of the different ranges of RORS values in the different regions, particularly the North Cascades. (For example, only three New Mexico peaks would make it onto the North Cascades Top 137.)
State/Region Number of
RORS cutoff Red Orange Green Blue Notes
New Mexico 355 100 200+ 167-200 133-167 100-133 Includes some peaks from Mexico and Texas, in particular the Guadalupe Mountains
Colorado 471 150 300+ 250-300 200-250 150-200 Does not include a small sliver of Dinosaur National Monument
Utah 477 150 300+ 250-300 200-250 150-200 Includes one point in Dinosaur National Monument that actually lies in Colorado
North Cascades 137 300 550+ 450-550 350-450 300-350 Includes a few Canadian peaks, but they are particularly rough, since they used SRTM data. In particular Slesse Mountain is hugely underestimated.
Glacier National Park (US) 73 300 550+ 450-550 350-450 300-350 Not including Long Knife Peak (on the border with Canada) due to border data incompatibilities

North America


ORS values for other lists

I have recently (Spring 2010) calculated approximate ORS values for a few large lists of peaks generated by others. These lists were not generate using ORS or RORS; they are either height-ranked or use an alternate method of selecting steep peaks, as noted below for each list. Hence from an ORS point of view, these are not "best" lists. However they provide ORS values for a large number of peaks. Viewing the KML files in Google Earth gives a good visual introduction to what ORS values mean for a peak.

Since these lists are so large, I did only an approximate calculation, with little or no hand-correction of summit elevations. Hence these values are rougher than the ones in the smaller lists above. However errors of more than 10% should be very rare.

Matt Payne's Colorado List

This list is ranked by height. It is similar to John Kirk's list for Colorado. Also compare with the Colorado Top 30 by RORS and the rough deeper Colorado RORS list, both noted above.

Tim Worth's Steepness-based lists

These are ranked using a measure of average steepness (in all directions) for a few specified radii. Tim's measure correlates pretty well with ORS, except that it does not reward large, moderately sloped peaks.

NOTE: As of June 2009, I have updated these lists to a new version of ORS. A few lists have not yet been converted (and they also use the terminology "spire measure"), and are available here.

The new version is not qualitatively different, but can vary by as much as 25% from the old version, so the lists and rankings have changed. Comparisons within each version are meaningful, but comparisons between lists using different versions are suspect.

The new lists are mostly shorter than the old versions they replaced, but they will be made longer eventually.

Back to the main ORS page