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Old 05-19-2018, 08:07 AM   #1
Kevin7
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The Oddball Name of Rocky Peak Ridge

“Rocky Peak Ridge” is a very strange name for a peak. After all, a peak and a ridge are not the same thing. The name becomes stranger still when you learn from the “High Peaks Trails” guide book that the first, prominent peak that you come to on the ridge(approaching from Bald Peak) is called “Rocky Peak”!

I’m guessing that this is what happened: “Rocky Peak” was the first thing ever named on this ridge. It was named, not because it was the highest point, but because of its prominent appearance. (It is perhaps the most interesting point on the trail, the only place on the entire ridge where you can spin in place and have a completely unobscured view in all directions.)

After this, the ridge on which Rocky Peak was located was referred to as “Rocky Peak Ridge”. Then someone said, well, we have to give a name to the high point of the ridge. Normally, a ridge and its peak would have the same name. But the name “Rocky Peak” was already taken for the lower peak. The logic then would have been to call it “Rocky Peak Ridge Peak”. That’s ridiculous, of course. But no sillier than calling the peak “Rocky Peak Ridge”, thereby making it impossible to distinguish between the peak and the ridge.

The peak should have simply been given a different name.

Does anyone know if my guess on the origin of the name is correct?

Incidentally, “Rocky Peak” is just over 4000 feet high, and would have qualified as a 46er (and a very grand one!), except that it does not have sufficient prominence relative to the “true peak” to be defined as a separate peak. It does illustrate the arbitrary nature of our naming conventions and our “peak lists”.
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:22 AM   #2
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You are probably right that the point known as "Rocky Peak" was named first. Looking p from the valley between Elizabethtown and New Russia, that appears to be the highest point.
The same thing likely accounts for the label "Jay Mt." being on the lower point reached by the marked trail before the long ridge to the actual summit.
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Old 05-19-2018, 03:16 PM   #3
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On reflection, it occurs to me that this peak has in fact been named "Rocky Peak Ridge Peak". The last "Peak" is omitted, but it is implied. If you want to distinguish the peak from the ridge, you still have to say "Rocky Peak Ridge Peak".

And people are going to be forever confused by the difference between Rocky Peak, Rocky Peak Ridge, and Rocky Peak Ridge Peak. : )
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Old 05-19-2018, 06:44 PM   #4
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Nothing odd about it. It's a ridge with several rocky peaks, ergo Rocky Peak Ridge (adjective + adjective + noun).

See page 431 of Heaven Up-h'isted-ness.
http://www.adk46er.org/heaven-up-h_isted-ness.html
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Old 05-19-2018, 07:35 PM   #5
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Trail Boss, I'm not objecting to the name of the ridge. "Rocky Peak Ridge" is a perfectly good name for a ridge. The problem is that the ridge and its peak have the same name, with no way of distinguishing the two without using the ridiculous "Rocky Peak Ridge Peak".

Another way of thinking about it is to see that the name of the peak on a ridge called "Rocky Peak Ridge" should be "Rocky Peak".

When it was discovered where the true peak was on this ridge, they should have named it "West Rocky Peak", and renamed the original "Rocky Peak" to "East Rocky Peak". And left poor Rocky Peak Ridge alone.

Or they could have transferred the name "Rocky Peak" to the true peak, and left the old peak with no name at all, reasoning that it was not a peak after all and did not require a name. But this solution might not be favoured for historical reasons. And the distinctiveness of a non-official peak may still call for a name, as in Pyramid Peak on the shoulder of Gothics.

Last edited by Kevin7; 05-19-2018 at 07:54 PM..
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:38 PM   #6
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It's not a "ridge and its peak". The whole shebang is called Rocky Peak Ridge.

You're making a mountain out of a molehill (couldn't resist), notably the molehill at the eastern end of Rocky Peak Ridge. The ADK HP guidebook may call it "Rocky Peak" but best of luck finding a map that identifies it as such. It doesn't appear on the USGS 7.5' Topo map nor on the map that accompanies the HP guidebook (nor a few others I know of).
https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=44.1...69919&z=16&b=t

Assume lore and legend is true and it was the eastern end, seen from afar, that got the name "Rocky Peak". That's nice but it's actually just one of several bumps along a shoulder (ridge) that extends west to the mountain's true summit. That mountain being Rocky Peak Ridge, a name that embodies the mountain's salient characteristic, a ridge with rocky peaks.
https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=44.1...16&b=hyb&a=mba

As to what makes a peak sufficiently "distinctive" to merit a name ... best of luck finding an answer to that. Undoubtedly, local usage plays a big role ... and the lobbying efforts to make the name official and visible on a government-issue map. It took a long, long time (and much effort) to change East Dix to Grace Peak.
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:06 PM   #7
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It is true, as you say, that "The whole shebang is called Rocky Peak Ridge". But in saying this, you are implicitly acknowledging that the peak of that whole shebang must be "Rocky Peak Ridge Peak". The peak does require an identifier separate from the long ridge on which it stands.

I suspect we will have to agree to disagree on this one.
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Old 05-20-2018, 10:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin7 View Post
It is true, as you say, that "The whole shebang is called Rocky Peak Ridge". But in saying this, you are implicitly acknowledging that the peak of that whole shebang must be "Rocky Peak Ridge Peak".
Nope. The mountain's name, which implicitly includes its tallest point, is Rocky Peak Ridge or, as many 46ers abbreviate it, RPR. I've yet to hear a 46er call it Rocky Peak Ridge Peak (I urge you to read page 431).

Quote:
The peak does require an identifier separate from the long ridge on which it stands.
If you examine the conventions used for naming mountains, and their related features, you'll discover there's no such requirement.

The English language is fairly lax on this point. A summit's name need not bear the 'honorific' of Mount or Peak (i.e. Grand Teton, Matterhorn and K2) and it may include some aspect of its topography. For example, there's Clingmans Dome in the Smokies. The highest point of Clingmans Dome is not Clingmans Peak (or Clingmans Dome Peak or Mount Clingmans Dome).

In RPR's case, its long rocky ridge is a distinctive feature (as far as Adirondack mountain topography goes) and contributes to its name.

BTW, you only have to look at the names employed in the Soda Range (north of Hurricane) to appreciate the fact there are few hard and fast rules when it comes to naming consistency. "Oak Ridge" applies to a summit (a hill) and something that barely qualifies as a ridge.
https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=44.2...z=15&b=t&a=mba

Farther north you have Silver Lake Mountains and Potter Mountains which refer to a few non-descript knobs along a precipitous drop that would best be described as a ridge (but it's not).
https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=44.5...z=15&b=t&a=mba
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Old 05-20-2018, 04:12 PM   #9
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Called it Rocky Ridge Peak when we climbed it in the mid 1960s.
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