# mountain elevation

At what elevation does a “hill” become a “mountain”? Or is there such a height

geologically speaking? And while we’re on the subject- how often do our ears

“pop” with increasing altitude & for how long? Because when driving up into the

mountains my ears first pop at about 3,000 ft. but they pop again the higher I get.

I have no idea if this is based on fact, but in the movie The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain, the elevation had to be greater than 1,000 feet.

1000 feet above sealevel?
I live in a place where pretty much everything is 1000 feet above sealevel.

I guess it’s the same discussion as with the question of how deep the shoulder between two peaks has to be to call it two separate peaks. That kind of thing bothers people who want to count how many mountains with elevations above (let’s say) 8000m there are.

There’s pretty much no definition. Particularly when you consider there can be two peaks separated by a high strip of land - does that count as one mountain or two? Also depends on the country you’re in - the highest peak in Britain is only 4400 feet.

Here’s an idea of the complexity of the issue: http://bubl.ac.uk/org/tacit/marilyns/chapter1.htm

“Geologically speaking” there is no such distinction, but “Geographically speaking” the most oft-cited figure I’ve seen is 2000 feet of local relief.

(I provided a cite in a previous thread asking this same question–I’ll try to find it when I’ve got time.)

“What the hell?” thought I as I reached behind my desk. “Let’s see what the Dictionary of Geological Terms, 3rd edition, prepared by the American Geological Institute and edited by Robert L. Bates and Julia A. Jackson has to say!”

And this is it:

The problem is defining the “surrounding land”. What if the land around the hill is at 10000ft, and the peak is 10900ft. Do we just call it a hill?

Technically, yes. I guess you could say that it’s gotta be grand.

Hmmm, I don’t think there can be a hard and fast definition of 1000 ft above the surrounding terrain. Because if there is, upstate New York is nearly literally filled with mountains: the Catskills region and Adirondacks region are clearly mountains and are much greater than 1000 feet, but I would estimate that nearly %50 of the rest of the state is filled with what I would call hills that rise nearly exactly 1000 feet. Then again, I wouldn’t argue with someone who wanted to call them mountains, they seem to be on the edge.