Imperial Russian Navy
The Imperial Russian Navy was the navy of the Russian Empire. It was formally established in 1696 and lasted until being dissolved during the February Revolution of 1917, it developed from a smaller force that had existed prior to Czar Peter the Great's founding the regular Russian Navy during the Second Azov campaign. It was expanded in the second half of the 18th century and by the early part of the 19th century, it reached its peak strength, behind only the British and French fleets in terms of size. Officers were drawn from the aristocracy of the Empire, who belonged to the state Russian Orthodox Church. Young aristocrats began to be trained for leadership at a national naval school. From 1818 on, only officers of the Imperial Russian Navy were appointed to the position of Chief Manager of the Russian-American Company, based in Russian America for colonization and fur trade development. After the navy was staffed by paid foreign sailors, the government began to recruit native-born sailors as conscripts, drafted as were men to serve in the army.
Service in the navy was lifelong. The navy went into a period of decline, due to Russia's slow technical and economic development in the first half of the 19th century, it had a revival in the latter part of the century during the reign of Tsar Nicholas II, but most of its Pacific Fleet along with the Baltic Fleet, sent to the Far East and was destroyed in the humiliating Russo-Japanese War of 1904. The navy had mixed experiences during the First World War, with the Germans gaining the upper hand in the Baltic Sea; the Russians took control of the Black Sea. The Russian Revolution marked the end of the Imperial Navy; the surviving ships were taken over by the Soviet Navy when it was established in 1918 after the Revolution. Under Tsar Mikhail I, the first three-masted ship built within Russia was finished in 1636. Danish shipbuilders from Holstein built it in Balakhna according to contemporary European design; the ship was christened Frederick. During the Russo-Swedish War, 1656-1658, Russian forces seized the Swedish fortresses of Dünaburg and Kokenhusen on the Western Dvina.
They renamed the former as the latter as Tsarevich-Dmitriyev. A boyar named Afanasy Ordin-Nashchokin founded a shipyard at Tsarevich-Dmitriev fortress and began constructing vessels to sail in the Baltic Sea. In 1661, Russia lost this and other captured territories by the Peace of Cardis. Russia agreed to surrender to Sweden all captured territories, it ordered all vessels constructed at Tsarevich-Dmitriev to be destroyed. Boyar Ordin-Nashchokin turned his attention to the Volga Caspian Sea. With the Tsar's approval, the boyar brought Dutch shipbuilding experts to the town of Dedinovo near the confluence of the Oka and Volga rivers. Shipbuilding commenced in the winter of 1667. Within two years, four vessels had been completed: one 22-gun galley, christened Орёл, three smaller ships. Орёл was Russia's first own European-designed sailing ship. It was captured in Astrakhan by rebellious Cossacks led by Stepan Razin; the Cossacks abandoned it, half-submerged, in an estuary of the Volga. During much of the 17th century, independent Russian merchants and Cossacks, using koch boats, sailed across the White Sea, exploring the rivers Lena and Indigirka, founding settlements in the region of the upper Amur.
The most celebrated Russian explorer was Semyon Dezhnev who, in 1648, sailed along the entire northern expanse of present-day Russia by way of the Arctic Ocean. Rounding the Chukotsk Peninsula, Dezhnev passed through the Bering Sea and sailed into the Pacific Ocean. Peter the Great established a modern Russian navy. During the Second Azov campaign of 1696 against Turkey, the Russians for the first time used 2 warships, 4 fireships, 23 galleys and 1300 strugs, built on the Voronezh River. After the occupation of the Azov fortress, the Boyar Duma looked into Peter's report of this military campaign, it passed a decree on October 1696 to commence construction of a navy. This date is considered the official founding of the Imperial Russian Navy. During the Great Northern War of 1700-1721, the Russians built the Baltic Fleet; the construction of the oared fleet took place in 1702-1704 at several shipyards. In order to defend the conquered coastline and attack enemy's maritime communications in the Baltic Sea, the Russians created a sailing fleet from ships built in Russia and others imported from abroad.
From 1703-1723, the main naval base of the Baltic Fleet was located in Saint Petersburg and in Kronstadt. Bases were created in Reval and in Vyborg after it was ceded by Sweden after Russo-Swedish War. Vladimirsky Prikaz was the first organization in charge of shipbuilding. On, these functions were transferred to the Admiralteyskiy Prikaz. In 1745 the Russian Navy had 130 sailing vessels, including 36 ships of the line, 9 frigates, 3 shnyavas, 5 bombardier ships, 77 auxiliary vessels; the oared fleet consisted of 396 vessels, including 253 galleys and semi-galleys and 143 brigantines. The ships were being constructed at 24 shipyards, including the ones in Voronezh, Pereyaslavl, Olonets and Astrakhan; the naval officers came from dvoryane (n
Russian Hydrographic Service
The Russian Hydrographic Service, full current official name Department of Navigation and Oceanography of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, is Russia's hydrographic office, with responsibility to facilitate navigation, performing hydrographic surveys and publishing nautical charts. Since the Russian state is of such a vast size and nature that it includes many different seas and indented coastlines and a great number of islands, as well as a complex system of waterways and lakes, surveying has been an indispensable activity for the Russian Navy since its modernization at the time of Czar Peter the Great in the 17th century; the hydrographic service has been attached to the Russian Navy and the agents and supervisors of hydrographic works have been naval officers throughout its history. Russia is a member of the International Hydrographic Organization. Despite having undergone a number of name changes along its history, the main functions of the Hydrographic Service of the Russian Navy have been quite the following: Providing specific services to the Navy, including other branches of the Russian Armed Forces, related to the Russian maritime and coastal areas, as well as navigable inland waters.
These services are of a strategic order and encompass the following fields: Navigation and hydrography. Hydrometeorology Surveys Navigation and hydrographic support of maritime activities within Russian waters and implementation of the international Safety of Life at Sea Convention regulations in the waters under Russian jurisdiction. At the time of Peter I hydrographic surveys were carried out following personal decrees of the emperor through the General admiral. Hydrographic tasks were always performed by Naval officers, who from 1724 onward began to work under instructions from the Admiralty Board. By 1746 important matters concerning hydrography were entrusted to Fleet Captain Alexey Nagayev who compiled the first atlas of the Bering Sea, as well as of the Baltic Sea in 1752. Nagayev's charts were detailed for its time and, despite a few shortcomings, his atlas of the Baltic Sea was republished in 1757, 1788, 1789 and 1795, serving Russian mariners for more than 50 years. In 1777 the Admiralty Board founded the Russian Hydrographic Service, implementing a plan that marked the beginning of systematic drawing of nautical charts.
In 1799 a committee for the dissemination of marine sciences and the improvement of the drawing of charts was created, in 1807 the Russian Lighthouse Administration was established so that the lighthouse system in Russian shores and islands would follow an organized pattern and be provided with regular, state-controlled maintenance. The first director of this section was Leontiy Spafaryev. In 1827 the special Office of the Hydrographer General was established. In the same year the Corps of Naval Navigators was founded, the chief of, a hydrographer; the first and only general of the newly-instituted body was hydrographer Admiral Gavril Andreevich Sarychev, after whose death the management of the office was transferred to the Chief of Naval Staff Prince A. S. Menshikov; the first and only director of the hydrographic depot was F. F. Schubert. In 1837 the former institutions dealing with hydrography were abolished and all the management of the hydrographic section was transferred to the newly-instituted Russian Hydrographic Department, the directors of which were: A. G. Villamov Baron F. v. Wrangel M. v. Reinecke S. I.
Zelenoy G. A. Vevel von Krieger T. F. Veselago P. N. Nazimov; the Hydrographic Office engaged in the periodical publication of notes, devoted both to hydrographic information, as well as information on other sectors of naval affairs. The committee, established in 1799, published: In 1801 - "Notice to Mariners" From 1807 to 1827 - "Notes of the State Admiralty Department" From 1835 to 1837 - "Notes of the Hydrographic Depot" From 1842 to 1852 - "Notes of the Hydrographic Department." 1854-83 - Annual reports of the Director of the Hydrographic Department. In 1885 the Russian Hydrographic Department was overhauled and renamed as'Main Hydrographic Office' —Главное гидрографическое управление — of the Admiralty, its chief was the former director in charge of the lighthouses and navigation of the Baltic Sea, Vice Admiral R. Bazhenov, the chairman of the Maritime Scientific Committee —Морского учёного комитета. 1886 saw the establishment of the meteorological department. In 1891 the fields of drawing, engraving and printing were integrated into the maritime cartography section and from 1897 this section began successful experiments printing nautical charts using aluminum printing plates.
In 1902 a new building with a photographic department, including a workshop introducing innovative photographic reproduction techniques, was built within the premises of the Main Hydrographic Office. By 1904 the new techniques had been mastered by the staff and high-quality material began to be printed; the duties of the Hydrographic Department at the time included: carrying out surveys. Preparation of maps, sailing directions and other guidance materials for safe navigation, as well as making periodical corrections —when needed. Erection and proper maintenance of lighthouses, electric beacons, rescue stations, day beacons, buoys and other warning devices to improve navigation safety. Supply of military tools such as maps, pilot manuals, signals manuals and other guides. Inspection and evaluation of ships' logbooks in order to gather relevant navigational, astronomical and other observations
Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the island of Hawaii. Its peak is 4,207.3 m above sea level. Most of the mountain is under water, when measured from its oceanic base, Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world measuring over 10,000 m. Mauna Kea is about a million years old, has thus passed the most active shield stage of life hundreds of thousands of years ago. In its current post-shield state, its lava is more viscous. Late volcanism has given it a much rougher appearance than its neighboring volcanoes due to construction of cinder cones, decentralization of its rift zones, glaciation on its peak, weathering by the prevailing trade winds. Mauna Kea last is now considered dormant; the peak is about 38 m higher than its more massive neighbor. In Hawaiian mythology, the peaks of the island of Hawaii are sacred. An ancient law allowed only high-ranking aliʻi to visit its peak. Ancient Hawaiians living on the slopes of Mauna Kea relied on its extensive forests for food, quarried the dense volcano-glacial basalts on its flanks for tool production.
When Europeans arrived in the late 18th century, settlers introduced cattle and game animals, many of which became feral and began to damage the mountain's ecological balance. Mauna Kea can be ecologically divided into three sections: an alpine climate at its summit, a Sophora chrysophylla–Myoporum sandwicense forest on its flanks, an Acacia koa–Metrosideros polymorpha forest, now cleared by the former sugar industry, at its base. In recent years, concern over the vulnerability of the native species has led to court cases that have forced the Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources to eradicate all feral species on the mountain. With its high elevation, dry environment, stable airflow, Mauna Kea's summit is one of the best sites in the world for astronomical observation. Since the creation of an access road in 1964, thirteen telescopes funded by eleven countries have been constructed at the summit; the Mauna Kea Observatories are used for scientific research across the electromagnetic spectrum and comprise the largest such facility in the world.
Their construction on a landscape considered sacred by Native Hawaiians continues to be a topic of debate. Mauna Kea is one of five volcanoes that form the island of Hawaii, the largest and youngest island of the Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain. Of these five hotspot volcanoes, Mauna Kea is the fourth oldest and fourth most active, it began as a preshield volcano driven by the Hawaii hotspot around one million years ago, became exceptionally active during its shield stage until 500,000 years ago. Mauna Kea entered its quieter post-shield stage 250,000 to 200,000 years ago, is dormant. Mauna Kea does not have a visible summit caldera, but contains a number of small cinder and pumice cones near its summit. A former summit caldera may have been filled and buried by summit eruption deposits. Mauna Kea is over 32,000 km3 in volume, so massive that it and its neighbor, Mauna Loa, depress the ocean crust beneath it by 6 km; the volcano continues to slip and flatten under its own weight at a rate of less than 0.2 mm per year.
Much of its mass lies east of its present summit. Mauna Kea stands 4,207.3 m above sea level, about 38 m higher than its neighbor Mauna Loa, is the highest point in the state of Hawaii. Measured from its base on the ocean floor, it rises over 10,000 m greater than the elevation of Mount Everest above sea level. Like all Hawaiian volcanoes, Mauna Kea has been created as the Pacific tectonic plate has moved over the Hawaiian hotspot in the Earth's underlying mantle; the Hawaii island volcanoes are the most recent evidence of this process that, over 70 million years, has created the 6,000 km -long Hawaiian Ridge–Emperor seamount chain. The prevailing, though not settled, view is that the hotspot has been stationary within the planet's mantle for much, if not all of the Cenozoic Era. However, while Hawaiian volcanism is well understood and extensively studied, there remains no definite explanation of the mechanism that causes the hotspot effect. Lava flows from Mauna Kea overlapped in complex layers with those of its neighbors during its growth.
Most prominently, Mauna Kea is built upon older flows from Kohala to the northwest, intersects the base of Mauna Loa to the south. The original eruptive fissures in the flanks of Mauna Kea were buried by its post-shield volcanism. Hilo Ridge, a prominent underwater rift zone structure east of Mauna Kea, was once believed to be a part of the volcano; the shield-stage lavas that built the enormous main mass of the mountain are tholeiitic basalts, like those of Mauna Loa, created through the mixing of primary magma and subducted oceanic crust. They are covered by the oldest exposed rock strata on Mauna Kea, the post-shield alkali basalts of the Hāmākua Volcanics, which erupted between 250,000 and 70–65,000 years ago; the most recent volcanic flows are hawaiites and mugearites: they are the post-shield Laupāhoehoe Volcanics, erupted between 65,000 and 4,000 years ago. These changes in lava composition accompanied the slow reduction of the supply of magma to the summit, which led to weaker eruptions that gave way to isolated episodes associated with volcanic dormancy.
The Laupāhoehoe lavas are more viscous and contain more volatiles than the earlier tholeiitic basalts.
The Bering Sea is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean. It comprises a deep water basin, which rises through a narrow slope into the shallower water above the continental shelves; the Bering Sea is separated from the Gulf of Alaska by the Alaska Peninsula. It covers over 2,000,000 square kilometers and is bordered on the east and northeast by Alaska, on the west by Russian Far East and the Kamchatka Peninsula, on the south by the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands and on the far north by the Bering Strait, which connects the Bering Sea to the Arctic Ocean's Chukchi Sea. Bristol Bay is the portion of the Bering Sea which separates the Alaska Peninsula from mainland Alaska; the Bering Sea is named for Vitus Bering, a Danish navigator in Russian service, who in 1728 was the first European to systematically explore it, sailing from the Pacific Ocean northward to the Arctic Ocean. The Bering Sea ecosystem includes resources within the jurisdiction of the United States and Russia, as well as international waters in the middle of the sea.
The interaction between currents, sea ice, weather makes for a vigorous and productive ecosystem. Most scientists believe that during the most recent ice age, sea level was low enough to allow humans to migrate east on foot from Asia to North America across what is now the Bering Strait. Other animals including megafauna migrated in both directions; this is referred to as the "Bering land bridge" and is believed by most, though not all scientists, to be the first point of entry of humans into the Americas. There is a small portion of the Kula Plate in the Bering Sea; the Kula Plate is an ancient tectonic plate. On 18 December 2018, a large meteor exploded above the Bering Sea; the space rock exploded with 10 times the energy released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb. The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Bering Sea as follows: On the North; the Southern limit of the Chuckchi Sea. On the South. A line running from Kabuch Point in the Alaskan Peninsula, through the Aleutian Islands to the South extremes of the Komandorski Islands and on to Cape Kamchatka in such a way that all the narrow waters between Alaska and Kamchatka are included in the Bering Sea.
Islands of the Bering Sea include: Pribilof Islands, including St. Paul Island Komandorski Islands, including Bering Island St. Lawrence Island Diomede Islands King Island St. Matthew Island Karaginsky Island Nunivak Island Sledge Island Hagemeister Island Regions of the Bering Sea include: Bering Strait Bristol Bay Gulf of Anadyr Norton SoundThe Bering Sea contains 16 submarine canyons including the largest submarine canyon in the world, Zhemchug Canyon; the Bering Sea shelf break is the dominant driver of primary productivity in the Bering Sea. This zone, where the shallower continental shelf drops off into the North Aleutians Basin is known as the "Greenbelt". Nutrient upwelling from the cold waters of the Aleutian basin flowing up the slope and mixing with shallower waters of the shelf provide for constant production of phytoplankton; the second driver of productivity in the Bering Sea is seasonal sea ice that, in part, triggers the spring phytoplankton bloom. Seasonal melting of sea ice causes an influx of lower salinity water into the middle and other shelf areas, causing stratification and hydrographic effects which influence productivity.
In addition to the hydrographic and productivity influence of melting sea ice, the ice itself provides an attachment substrate for the growth of algae as well as interstitial ice algae. Some evidence suggests that great changes to the Bering Sea ecosystem have occurred. Warm water conditions in the summer of 1997 resulted in a massive bloom of low energy coccolithophorid phytoplankton. A long record of carbon isotopes, reflective of primary production trends of the Bering Sea, exists from historical samples of bowhead whale baleen. Trends in carbon isotope ratios in whale baleen samples suggest that a 30–40% decline in average seasonal primary productivity has occurred over the last 50 years; the implication is that the carrying capacity of the Bering Sea is much lower now than it has been in the past. The sea supports many whale species including the beluga, humpback whale, bowhead whale, gray whale and blue whale, the vulnerable sperm whale, the endangered fin whale, sei whale and the rarest in the world, the North Pacific right whale.
Other marine mammals include walrus, Steller sea lion, northern fur seal and polar bear. The Bering Sea is important to the seabirds of the world. Over 30 species of seabirds and 20 million individuals breed in the Bering Sea region. Seabird species include tufted puffins, the endangered short-tailed albatross, spectacled eider, red-legged kittiwakes. Many of these species are unique to the area, which provides productive foraging habitat along the shelf edge and in other nutrient-rich upwelling regions, such as the Pribilof and Pervenets canyons; the Bering Sea is home to colonies of crested auklets, with upwards of a million individuals. Two Bering Sea species, the Steller's sea cow and spectacled cormorant, are extinct because of overexploitation by man. In addition, a small subspecies of Canada goose, the Bering Canada goose is extinct due to overhunting and introduction of rats to their breeding islands; the Bering Sea supports many species of fish. Some species of fish support valuable commercial fisheries.
Commercial fish species include 6 species of Pacific salmon
Denali is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet above sea level. With a topographic prominence of 20,156 feet and a topographic isolation of 4,629 miles, Denali is the third most prominent and third most isolated peak on Earth, after Mount Everest and Aconcagua. Located in the Alaska Range in the interior of the U. S. state of Alaska, Denali is the centerpiece of Preserve. The Koyukon people who inhabit the area around the mountain have referred to the peak as "Denali" for centuries. In 1896, a gold prospector named it "Mount McKinley" in support of then-presidential candidate William McKinley. In August 2015, following the 1975 lead of the State of Alaska, the United States Department of the Interior announced the change of the official name of the mountain to Denali. In 1903, James Wickersham recorded the first attempt at climbing Denali, unsuccessful. In 1906, Frederick Cook claimed the first ascent, proven to be false; the first verifiable ascent to Denali's summit was achieved on June 7, 1913, by climbers Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens, Walter Harper, Robert Tatum, who went by the South Summit.
In 1951, Bradford Washburn pioneered the West Buttress route, considered to be the safest and easiest route, therefore the most popular in use. On September 2, 2015, the U. S. Geological Survey announced that the mountain is 20,310 feet high, not 20,320 feet, as measured in 1952 using photogrammetry. Denali is a granitic pluton lifted by tectonic pressure from the subduction of the Pacific Plate beneath the North American Plate; the forces that lifted Denali cause many deep earthquakes in Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. The Pacific Plate is seismically active beneath Denali, a tectonic region, known as the "McKinley cluster". Denali has a summit elevation of 20,310 feet above sea level, making it the highest peak in North America and the northernmost mountain above 6,000 meters elevation in the world. Measured from base to peak at some 18,000 ft, it is among the largest mountains situated above sea level. Denali rises from a sloping plain with elevations from 1,000 to 3,000 ft, for a base-to-peak height of 17,000 to 19,000 ft.
By comparison, Mount Everest rises from the Tibetan Plateau at a much higher base elevation. Base elevations for Everest range from 13,800 ft on the south side to 17,100 ft on the Tibetan Plateau, for a base-to-peak height in the range of 12,000 to 15,300 ft. Denali's base-to-peak height is little more than half the 33,500 ft of the volcano Mauna Kea, which lies under water. Denali has two significant summits: the South Summit is the higher one, while the North Summit has an elevation of 19,470 ft and a prominence of 1,270 ft; the North Summit is sometimes counted as sometimes not. Five large glaciers flow off the slopes of the mountain; the Peters Glacier lies on the northwest side of the massif, while the Muldrow Glacier falls from its northeast slopes. Just to the east of the Muldrow, abutting the eastern side of the massif, is the Traleika Glacier; the Ruth Glacier lies to the southeast of the mountain, the Kahiltna Glacier leads up to the southwest side of the mountain. With a length of 44 mi, the Kahiltna Glacier is the longest glacier in the Alaska Range.
The Koyukon Athabaskans who inhabit the area around the mountain have for centuries referred to the peak as Dinale or Denali. The name is based on a Koyukon word for "high" or "tall". During the Russian ownership of Alaska, the common name for the mountain was Bolshaya Gora, the Russian translation of Denali, it was called Densmore's Mountain in the late 1880s and early 1890s after Frank Densmore, an Alaskan prospector, the first European to reach the base of the mountain. In 1896, a gold prospector named it McKinley as political support for then-presidential candidate William McKinley, who became president the following year; the United States formally recognized the name Mount McKinley after President Wilson signed the Mount McKinley National Park Act of February 26, 1917. In 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson declared the north and south peaks of the mountain the "Churchill Peaks", in honor of British statesman Winston Churchill; the Alaska Board of Geographic Names changed the name of the mountain to Denali in 1975, how it is called locally.
However, a request in 1975 from the Alaska state legislature to the United States Board on Geographic Names to do the same at the federal level was blocked by Ohio congressman Ralph Regula, whose district included McKinley's hometown of Canton. On August 30, 2015, just ahead of a presidential visit to Alaska, the Barack Obama administration announced the name Denali would be restored in line with the Alaska Geographic Board's designation. U. S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell issued the order changing the name to Denali on August 28, 2015, effective immediately. Jewell said the change had been "a long time coming"; the renaming of the mountain received praise from Alaska's senior U. S. senator, Lisa Murkowski, who had introduced legislation to accomplish the name change, but it drew criticism from several politicians from Pres
Spruce Knob, at 4,863 feet, is the highest point in the state of West Virginia and the summit of Spruce Mountain, the highest peak in the Allegheny Mountains. The summit of Spruce Knob has a definite alpine feel, much more so than most other mountains of the Southern Appalachians; the upper few hundred feet are covered in a dense spruce forest, a relic boreal forest environment similar to those found in northern New England and Canada. The summit is accessible both via trails and a paved Forest Service road, is crowned with a stone lookout tower amid a mixture of boulder fields and trees. A handicap-accessible nature trail. High west winds near the summit have gnarled the spruce there like Krummholz, flagged with limbs only on their leeward side; as is typical in the southern Appalachians, the highest point on a ridge is referred to as a knob or dome. Spruce Knob is the highest point along a ridge known as the Allegheny Front. Dropping steeply to the east, it offers views of the Germany North Fork Mountain.
It is the highest point in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Like the rest of this part of the Appalachian Mountains, Spruce Knob began to form with the breakup of Pangea I between 570 and 500 mya; the African Plate separated from the North American Plate opening the Proto-Atlantic Ocean. The North American Plate stretched and thinned, allowing it to backfill with a shallow inland sea. About 50 million years with the Taconic Orogeny, the two plates reversed course and began to move towards each other. Mid-ocean subduction created a volcanic arc which collided with the North American Plate; the arc fused onto the continent and the land to the west was uplifted. The accumulation of shells and other hard parts of marine organisms at the bottom of the shallow inland sea cemented into a layer of Greenbrier Limestone; the shallow inland sea began to retreat with the uplift. This caused fine grains of mud and silt to settle out and lithify into a layer of Mauch Chunk Shale on top of the Greenbrier Limestone.
As the Blue Ridge eroded, rivers carried sediment down to the low-lying areas that formed a layer of Pottsville Conglomerate on top of the shale. The large boulders on the summit are remnants of this layer, outcrops of both Mauch Chunk Shale and Greenbrier Limestone can be found lower on the mountain; when the North American and African Plates collided around 250 mya, it caused a massive uplift that folded and faulted these layers of sedimentary rock. Spruce Knob was in the bottom of one of these folds, but over time cracks in the Pottsville Conglomerate in the higher elevations allowed it to erode and the softer layers of shale and limestone were quick to follow; this left Spruce Knob as the highest point in the landscape. Spruce Knob is the westernmost extent of this intense faulting. To the west, the Allegheny Plateau is composed of more sloping hills and dendritic drainages. Spruce Knob's climate can be classified as cold highland. Summers are cool and damp, with thunderstorms common both in spring and summer.
Winters are cold and snowy, with an average of around 180 inches of annual snowfall leaving the summit access road impassible between October and April. Blizzard conditions can develop in minutes behind cold frontal passages and last days with upslope snowfall continuing with northwest winds, making travel on the mountain dangerous during the colder months; this mountain can receive high winds year-round. The summit was named for the spruce trees. Red spruce is the most common tree species on the summit; the lower altitudes are populated by oak, birch and maple. Bald eagles and peregrine falcons have been seen on the mountain. Mammals such as black bear, white-tailed deer, porcupine and rabbit are found. Spruce Knob is within the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area, which in turn is part of Monongahela National Forest. Established in 1965, it was the first National Recreation Area designated by the U. S. Forest Service and includes more than 100,000 acres. There are over 75 miles of hiking trails around the mountain and a small 25-acre lake well stocked with trout on the west side of the mountain.
Two campgrounds are on the mountain. Paved access is from U. S. Route 33/West Virginia Route 28 about 2 miles south of Riverton. Briery Gap Road, Forest Road 112 and Forest Road 104 have been reconstructed and paved to provide a hard-surfaced road to the summit. Forest Roads 104 and 112 are not maintained in the winter. Impassable conditions can be expected any time from mid-October to mid-April. List of mountain peaks of North America List of mountain peaks of the United States List of mountains of West Virginia List of U. S. states by elevation Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area Monongahela National Forest: Spruce Knob
San Gorgonio Mountain
San Gorgonio Mountain known locally as Mount San Gorgonio, or Old Greyback, is the highest peak in Southern California and the Transverse Ranges at 11,503 feet. It is in the San Bernardino Mountains, 27 miles east of the city of San Bernardino and 12 miles north-northeast of San Gorgonio Pass, it lies within the San Gorgonio Wilderness, part of the Sand to Snow National Monument managed by the San Bernardino National Forest. Spanish missionaries in the area during the early 17th century named the peak after Saint Gorgonius. Since it is the highest point in a region, separated from higher peaks by low terrain, San Gorgonio Mountain is one of the most topographically prominent peaks in the United States, it is ranked 7th among peaks in 18th among overall. Like other high peaks in the Transverse Ranges, the mountain has a pyramid shape, with a steep north face and a shallower south face; the mountain is broad. In contrast to its spectacular but lower neighbor, San Jacinto Peak, San Gorgonio is not craggy, from a distance, it only appears to be an high hill, earning it the name of greyback.
Despite not being striking in appearance during the summer, it is the only mountain in Southern California with a summit a significant distance above the tree line. As such its bright white winter snow cap, unobstructed by vegetation, makes the mountain noticeable from many miles away; the mountain hosts the longest recorded line of sight in the contiguous United States. San Gorgonio Mountain lies at the easternmost extremity of the Transverse Ranges; the mountain is a eroded dissected plateau. Big Bear Lake, California is the largest city near San Gorgonio, hosts two major ski resorts, as well as a popular summer get away for many southern Californians that utilize the lake for boating swimming, fishing; the shape of the mountain is influenced by a series of steeply dipping thrust faults on the north face of the mountain. The south side of the mountain contains river canyons typical of a dissected plateau; the mountain is a massive block of quartz monzonite, which sits on an ancient platform of Precambrian gneissic rocks.
Glacial and fluvial deposits dominate the surface of the lowest part of the mountain. Three major Southern California rivers have their source on San Gorgonio Mountain: the Santa Ana River, the Whitewater River, the San Gorgonio River. Jenks Lake, on the north slope of the mountain, is one of the few perennial lakes in Southern California. San Gorgonio Mountain sits on the Great Basin Divide, which separates steams that flow into the basins of the Basin and Range Province from rivers that flow into the Pacific Ocean; the climate on most of the mountain is Csb under the Köppen climate classification. The summit of San Gorgonio has an Alpine climate, as no month in that area has an average temperature greater than 10 °C. Like most other peaks in the Transverse Ranges, the summit is a technically easy class 1 hike. Several trails lead to the broad summit of San Gorgonio Mountain, which rises a few hundred feet above the tree line. Most routes are strenuous and require well over 4,000 feet of elevation gain.
The trail leading from the Fish Creek Trailhead to San Gorgonio Mountain has about 3,400 feet of gain, less than the routes from the South Fork and Vivian Creek trailheads. Hikers should always take caution. On December 1, 1952, a Douglas C-47, serial number 45-1124, crashed at the 11,000 feet level on the eastern face of the mountain; the C-47 was en route from Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska to March Air Force Base near Riverside, California when it struck the mountain at night in the middle of a storm. "The aircraft was last heard from at 9:51 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, Monday." Thirteen people died. Nearly one month after the C-47 accident a Marine Corps HRS-2 helicopter, bureau number 129037, crashed on the mountain in coordination of the efforts of recovering the victims; the three crewmen of the helicopter survived the impact. Most of the wreckage of the two aircraft remain on the mountain and are accessible via the Fish Creek Trailhead or the South Fork Trailhead. In more recent years, the mountain claimed the lives of Frank Sinatra's mother and Dean Paul Martin, son of Dean Martin, in unrelated plane crashes.
Martin was an Air National Guard pilot and the McDonnell Douglas F-4C he was flying disappeared in a snowstorm and the wreckage was found on the mountain several days later. List of highest points in California by county List of Ultras of the United States "San Gorgonio". SummitPost.org. Retrieved 2011-05-07. "San Gorgonio Wilderness Association". Retrieved 2008-11-24. OnTheTrail.org - San Gorgonio Topo and Trail Map