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Minas Tirith Forums » The Hobbit » Is there any real-life isolated mountain like Erebor? (Page 1)
Author Topic: Is there any real-life isolated mountain like Erebor?
Sarah the Good Witch
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Erebor is called "Lonely Mountain," however I've never head of an isolated mountain like that, i.e. away from a mountain-chain, other than a volcano like Mt. Doom. This is geologically because of how mountains are formed: and Erebor wasn't a volcano.
Are there actual "lone mountains" like that?

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Artaresto
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Amon Ereb. [] []
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Inc'
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Funny, I was wondering about the same thing 5 days ago or so. I think that you can find high hills that alre "lonely", but I've never heard of any real mountain.
Then again, it's not a problem in the Legendarium []

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Madomir
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A real life Lonely Mountain would have to be volcanic I'd imagine. What about Mt Kilimanjaro?
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Tigranes
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Mt Kilimanjaro is volcanic. Sorry guys.

[ 04-19-2009, 07:10 PM: Message edited by: Tigranes ]

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Sarah the Good Witch
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Well again, Erebor was definitely not volcanic, as proven by the heavy content of gold, silver, and gems it contained, while the Arkenstone was likely some type of diamond.

[ 04-19-2009, 10:46 PM: Message edited by: Sarah the Good Witch ]

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Angathas
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Mount Fugi in Japan seems to just pop out of the landscape. It seems isolated from other parts of Japan.
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Roll of Honor pi
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Can't wait, 2.5 months 'til my visit!
 -

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Sarah the Good Witch
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It's volcanic.
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Roll of Honor Thorin
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We discussed this somewhere or other at one time, but now I can't find it.

Anyway, a bit of trivia: originally the Lonely Mountain wasn't quite alone. Tolkien's original conception was that it was the last outlier of what came to be called the Iron Mountains. Rateliff published some interesting early maps in his History of the Hobbit. Unfortunately, as far as I can recall he never discusses why it was changed to a lone mountain.

[ 04-22-2009, 09:46 AM: Message edited by: Thorin ]

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The Dread Pirate Roberts
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My guess is because Tolkien needed the Iron Hills to be far enough away for the timing of Dain's folk to arrive when they did as well as far enough away for them to persist as a people during the desolation of Smaug.

[ 04-22-2009, 05:11 PM: Message edited by: The Dread Pirate Roberts ]

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Sarah the Good Witch
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That makes sense: as Roddenberry said, "the needs of the plot outweigh the needs of continuity." []
Even if Tolkien had said that the adjacent mountains were simply mined-out, they could still be easily converted to fortresses.

[ 04-24-2009, 07:55 AM: Message edited by: Sarah the Good Witch ]

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Alatar the Wizard
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Middle-earth doesn't have the same sort of geological history as the Earth, even if it is "supposed" to be Earth's past, so I don't think we need to hold it to Earth's geological standards. Middle-earth was shaped primarily by the Valar and Morgoth. For all we know, some Vala wanted the Lonely Mountain to be there.

And that doesn't even take into consideration that the Hobbit was intended from the start as a children's story.

My guess is that Tolkien thought that the idea of a dragon inhabiting an ancient home of the dwarves sounded like a fun concept for a children's story. Maybe the mountain was an old volcano, and maybe it wasn't. It doesn't really matter.

[ 04-24-2009, 10:48 AM: Message edited by: Alatar the Wizard ]

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Grimwulf Stormspear
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Short answer: Yes. []

I met two geologists at my cousin’s wedding. [] I asked them about the Lonely Mountain & was told that a mountain isolate can be found in California, IIRC.

I forgot what they said about the geology of the darn thing. []

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Roll of Honor pi
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Most isolated mountain peaks of the United States

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The grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.

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Sarah the Good Witch
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quote:
Mount McKinley or Denali ("The Great One") in Alaska is the highest mountain peak in North America, at a height of approximately 20,320 feet (6,194 m).
Isolation :4629 miles

Well I'm sold! []

[ 04-24-2009, 11:37 PM: Message edited by: Sarah the Good Witch ]

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Madomir
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Ummm.. that isolation figure doesn't mean it's 4629 miles to the next peak, it means it 4629 miles to a higher peak. On the same chart Mt. Everest, which of course is part of the Himalayan mountain range, is credited with 24,860 miles of isolation. []
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Sarah the Good Witch
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That really makes no sense, since the nearest higher peak would be on Mars!
That's a good deal farther away than that.

[ 04-27-2009, 12:46 AM: Message edited by: Sarah the Good Witch ]

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Madomir
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24,860 miles is roughly the Earth's circumference, which is the table's way of saying there is no higher peak.
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Sarah the Good Witch
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It should just say "n/a," since a mountain can't be higher than itself.

So it seems that we still don't have a real-life example of Erebor.

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Hamfast Gamgee
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Was Erebor the highest mountain in ME, then?
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Mithrennaith
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I don't think so, but I don't have any data, offhand.

But if I understand correctly, what the geographical articles on Wikipedia call "isolation" is actually defined as the distance to the nearest higher mountain. It says nothing about the proximity of lower mountains, and therefor nothing about whether a mountain is part of a range, or whether it is truely "lone".

Because the "lonelyness" of Erebor is that it rises from the plain on which it sits on all sides: it has shoulders, but no neighbouring peaks with which it forms a range. And I understand Sarah to be asking about real-world mountains with that same feature.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
I am in too great doubt to rule. To prepare or to let be? To prepare for war, which is yet only guessed: train craftsmen and tillers in the midst of peace for bloodspilling and battle: put iron in the hands of greedy captains who will love only conquest, and count the slain as their glory? Will they say to Eru: At least your enemies were amongst them? Or to fold hands, while friends die unjustly: let men live in blind peace, until the ravisher is at the gate? What then will they do: match naked hands against iron and die in vain, or flee leaving the cries of women behind them? Will they say to Eru: At least I spilled no blood?
'When either way may lead to evil, of what worth is choice? Let the Valar rule under Eru!
- Tar Meneldur [UT 2 II:173-174]

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Roll of Honor pi
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It seems to me it is not the tallest as well. Mountain ranges like the Misty Mountains and the White Mountains have at least some that are snow-capped. I don't recall any snow mentioned on Erebor.
edit: nevermind
quote:
There far away was the Lonely Mountain on the edge of eyesight. On its highest peak snow yet unmelted was gleaming pale.


[ 04-29-2009, 03:50 PM: Message edited by: pi ]

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Madomir
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quote:
It should just say "n/a," since a mountain can't be higher than itself.
Just because you don't understand the table's concept of isolation doesn't mean it should be changed.
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Roll of Honor Thorin
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I don't think the Lonely Mountain was simply a mountain arising from a perfectly flat plain. Portions of the text hint that the some of the land around it was probably hilly.

quote:
And far away, its dark head in a torn cloud, there loomed the Mountain! It's nearest neighbours to the North-East and the tumbled land that joined it to them could not be seen...

Balin and Bilbo rode behind, each leading another pony heavily laden beside him; the other were some way ahead picking out a slow road, for there were no paths...

From their town [Esgaroth] the Lonely Mountain was mostly screened by the low hills at the far end of the lake, through a gap in which the Running River came down from the North. Only its high peak could they see in clear weather...

Tumbled land... slow road... low hills... it seems clear that the landscape around the mountain did not look like Kansas. []

[ 04-30-2009, 04:28 AM: Message edited by: Thorin ]

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