Talk:Wasatch Range

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Origin of the word "Wasatch"[edit]

There appears to be a disagreement over the meaning and origin of the word "Wasatch". This Wasatch Range article says, "The name Wasatch is derived from an eponymous Native American tribe in the region." But, the Wasatch County page says, "It was named for a Lite Indian word meaning mountain pass or low place in the high mountains." Neither definition cites any references.

If anybody can track down an authoritative reference on which tribe provided the word, and what it originally meant, we should cite it here and in the various other "wasatch" articles. Justin 02:57, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Frozen penis?[edit]

I would like to find some other source that says that Wasatch means frozen penis. Sounds pretty suspect to me... bob rulz 21:37, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

A Yahoo Answers post from a seemingly credible person says the etymology is unclear, and he believes the "frozen penis" origin to be what he called a folk etymology. Quoting John M, the Yahoo Answers respondent:
The word is Shoshoni and means "blue heron". The mountains were named after a prominent Shoshoni leader of the 19th century. This may also be a folk etymology, but it's what I wrote in the book "Native American Placenames of the US"
Here's a link to the book. Bright, William (September 30, 2004). Native American Placenames of the United States. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 600. ISBN 080613576X. 
The Amazon review indicates that 13 linguists worked with Mr. Bright, the credited author, to develop the text. My library system unfortunately doesn't have this book, and I'm nowhere interested enough at this time to buy it or track down a university with the text, but perhaps some other motivated Wikipedian out there is so motivated. -Quintote 23:50, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
I couldn't leave it alone. I suspect that further research will show that the name has several possible origins, none of which can be definitely proven. I'd also put my money on "frozen penis" being clearly on the folklore side of things, but that doesn't mean it doesn't belong on this page; it simply means it must be properly presented. So, that's what I tried to do. I also removed references to a website that told the origins of the name for lack of verifiability. -Quintote 00:40, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Suggestions for improvement[edit]

I think the comment of mount olympus being the most prominent mountain in the range is very false. I personally feel that Timpanogas is much more distinct and recognizable. Also, I think there should be a different picture in the frame at the beginning of the article. Its not extremely remarkable, and the panorama of the valley before the gallery is much better IMHO. I don't want to change it if I'm the only one that feels this way though. Epachamo 04:44, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

There's really no way to determine which one is the most prominent. However, I disagree on the pictures. I like the picture at the top more. It shows the full length of the Wasatch Range along the Salt Lake Valley, and is very repsentative of the scope of the range. The one at the bottom, however, shows a restricted, confined view of the range (it's really just 2 mountains). It may be more striking (although in my eyes it's actually not), but it's not really more representative. bob rulz 05:49, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
There is indeed a way to determine which is more prominent. Prominence is defined as the vertical distance between a summit and the lowest point on any ridge or ridge system connecting it with a higher summit. By this definition, Nebo is the most prominent, followed by Timpanogas, and with several others including Lone Peak and Broads Fork Twin Peaks also being more prominent than Mt Olympus. 24 Sep 2007
I agree with Bob. An article about a mountain range should have a picture of the range, not a single mountain or two. The picture on the top is pretty good, maybe it could be cropped to show the mountain detail a little better (right now there is as much library as there are mountains). I do like the panorama at the bottom, but I don't like all the power poles in the way. Maybe one of you Utah residents can go to the west side of the SL Valley to retake the picture. I bet the mountains are nice and green right now.Glennfcowan 15:53, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I guess my main contention with the picture on the top was that the library (beautiful as it is) is too prominent and detracts from the mountains. I like the idea of cropping the library out of the picture. Epachamo 04:11, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

The geology section could really be more detailed than just stating where the Wasatch is located. Something about the Wasatch fault, about the Precambrian Big Cottonwood Formation and the granite in the Lone Peak Wilderness from the igneous intrusion that helped uplift the Wasatch, etc., would be good.