|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (October 2011)|
The term Four-Thousand Footers (or "4ks") refers to a group of forty-eight mountains in New Hampshire at least 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) above sea level. To qualify a peak must also meet a more technical criterion of topographic prominence important in the mountaineering sport of "peak-bagging".
Most often, the term "four-thousand footers" refers to the White Mountains Four-Thousand-Footers List established (and revised from time to time) by the Appalachian Mountain Club. This list of peaks may be referred to as the "Four-thousand footers of New Hampshire," or "The Four-thousand Footers of the White Mountains". The AMC calls it the White Mountains List, but most hikers call it the New Hampshire List because it does not include Old Speck Mountain (4,170 ft), located in Maine (and outside the White Mountain National Forest) but within the White Mountains.
The AMC also maintains a list of New England 4000-Footers, all falling within Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Other lists of 4000-footers not maintained by the AMC include the original set of four-thousand foot mountains for peak-bagging: the 46 High Peaks in the Adirondacks.
The AMC has revised its 4000-footer lists as surveying became more accurate or the selection criteria were adjusted, with the White Mountains list growing from 46 peaks in the 1950s to 48 in 1982. The proper inclusion or exclusion of several peaks is still a matter of some dispute.
The 48 lie in the White Mountain National Forest and within two of the northernmost counties of New Hampshire, Coos and Grafton. All peaks except those of Mount Washington, Mount Moosilauke and Cannon Mountain are on land owned by the Forest Service, and even these three are almost completely surrounded by it.
A "prominence" criterion is intended to exclude peaks which are considered local peaks of some larger mountain, rather than "independent" peaks. Prominence is the vertical separation between a peak and the low point of the highest ridge connecting it to a higher peak. In other words, prominence is the minimum distance a hiker MUST descend before climbing to reach a higher peak.
For the AMC's 4000-Footer lists, the minimum prominence for inclusion on the list is 200 feet (61 m). Earlier versions of the list required either 300 feet (91 m) of prominence or a quarter-mile of separation.
A committee of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) served as a focus for settling on the criteria and collecting the information that verifies the peaks as meeting them; it also maintains a list of the Four Thousand Footer Club's "members": those who request recognition for having climbed all of the 48, in each case travelling by foot, at least between leaving a point on a car- or truck-accessible road and returning to that or another such point. The first of these recognitions was listed in 1958.
Some climbers undertake (usually after having completed the 48) to climb them within more stringent conditions. The club maintains a second list of those who climb each peak in winter (defined as beginning and ending the hike between the time and date of the winter solstice and the spring equinox).
Other variations on climbing the 48, not officially recorded, include:
- reaching the summits in a specific order (e.g., alphabetically or by elevation),
- reaching each summit on a moonlit night,
- reaching each summit from all four cardinal compass points,
- reaching each summit in the same winter,
- reaching each summit twelve times, once in each of the twelve months (but not necessarily twelve consecutive months) (As of 2011[update], seventeen climbers claim this.)
- meeting various combinations of the above restrictions in the same climbs.
The New Hampshire list
The following is the list of Four Thousand Footers in New Hampshire, along with their respective elevations (in feet), in descending order. Note that some of these names do not appear on maps, and some alternative names are indicated below.
- Washington: 6,288 ft (1,917 m) AT*
- Adams: 5,774 ft (1,760 m) AT**
- Jefferson: 5,712 ft (1,741 m) AT**
- Monroe: 5,384 ft (1,641 m) AT**
- Madison: 5,367 ft (1,636 m) AT*
- Lafayette: 5,249 ft (1,600 m) AT*
- Lincoln: 5,089 ft (1,551 m) AT*
- South Twin: 4,902 ft (1,494 m) AT*
- Carter Dome: 4,832 ft (1,473 m) AT*
- Moosilauke: 4,802 ft (1,464 m) AT*
- Eisenhower: 4,780 ft (1,460 m) AT**
- North Twin: 4,761 ft (1,451 m)
- Carrigain: 4,700 ft (1,400 m)
- Bond: 4,698 ft (1,432 m)
- Middle Carter: 4,610 ft (1,410 m) AT*
- West Bond: 4,540 ft (1,380 m)
- Garfield: 4,500 ft (1,400 m) AT*
- Liberty: 4,459 ft (1,359 m) AT**
- South Carter: 4,430 ft (1,350 m) AT*
- Wildcat: 4,422 ft (1,348 m) AT*
- Hancock: 4,420 ft (1,350 m)
- South Kinsman: 4,358 ft (1,328 m) ("South Peak") AT*
- Field: 4,340 ft (1,320 m)
- Osceola: 4,340 ft (1,320 m)
- Flume: 4,328 ft (1,319 m)
- South Hancock: 4,319 ft (1,316 m) AT*
- Pierce: 4,310 ft (1,310 m) AT*
- North Kinsman: 4,293 ft (1,309 m) ("North Peak")
- Willey: 4,285 ft (1,306 m)
- Bondcliff: 4,265 ft (1,300 m) ("The Cliffs")
- Zealand: 4,260 ft (1,300 m) ("Zealand Ridge") AT**
- North Tripyramid: 4180 ft ("North Peak")
- Cabot: 4,170 ft (1,270 m)
- East Osceola: 4,156 ft (1,267 m) ("East Peak")
- Middle Tripyramid: 4,140 ft (1,260 m)
- Cannon: 4,100 ft (1,200 m)
- Wildcat D: 4,070 ft (1,240 m) ("Wildcat Ridge") AT*
- Hale: 4,054 ft (1,236 m)
- Jackson: 4,052 ft (1,235 m) AT*
- Tom: 4,051 ft (1,235 m)
- Moriah: 4,049 ft (1,234 m) AT**
- Passaconaway: 4,043 ft (1,232 m)
- Owl's Head: 4,025 ft (1,227 m)
- Galehead: 4,024 ft (1,227 m) AT**
- Whiteface: 4,020 ft (1,230 m)
- Waumbek: 4,006 ft (1,221 m)
- Isolation: 4,004 ft (1,220 m)
- Tecumseh: 4,003 ft (1,220 m)
AT* = AT passes through, AT** = AT passes near
The New England list
This list consists of the New Hampshire list, plus the following:
4000-Footers in Maine:
- Katahdin (Baxter Peak): 5,268 ft (1,606 m)
- Katahdin (Hamlin Peak): 4,756 ft (1,450 m)
- Sugarloaf Mountain: 4,250 ft (1,300 m)
- Crocker Mountain: 4,228 ft (1,289 m)
- Old Speck: 4,170 ft (1,270 m)
- Mount Bigelow (West Peak): 4,145 ft (1,263 m)
- North Brother: 4,151 ft (1,265 m)
- Saddleback Mountain : 4,120 ft (1,260 m)
- Mount Bigelow (Avery Peak): 4,090 ft (1,250 m)
- Mount Abraham: 4,050 ft (1,230 m)
- South Crocker Mountain: 4,050 ft (1,230 m)
- Saddleback Mountain (the Horn): 4,041 ft (1,232 m)
- Mount Redington: 4,010 ft (1,220 m)
- Spaulding Mountain: 4,010 ft (1,220 m)
4000-Footers in Vermont:
- Adirondack High Peaks (Adirondack Forty-sixers)
- List of New England Fifty Finest
- List of New England Hundred Highest
- List of Quebec 1000 meter peaks
- Northeast 111 4000-footers
- 2020 Vision Quest, blind NH hiker Randy Pierce
- Tucker, Edith (May 5, 2011). "First couple completes Grid hiking feat on Easter". The Mountain Ear.
- Smith, Steven; Dickerman, Mike (2001). The 4,000 Footers of the White Mountains. Littleton: Bondcliff Books. ISBN 1-931271-01-1.
- Gene Daniell and Steven D. Smith (editors) (2003). AMC White Mountain Guide, 27th edition. Appalachian Mountain Club Books. ISBN 1-929173-22-9.
- The Four Thousand Footer Club (official site)
- AMC Four Thousand Footers web page
- Interactive Map of the Northeast 4000ers
- Hike New Hampshire
- Hike The Whites
- Hiking Routes on 4000 Footers
- TrailsNH.com - trail conditions compiled daily for: