The Double Cone Quarterly
Window to the Wilderness
Spring Equinox 1999 || Volume II, Number 1

Test your Topographic Know-how

Last quarter's Map Mania puzzle drew a good number of ernest responses, but unfortunately all but one missed the boat. Determination paid off for Chris Lorenc, though, who can now boast a copy of the Wilderness Act Handbook of 1998 as part of his library. Good mapwork, Chris. Unfortunately we're out of copies of the handbook, so this time you're all working purely for the glory. Get after it.

But first, the answers to last quarter's Map Mania puzzle:

The Snippet: 

  • Ventana Double Cone Lookout
The 3-D DEM: Ventana Cones 7.5' Quadrangle
  1. Lone Pine Camp
  2. Ventana Double Cone
  3. The Window or "La Ventana"
  4. Kandlbinder Peak

OK, here's the game: both graphics below correspond to actual places somewhere within the Monterey Ranger District of the Los Padres National Forest. The first one is a small piece of one of the various USGS 7.5' topographic quads which cover the area. The second, larger, graphic is what is called a digital elevation map (DEM) which is essentially derived from the information on the 7.5' quads, only rendered in 3-D. The DEM in this case represents an entire 7.5' quad which, given all that blue stuff in the picture, is a pretty strong hint in itself. As far as the snippet goes, its chock full of hints on its own so expect no further help here.

Here's what we ask of you:

  • For the small topo snippet, identify the location of the segment any way you can.
  • For the larger DEM, name each of the riparian geographic features designated by the numbers 1 through 5.
When you've got all this figured out, send your findings by email to  Gordon Johnson , with the first one to correctly identify all the locations being the Big Winner. So what's in it for the Big Winner, you query? How about the unflagging admiration of your peers, totally awestuck by your topographic acumen? Them's some big apples. So pull out all those dog-eared topos of yours and get to work!
OK, think you have it all figured out? Email your answers to Gordon at

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