In reply to DB7MM:
Michael, one of the problems that they have been dealing with in OE was that a number of the summits listed did not exist, if plotted on a map some were in lakes, on the bed of rivers, on or below cols and even outside the borders of the country - in one case by hundreds of kilometres! In tracking down these non-summits and misplaced summits some previously unrecorded summits were found, so it was not all loss, but you surely agree that whatever rule is adopted, the list should be clean.
The important thing to remember about prominence, Michael, is that it has absolutely nothing to do with distance. Two P100 summits could be no more than a few hundred metres apart, such as adjacent auguilles in the Alps, or they could be tens of kilometres apart. Look at the summits in southern England, for instance, in DC, SC and SE, most of these summits are the culmination of large plateaux, and bear in mind that G uses P150 and accepts the disadvantage that this gives in the less mountainous areas. Indeed P100 was granted to Germany to “sweeten the pill” after so many non-summits had to be removed. No other country with so many summits has been allowed P100, this lower prominence is usually reserved for countries like PA so that they can participate in the program. This makes it possible in Germany to put together strings of high scoring summits with less effort than in most countries, which itself has caused complaints…understandably so.
One of the ideas behind prominence is that it makes summits more challenging, not “less attractive and challenging” as you suggest. Any mountain area is full of little bumps, minor summits on a ridge leading to a major summit that have received a name but on the ground are barely noticable. If as you seem to suggest, we were to abandon the prominence rule and make all these minor summits count for SOTA, then the ascent to each summit would become small and SOTA points would be devalued. I have to travel many kilometres to my nearest SOTA summit, but I know that when I get there it will be a real summit!