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You are probably also getting more backscatter because there is bare rock at the summit instead of vegetation. Vegetation holds moisture, which would absorb microwaves rather than backscattering. Besides, the foreshortening which affects the fore slope increases its intensity (having more backscatter returned into the same cell yield more intensity + Double ...


Similar to Rob Skelly's suggestion, I would second using 30m SRTM data. I know Whitebox has a great tool for this that will download the SRTM files and process the DEM in one shot based on your area. From here you can create contour or basins from the DEM.


You might try downloading the 30m SRTM for your region and deriving the contours yourself. It's available through EarthExplorer for free. Contours can be generated with the Raster > Extraction > Contour tool in QGIS.

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