The Allegheny Mountain Range, informally the Alleghenies and spelled Alleghany and Allegany, is part of the vast Appalachian Mountain Range of the Eastern United States and Canada and posed a significant barrier to land travel in less technologically advanced eras. The barrier range has a northeast–southwest orientation and runs for about 400 miles from north-central Pennsylvania, through western Maryland and eastern West Virginia, to southwestern Virginia; the Alleghenies comprise the rugged western-central portion of the Appalachians. They rise to 4,862 feet in northeastern West Virginia. In the east, they are dominated by a steep escarpment known as the Allegheny Front. In the west, they slope down into the associated Allegheny Plateau, which extends into Ohio and Kentucky; the principal settlements of the Alleghenies are Altoona, State College, Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The name is derived from the Allegheny River, which drains only a small portion of the Alleghenies in west-central Pennsylvania.
The meaning of the word, which comes from the Lenape Indians, is not definitively known but is translated as "fine river". A Lenape legend tells of an ancient tribe called the "Allegewi" who lived on the river and were defeated by the Lenape. Allegheny is the early French spelling, Allegany is closer to the early English spelling; the word "Allegheny" was once used to refer to the whole of what are now called the Appalachian Mountains. John Norton used it around 1810 to refer to the mountains in Georgia. Around the same time, Washington Irving proposed renaming the United States either "Appalachia" or "Alleghania". In 1861, Arnold Henry Guyot published the first systematic geologic study of the whole mountain range, his map labeled the range as the "Alleghanies", but his book was titled On the Appalachian Mountain System. As late as 1867, John Muir—in his book A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf—used the word "Alleghanies" in referring to the southern Appalachians. There was no general agreement about the "Appalachians" versus the "Alleghanies" until the late 19th century.
From northeast to southwest, the Allegheny Mountains run about 400 miles. From west to east, at their widest, they are about 100 miles. Although there are no official boundaries to the Allegheny Mountains region, it may be defined to the east by the Allegheny Front. To the west, the Alleghenies grade down into the dissected Allegheny Plateau; the westernmost ridges are considered to be the Laurel Highlands and Chestnut Ridge in Pennsylvania, Laurel Mountain and Rich Mountain in West Virginia. The mountains to the south of the Alleghenies—the Appalachians in westernmost Virginia, eastern Kentucky, eastern Tennessee—are the Cumberlands; the Alleghenies and the Cumberlands both constitute part of the Ridge and Valley Province of the Appalachians. The eastern edge of the Alleghenies is marked by the Allegheny Front, sometimes considered the eastern terminus of the Allegheny Plateau; this great escarpment follows a portion of the Eastern Continental Divide in this area. A number of impressive gorges and valleys drain the Alleghenies: to the east, Smoke Hole Canyon, to the west the New River Gorge and the Blackwater and Cheat Canyons.
Thus, about half the precipitation falling on the Alleghenies makes its way west to the Mississippi and half goes east to Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic seaboard. The highest ridges of the Alleghenies are just west of the Front, which has an east/west elevational change of up to 3,000 feet. Absolute elevations of the Allegheny Highlands reach nearly 5,000 feet, with the highest elevations in the southern part of the range; the highest point in the Allegheny Mountains is Spruce Knob, on Spruce Mountain in West Virginia. Other notable Allegheny highpoints include Thorny Flat on Cheat Mountain, Bald Knob on Back Allegheny Mountain, Mount Porte Crayon, all in West Virginia. There are few sizable cities in the Alleghenies; the four largest are: Altoona, State College and Cumberland. In the 1970s and'80s, the Interstate Highway System was extended into the northern portion of the Alleghenies, the region is now served by a network of federal expressways—Interstates 80, 70/76 and 68. Interstate 64 traverses the southern extremity of the range, but the Central Alleghenies have posed special problems for highway planners owing to the region's rugged terrain and environmental sensitivities This region is still served by a rather sparse secondary highway system and remains lower in population density than surrounding regions.
In the telecommunications field, a unique impediment to development in the central Allegheny region is the United States National Radio Quiet Zone, a large rectangle of land—about 13,000 square miles —that straddles the border area of Virginia and West Virginia. Created in 1958 by the Federal Communications Commission, the NRQZ restricts all omni
Alleghany County, Virginia
Alleghany County is an American county located on the far western edge of Commonwealth of Virginia. It is bordered by the Allegheny Mountains, from which the county derives its name, it is the northernmost part of the Roanoke Region; the county seat is Covington. The county was created in 1822 from parts of Botetourt County, Bath County, Monroe County. At the time, the majority of the population lived around Covington, the primary cash crop was hemp, used for rope production; as of the 2010 census, the population was 16,250, an increase of more than twenty-five percent from the 2000 census. The majority of that growth, can be attributed to the reincorporation of the independent city of Clifton Forge back into Alleghany County in 2001. Alleghany County was established on January 1822 by an act of the Virginia General Assembly; the new county was formed from parts of Botetourt and Monroe counties, with most of the population centered in the new county seat in Covington. Alleghany County was named for the Allegheny Mountains.
When the county was established, the principal export was hemp, used for rope production in Richmond. However, as hemp demand and prices declined, the farmers of Alleghany switched to grain and livestock production. During the American Civil War, the iron for the CSS Virginia came from Longdale Furnace in the county. Regiments from Alleghany County were at the surrender at Appomattox. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 449 square miles, of which 445 square miles is land and 3.3 square miles is water. Bath County – north Rockbridge County – east Botetourt County – southeast Craig County – south Monroe County, West Virginia – southwest Greenbrier County, West Virginia – west George Washington National Forest United States National Radio Quiet Zone As of the census of 2000, there were 12,926 people, 5,149 households, 3,866 families residing in the county; the population density was 29 people per square mile. There were 5,812 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile.
The racial makeup of the county was 96.35% White, 2.45% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.20% from other races, 0.53% from two or more races. 0.36% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 42.9% were of American, 11.6% German, 11.0% English and 9.8% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. There were 5,149 households out of which 29.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.20% were married couples living together, 8.10% had a female householder with no husband present, 24.90% were non-families. 22.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.50% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.85. The age distribution is 22.80% under the age of 18, 6.20% from 18 to 24, 26.80% from 25 to 44, 28.50% from 45 to 64, 15.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 99.60 males.
For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.30 males. The median income for a household in the county was $38,545, the median income for a family was $45,843. Males had a median income of $35,120 versus $20,855 for females; the per capita income for the county was $19,635. About 4.90% of families and 7.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.60% of those under age 18 and 10.80% of those age 65 or over. In 2000, Clifton Forge was an independent city separate from the county. However, in 2001, Clifton Forge reincorporated as a town; the 2000 population of what is now Alleghany County was 17,215. The article includes geographic data from before and after the reincorporation of Clifton Forge into the county. Boiling Springs district: Shannon P. Cox Clifton Forge East district: Suzanne T. Adcock Clifton Forge West district: Richard Shull Covington district: James M. Griffith Falling Spring district: G. Matt Garten Jackson River district: Stephen A. Bennett Sharon district: Cletus W. Nicely Clerk of the Circuit Court: Debra N. Byer Commissioner of the Revenue: Valerie N. Bruffey Commonwealth's Attorney: Edward K. Stein Sheriff: Kevin W. Hall Treasurer: Wanda H. Simpson Alleghany County is represented by Democrat R. Creigh Deeds in the Virginia Senate, Republican Terry Austin in the Virginia House of Delegates, Republican H. Morgan Griffith in the U.
S. House of Representatives; the county economy is dominated by WestRock, which operates a paperboard mill in Covington, the second largest on the East Coast and an extrusion and converting facility in Low Moor. Both Alleghany County and Covington, VA are known for the low cost of its housing market and close proximity to The Homestead in Bath County, VA, Lexington, VA, The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, a 45-minute drive in any direction and Roanoke, VA about an hour away. Covington has a team in the Valley Baseball League called the Lumberjacks. Amtrak, the national passenger rail service, provides service to the Clifton Forge station with the Cardinal route. Clifton Forge serves a major locomotive fuel facility for CSX Transportation; the area is serviced by Route 220 a offering interstate truck access to the area. I-64 US 60 US 220 SR 18 SR 42 SR 159 SR 311 Alleghany County is serviced by one high school, Alleghany High School.
Dolly Sods Wilderness
The Dolly Sods Wilderness — simply Dolly Sods — is a U. S. Wilderness Area in the Allegheny Mountains of eastern West Virginia, USA, is part of the Monongahela National Forest of the U. S. Forest Service. Dolly Sods is a rocky, high-altitude plateau with sweeping vistas and lifeforms found much farther north in Canada. To the north, the distinctive landscape of "the Sods" is characterized by stunted trees, wind-carved boulders, heath barrens, grassy meadows created in the last century by logging and fires, sphagnum bogs that are much older. To the south, a dense cove forest occupies the branched canyon excavated by the North Fork of Red Creek; the name derives from an 18th-century German homesteading family — the Dahles — and a local term for an open mountaintop meadow — a "sods". Dolly Sods is the highest plateau east of the Mississippi River with altitudes ranging from 2,644 ft. at the outlet of Red Creek to 4,123 ft. at the top of the eastern edge mountain ridge on the Allegheny Front. Much of the high plateau section lies at nearly 4,000 ft. elevation.
Prominent summits within the Wilderness are Coal Knob, Breathed Mountain, Blackbird Knob. The highest point in the immediate area is Mount Porte Crayon; the summit area around Mount Porte Crayon is the largest flat-topped plateau in Eastern North America containing 5.5 square miles above 4,500 ft. elevation. Dolly Sods is on a ridge crest. Most of its area is drained by the North Fork of Red Creek, a tributary of the Dry Fork River. Via the Dry Fork, Black Fork, Cheat and Ohio Rivers, it is part of the Mississippi River watershed. South of Forest Service Route 19 is the adjoining Red Creek/Flatrock/Roaring Plains area, drained by the South Fork of Red Creek. Drainage on the east side of the ridge crest flows into the headwaters of the South Branch of the Potomac River, part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed; the original Dolly Sods was a mountaintop meadow of about 650 acres at the southern end of Rohrbaugh Plains, near the present Dolly Sods Picnic Area. The present-day Dolly Sods Wilderness encompasses some 17,371 acres of U.
S. Forest Service land and is itself only part of a larger 32,000-acre area now known as "Dolly Sods"; the DSW is bordered by 19 on the east and south sides, respectively. To the northeast, DSW is bordered by the Bear Rocks Nature Preserve, owned by The Nature Conservancy; the surrounding area was added to the Wilderness and is known as Dolly Sods North. North of Dolly Sods North is an area known as Dobbins Slashings — a sub-arctic bog forming the headwaters of Red Creek on Cabin Mountain. Dobbins Slashings has been proposed for wilderness preservation. In the Canaan Valley to the west, the Wilderness is adjoined by the 16,000-acre Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge. All of DSW is in the southeast corner of Tucker County with only small sections extending into Randolph and Grant Counties. There are some 47 miles of hiking trails within the DSW, many situated along the courses of abandoned railroad grades and old logging roads; the premier viewpoint within the Wilderness, affording a vista of the entire Red Creek drainage, is at a set of rocky crags known as Lion's Head Rock.
It is reached by an three-mile climb from the nearest road. The last quarter mile is an eight-foot-wide bench in the side of an otherwise steep slope. Like the cliffs constituting the eastern edge of the Sods at Rohrbaugh Plains, Lion's Head Rock consists of a mixture of sandstone and conglomerate; the Northland Loop Trail is a 0.3 mile interpretive trail just south of Red Creek Campground on FS Rt 75 which accesses Alder Run Bog a typical, much studied, northern bog or southern muskeg. The Dolly Sods area was first encountered by whites when Peter Jefferson, Thomas Lewis and others surveyed in 1746 to find the limits of Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron's land grant from the British Crown; the famous Fairfax Line grazes the northern margin of the Wilderness near Bear Rocks. This area was avoided as too impenetrable to traverse until the late 19th century. David Hunter Strother wrote an early and somewhat breathless travelogue of the area, published in Harper's Monthly magazine in 1852: In Randolph County, Virginia, is a tract of country containing from seven to nine hundred square miles uninhabited, so savage and inaccessible that it has been penetrated by the most adventurous.
The settlers on its borders speak of it with a sort of dread, regard it as an ill-omened region, filled with bears, impassable laurel-brakes, dangerous precipices. Stories are told of hunters having ventured too far, becoming entangled, perishing in its intricate labyrinths; the desire of daring the unknown dangers of this mysterious region, stimulated a party of gentlemen... to undertake it in June, 1851. They did penetrate the country as far as the Falls of the Blackwater, returned with marvelous accounts of its savage grandeur, the quantities of game and fish to be found there. Th
Greenbrier County, West Virginia
Greenbrier County is a county in the U. S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 35,480, its county seat is Lewisburg. The county was formed in 1778 from Montgomery counties in Virginia. Prior to the arrival of European-American settlers around 1740, Greenbrier County, like most of West Virginia, was used as a hunting ground by the Shawnee and Cherokee nations, they called this land Can-tuc-kee. Shawnee leaders, including Pucksinwah and his son Tecumseh, were alarmed by the arrival of the European settlers, who by 1771 had set up extensive trade in the area; the day books of early merchants Sampson and George Mathews recorded sales to the Shawnee that included such luxury items as silk, hats and tailor-made suits. Shawnee leaders feared the loss of their hunting lands, they believed the white settlers would continue to encroach on their territory downriver on the Ohio. Confrontations, sometimes violent, settlers. In 1774, the Earl of Dunmore governor of the colonies of New York and Virginia, decided to raise an army of 3,000 men to attack the Shawnees in their homeland in present-day Ohio.
Half of these men were inducted at Fort Pitt, while the other half assembled at Fort Union under the command of General Andrew Lewis. The town of present-day Lewisburg was named for that commander. By early October of that year, Lewis' force had marched downstream to the mouth of the Kanawha River, they fought the Battle of Point Pleasant against a Shawnee force led by Hokoleskwa known as Cornstalk. This site developed as the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. European settlers were subjected to a number of raids by Native Americans during the colonial period, including a raid on Fort Randolph and on Fort Donnally inhabited by 25 men and 60 women and children. One of the heroic defenders of Fort Donnally was an African American slave named Dick Pointer. Pointer, said to have been nearly 7 feet tall, defended the log door with Philip Hamman, giving the settlers enough time to awaken and defend themselves. Pointer addressed the Virginia General Assembly and gave a moving appeal that "in the decline of life" he requested to be freed for his defense of Fort Donnally.
Historic accounts differ as to. His grave is marked beside Carnegie Hall in the county seat of Lewisburg, a historical marker stands prominently in the midst of the Lewisburg Cemetery. Pointer’s gun is on permanent display at The Greenbrier Historical Society and John A. North House Museum in Lewisburg. During the secession crisis of 1861 Greenbrier citizens chose Samuel Price as their delegate to the Richmond convention. On April 17, 1861, the day Virginia's secession ordinance was passed he voted against it, but changed his mind and signed the official document; when the public vote on the secession ordinance was held on May 23, 1861, Greenbrier county voted 1,000 to 100 in favor of secession. The Civil War came to the county in mid 1861, several battles were fought in the area, including Lewisburg in May 1862 and White Sulphur Springs in August 1863. Both battles were Union victories. Greenbrier County became part of the new state of West Virginia, although it never participated in any of the votes held by the Restored Government in Wheeling.
Though most West Virginians fought for the Union during the war 2,000 men from Greenbrier county joined the Confederate army. What is claimed to be the oldest golf course in the United States was founded in 1884 just north of White Sulphur Springs by the Montague family. Sam Black Church is the location of the trial of the famous "Greenbrier Ghost" of Elva Zona Heaster-Shue, a local woman, found dead on January 23, 1897; the coroner listed the cause of her death as "everlasting faint" and as "childbirth." Shue's mother, Mary Jane Heaster, testified in court that her daughter's ghost visited her on 4 different occasions telling her that her neck had been broken by her husband Edward Shue, who had strangled her in a fit of rage. The local prosecutor exhumed Elva's body and tried and convicted Edward Shue on the evidence from the autopsy, it is claimed to be the only known time. The state erected a highway marker on US Highway 60 in commemoration of the event. During the decade prior to World War II, several Civilian Conservation Corps camps were located along the Greenbrier River.
For most of the 20th century, the Meadow River Lumber Company operated the world's largest hardwood sawmill in Rainelle. During World War II The Greenbrier hotel was used as a military hospital. Sections were used as an internment center for Axis diplomats who were stranded in the United States during the war; when the war ended, the military returned the hotel to private control, it re-opened as a hotel. During the years of the Cold War, a large underground bunker was built beneath a section of new construction at the hotel, to serve as a secret Congressional refuge in case of nuclear attack, it was one of the sites to be used as part of the United States Continuity of Operations Plan. After it was reported in a 1992 article, following the fall of the Soviet Union, the US government decommissioned it as a government site. In the June 2016 floods that affected the state of West Virginia, Greenbrier County suffered 16 casualties, the most of any county. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,025 square miles, of which 1,020 square miles is land and 4.9 square miles is water.
It is the second-largest county in West Virginia by area. Much of the area of the northern and western parts of the county i
Spice Run Wilderness
Spice Run Wilderness is a U. S. Wilderness area within the Monongahela National Forest of West Virginia in the United States; the remote area has no passenger car access. Users of SRW must enter it via the Greenbrier River, or by hiking in from the adjacent Calvin Price State Forest, or by driving a high-clearance vehicle to the southeastern corner of the Wilderness along Greenbrier County Route 16. Spice Run was named after a native shrub, Lindera benzoin — known as "spicebush" or "spicewood"; the Spice Run Lumber Company created a logging boom town that harvested stands of timber to float down the Greenbrier River for the sawmills. So great were these log runs. In 2009, Spice Run was designated a Wilderness along with several other areas of Monongahela National Forest. Aside from Spice Run, the Davy Run and Kincaid Run watersheds are within the Spice Run Wilderness. All three are native brook trout tributaries to the Greenbrier River. Besides fishing, hiking and bird watching are popular activities.
There are at least 230 species of birds to watch. Nine animals are on the Federal list for endangered species or threatened species such as the northern flying squirrel. Across the Greenbrier River rests the Greenbrier River Trail, maintained by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources along the former Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Greenbrier Subdivision; this portion still shows traces of the old lumber-mill on the banks where the flow of logs was controlled. Of the original community of Spice Run, only one house remains standing. List of U. S. Wilderness Areas Wilderness Act Greenbrier River Watershed Association U. S. Forest Service: Spice Run Wilderness
Highland County, Virginia
Highland County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,321, in 2015, the population was estimated at 2,214, its county seat is Monterey. Known as "Virginia's Switzerland" or "Virginia's Little Switzerland", Highland County is the least populous county in Virginia. Highland lays claim to being one of the least populous counties and one of the highest average elevations east of the Mississippi River. Settlement of this portion of the Colony of Virginia by Europeans began around 1745. Located west of the Tidewater and Piedmont regions in Virginia and west of the Shenandoah Valley, this area is beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains. Rather than cross such a formidable physical barrier, most early settlers came southerly up the Valley across the Potomac River from Maryland and Pennsylvania. Many followed the Great Wagon Road known as the Valley Pike; as German immigrants began to push over the mountains to the northern area of the present county, those of Scots-Irish descent settled in the southern part.
After Virginia and the other 12 colonies won their independence from Great Britain after the American Revolutionary War, the area remained sparsely populated. In the 1840s, the historic Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike was built through the area. Engineered by Claudius Crozet through the mountainous terrain, it was a toll road funded by the Virginia Board of Public Works; the turnpike formed an important link between the upper Shenandoah Valley with the Ohio River. Highland County was formed in 1847 from Bath County and Pendleton County after a bill was passed by the Virginia General Assembly on March 19 of that year; the desire for the new county's formation arose due to multiple reasons, including the distances from the areas in present-day Highland to the county seats of Bath and Pendleton and the advantageous position of the new turnpike. Highland was named for its lofty elevation. Control of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike became crucial during the American Civil War. By all accounts, documented in many letters home from young troops, a miserable winter in 1861 was spent by Union and Confederate troops holding opposing high elevation positions along the road.
The Battle of McDowell, the first Confederate victory of Stonewall Jackson's Shenandoah Valley campaign, took place at McDowell on May 8, 1862. In the 20th century, the Turnpike was re-designated as U. S. Route 250. In the 21st century, it remains Highland County's major east-west roadway, crossing into West Virginia, becomes a National Scenic Byway. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, Highland County has a total area of 415.9 square miles, of which 415.2 square miles is land and 0.7 square miles is water. The county's western border is defined and lies along the Eastern Continental Divide in the Allegheny Mountains; the eastern border lies along the ridge line of Shenandoah Mountain. The northern and southern boundaries of the county are defined more artificially, cutting across numerous mountain ridges and valleys; the county is bordered to the west by Pocahontas County in the state of West Virginia, to the north by Pendleton County, West Virginia, to the east by Augusta County, to the south by Bath County, Virginia.
The county is 153 miles northwest of Virginia. The average elevation of Highland County is 2,832 feet, the 16th highest average elevation among counties in the Eastern United States; the highest elevation in the county is 4,545 feet in the Allegheny Mountains and the lowest elevation is 1,625 feet near the Cowpasture River southwest of Patna. The western regions of the county are higher in elevation than are the eastern and southeastern regions; as the county lies within the Ridge-and-Valley province of the Appalachian Mountains, it features numerous valleys and mountain ridges that are oriented in a "northeast to southwest" direction. The valleys are from west to east the Alleghany Valley, the Bluegrass Valley, the Monterey Valley, the Bullpasture Valley, the Cowpasture Valley; the majority of the county and all the southern portions of the county form part of the James River watershed, while northern sections drain into the Potomac River. West of Monterey, the divide is centered along the path of U.
S. Route 250; the westernmost valley, the Alleghany Valley, is narrow and situated between Allegheny Mountain to the west and Lantz Mountain to the east. It is drained by Back Creek, a tributary of the Jackson River, in the southern section of the county and is drained by Straight Fork to the north; the Laurel Fork runs to the west of Alleghany Valley, joining the Straight Fork in Pendleton County, West Virginia to the north to form the North Fork South Branch Potomac River. The Bluegrass Valley contains the headwaters of the Jackson River south of U. S. 250 and the South Branch Potomac River to the north. The northern section of the valley, in the area of the village of Blue Grass, is wider than the southern section of the valley; the Jackson River flows out of Bluegrass Valley to the east through Vanderpool Gap 4 miles south of Hightown. A short distance south, the Bluegrass Valley is drained by the Back Creek. Monterey Valley is located in the center of the county, its drainage is separated at Monterey.
To the north of Monterey, the valley is drained by South Branch Potomac River. The Bullpasture Valley is drained throughout the county to the south by t
A mountain range or hill range is a series of mountains or hills ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form and alignment that have arisen from the same cause an orogeny. Mountain ranges are formed by a variety of geological processes, but most of the significant ones on Earth are the result of plate tectonics. Mountain ranges are found on many planetary mass objects in the Solar System and are a feature of most terrestrial planets. Mountain ranges are segmented by highlands or mountain passes and valleys. Individual mountains within the same mountain range do not have the same geologic structure or petrology, they may be a mix of different orogenic expressions and terranes, for example thrust sheets, uplifted blocks, fold mountains, volcanic landforms resulting in a variety of rock types. Most geologically young mountain ranges on the Earth's land surface are associated with either the Pacific Ring of Fire or the Alpide Belt.
The Pacific Ring of Fire includes the Andes of South America, extends through the North American Cordillera along the Pacific Coast, the Aleutian Range, on through Kamchatka, Taiwan, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, to New Zealand. The Andes is 7,000 kilometres long and is considered the world's longest mountain system; the Alpide belt includes Indonesia and Southeast Asia, through the Himalaya, Caucasus Mountains, Balkan Mountains fold mountain range, the Alps, ends in the Spanish mountains and the Atlas Mountains. The belt includes other European and Asian mountain ranges; the Himalayas contain the highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, 8,848 metres high and traverses the border between China and Nepal. Mountain ranges outside these two systems include the Arctic Cordillera, the Urals, the Appalachians, the Scandinavian Mountains, the Great Dividing Range, the Altai Mountains and the Hijaz Mountains. If the definition of a mountain range is stretched to include underwater mountains the Ocean Ridges form the longest continuous mountain system on Earth, with a length of 65,000 kilometres.
The mountain systems of the earth are characterized by a tree structure, where mountain ranges can contain sub-ranges. The sub-range relationship is expressed as a parent-child relationship. For example, the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Blue Ridge Mountains are sub-ranges of the Appalachian Mountains. Equivalently, the Appalachians are the parent of the White Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains, the White Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains are children of the Appalachians; the parent-child expression extends to the sub-ranges themselves: the Sandwich Range and the Presidential Range are children of the White Mountains, while the Presidential Range is parent to the Northern Presidential Range and Southern Presidential Range. The position of mountains influences climate, such as snow; when air masses move up and over mountains, the air cools producing orographic precipitation. As the air descends on the leeward side, it warms again and is drier, having been stripped of much of its moisture.
A rain shadow will affect the leeward side of a range. Mountain ranges are subjected to erosional forces which work to tear them down; the basins adjacent to an eroding mountain range are filled with sediments which are buried and turned into sedimentary rock. Erosion is at work while the mountains are being uplifted until the mountains are reduced to low hills and plains; the early Cenozoic uplift of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado provides an example. As the uplift was occurring some 10,000 feet of Mesozoic sedimentary strata were removed by erosion over the core of the mountain range and spread as sand and clays across the Great Plains to the east; this mass of rock was removed as the range was undergoing uplift. The removal of such a mass from the core of the range most caused further uplift as the region adjusted isostatically in response to the removed weight. Rivers are traditionally believed to be the principal cause of mountain range erosion, by cutting into bedrock and transporting sediment.
Computer simulation has shown that as mountain belts change from tectonically active to inactive, the rate of erosion drops because there are fewer abrasive particles in the water and fewer landslides. Mountains on other planets and natural satellites of the Solar System are isolated and formed by processes such as impacts, though there are examples of mountain ranges somewhat similar to those on Earth. Saturn's moon Titan and Pluto, in particular exhibit large mountain ranges in chains composed of ices rather than rock. Examples include the Mithrim Montes and Doom Mons on Titan, Tenzing Montes and Hillary Montes on Pluto; some terrestrial planets other than Earth exhibit rocky mountain ranges, such as Maxwell Montes on Venus taller than any on Earth and Tartarus Montes on Mars, Jupiter's moon Io has mountain ranges formed from tectonic processes including Boösaule Montes, Dorian Montes, Hi'iaka Montes and Euboea Montes. Peakbagger Ranges Home Page Bivouac.com